Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Humanities/April 2006

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April 1[edit]

Best film series of all time[edit]

of n films

My candidates:

n = 3 Lord of the Rings;
n = 4 Alien;
n = 6 Star Wars;
n = 7 Harry Potter (when finished);
n = 20+ James Bond;

Any other suggestions?

This is a reference desk. What fact are you looking for: Does anyone have suggestions? Yes, many people have suggestions. --Kainaw (talk) 02:32, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
It should be said that, even as we may agree with Kainaw as to the purpose of this page and as to the propriety of one's posting subjective questions here, it seems long settled that such questions are accepted (see, e.g., by their often being responded to); we may perhaps try to refocus the desk toward more objective questions that would seem to fit within those prescribed in the "reference desk" article and in the directions here, but that likely needs to be a meta-discussion had other than here (and, of course, this query isn't as inappropriate as many posed here, e.g., those that are altogether rhetorical in nature). FWIW, even as I'm not a particular fan of the latter, The Godfather likely would be the preferred series-of-three for many viewers, whilst Rocky might merit consideration by some as the top series-of-five (soon to be series-of-six). Joe 06:15, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we should retitle this page Wikipedia:Brains Trust. Then we'd be free to speculate till the cows come home. Often a lot more fun, too. JackofOz 08:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Whilst somewhat unbelievable for an encyclopedia (but also totally predictable), we have an article on films that have been considered the greatest ever (and its counterpart, films considered the worst ever). You may also look at the IMDb Top 250 list... — QuantumEleven | (talk) 10:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Trois Couleurs (3 films, Rouge (1993), Blanc (1993) and Bleu (1994)) all by Krzystof Kieslowski, made shortly before his death.

Indiana Jones! -LambaJan 02:56, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Birth of what we call "German people"[edit]

This will hopefully be my last question about the German people;

I read that all the "Germani" tribes as the Roman scholars called them came from Scandinavia to Europe. So that would mean Germans are different from Scandinavians only by the land their feet touch? London 02:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, I suppose they became different once they'd separated off. But thats true of all modern-day nationalities if you go back far enough. They are all split-offs (or combinations) of some older groupings. See Germanic_peoples#Origin.
  • The Germanic peoples as a whole were just one branch of descendants of earlier Indo-Europeans who probably lived over a wider area several thousand years before. See Proto-Indo-Europeans#Archaeology. Jameswilson 04:31, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Are you talking about the "German people" as a political unit or as a linguistic unit? If linguistic (or ethnic), then the difference between Germans and Scandinavians (Danes, Swedes) would be the difference between West Germanic languages and North Germanic languages. When and how the split between the two happened is anyone's guess, except that it must have happened before the onset of history (around 800). If you are talking about politics, then Germans didn't exist until there was a German country, which didn't happen until around 1500 -- that's when the Holy Roman Empire started to be considered a German affair. BTW, not all the experts think that the Germanic peoples originated in Scandinavia -- Northern Germany is another popular place of origin. --Chl 16:35, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Succesful trade sanctions[edit]

Halloa friends, i'm looking for some examples of succesful forms of economic warfare in which the US has been involved that can be interpreted to have some measue of succes.

It is of course a matter of debate if economic sanctions can at all accomplish anything, and of course, what is considered to be a succesful outcome of any such measures. Some argue that international emargo on South Africa helped end apartheid (also see: [1]). On the other hand, United States embargo against Cuba has been in effect for more than 40 years now, so we can assume that the US government finds it effective. --dcabrilo 07:22, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, in terms of achieving its goal of removing Castro and the Communists from power, it's been remarkably ineffective.
I think all we can say is that the US government finds it politically inexpedient to end the Cuba embargo. DJ Clayworth 14:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
By contrast, one might argue that the embargo against Iraq between the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion was extremely successful in its major stated goal - preventing Saddam Hussein from acquiring any new WMD's, or indeed any military hardware rendering him a threat to his neighbours... --Robert Merkel 14:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
If only we had had some way of knowing that before we invaded again! Alas! Brian Schlosser42 18:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)


To be elected sheriff, need a canidate have a law enforcement, or law back ground?

No, at least in the US. Sheriffs have learned on the job pretty regularly. The job these days is more jailer than cop, but sheriffs in most states in the US have been chosen locally, by election or mayoral appointment, and there is no requirement of a specific qualification. Geogre 14:06, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
No offense, but I think you should make sure you know what you're talking about before you answer these questions. Sheriff is a local position, and therefore the qualifications would differ depending on the state. But in Ohio, ORC 311.01 says you have to be at least a sargeant and have at least two years of college. If you don't meet those qualifications (and others), you can't run for the position. -- Mwalcoff 00:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
To repeat "in most states" the sheriffs are chosen locally by election and in most states there is no specific qualification. I stand by that statement as it was a proper answer, given the level of specificity of the question. Geogre 01:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Um, do you have a source for that statement? -- Mwalcoff 16:14, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
For "most states?" Do you believe that the questioner was asking about Ohio? Not possessed of ESP, and being the descendant of three sheriffs (all without college or law enforcement background, the most recent being in the 1960's), I answered appropriately: each place differs from the next, and in most places there is no single requirement. Answering otherwise would have required knowing of a specific "yes" answer (all 50 states, assuming the questioner even meant the US). You do not have a "yes" answer but want to decry any "no" answer. That's rather amazing. Geogre 17:13, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I find it hard to believe that most states don't have any specific requirements for sheriffs. It may be true, but it's not what I would have guessed. I would guess that in most of the states where the sheriff is a real law-enforcement officer, he or she does need some kind of qualifications.
My problem is that you made a blanket statement without any source whatsoever that was at least in part incorrect. I think that what you should have said was, "My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were sheriffs in <state>, and none of them had a law-enforcement background. I believe that in most states, you don't need any specific such qualifications." -- Mwalcoff 22:53, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, then, I now know how I could have pleased you. And we both know that the questioner's language was horrible. If this inspires you to find out what is involved in all 50 states, there will have been a good outcome. Otherwise, I can't see anything other than prickliness, if not boorishness. One can answer better. One can hold one's peace. One can have no answer and complain about everyone else. One of these options is productive, one neutral, and one counterproductive. Geogre 01:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Republican presidental canidate[edit]

Is Mitt Romney a likely Republican canidate next time around?

According to our article Potential Republican candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Mitt Romney is a likely candidate. There is even a web site supporting his candidacy at --dcabrilo 07:33, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Though Romney's as likely as not to seek the nomination, he's surely very unlikely to win the Republican nod (FWIW, see, e.g., Opinion polling for the 2008 United States presidential election and U.S. presidential election, 2008, at the latter of which the average support in all major polls is given for Romney as 3.11% [then again, Condoleeza Rice, whom most regard as altogether unlikely to win the nom, is shown first there, so perhaps what it's worth is not very much]). Joe 07:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)tinkle tinkle in car you should really ulink titlese a jar

Longest serving paliementarians[edit]

Who is the longest serving current French member of Parliment? Who is the longest serving current member of the Japanese parliment

Sounds like a homework question. Try Parliament. schyler 13:06, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Reservation politics[edit]

On modern reservations, such as the Navajo or Cherokee, do tribal run on party slates? If so is the republican or democratic party?


I am looking for a better meaning to the word alienate. I see what it means, but I need a better way of putting it. To me, i have thought it meant a "burden" to something.

  • (Lol) Sorry, I'm not nitpicking, but it's an oddly phrased question. And riddled with ambiguities.
  • When you say "I see what it means, but ...", what you seem to be really saying is that you understand what others think alienate means, and you understand what the dictionary says it means, but you want to say what alienate really means. ummm ... who's out of step here? (Lol)
  • Or maybe you're asking for ideas for the name of an action that is kinda like alienate but not exactly alienate, and kinda like burden but not exactly burden. Something in the middle, but different in its own unspecified way? I need a little more information, an example perhaps? :--) JackofOz 08:13, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
The first that comes to my mind is how my mom's siters, parents, neices, etc. have treated since converting to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. They really don't talk. Her parents used to pariodically send money, but not anymore. Her sisters and her used to best of friends, but not anymore. Needless to say they don't see eachother at CHristmas, Easter, Birthdays, etc. May not be what your looking for but that ia how I would describe it. schyler 13:04, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
ah - you mean they were sent to Coventry. "Ostracise" is probably too strong, but it's closer to the meaning you want than "alienate". Given the circumstances of the situation, if you wanted to add a touch of irony you could always say they were "excommunicated". Grutness...wha? 02:59, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I would use "estranged" to refer to the situation that Schyler describes. Chuck 15:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC)


When Tony Blair retires from the prime ministers office is he likely to continue as a back bencher for any period of time the way previous Pm's such as Churchill, Loyd George, and Heath did, because of his young age and already parlimentry service he would likely be future father of the house?

An anecdotal answer based on Op-ed reading: no. By all accounts, Blair has little desired to remain as a backbencher. I presume he'd stay in the seat until the next election and then not run again. Marskell 16:13, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Our own article on Tony Blair has a quote from him that he doesn't intend to carry on in either "front line politics" (whatever that means) or the Lords, sourced from here. --Bth 16:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
A few months ago his election agent (doubtless with Blairs approval) let it be known that after he ceases to be Prime Minister he won't be staying on in Parliament, though when he'll give up/be forced out of the post of PM is another matter. AllanHainey 13:35, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Bishop Dupree[edit]

Does any one know anything about bishop dupree, and the church sex abuse scandal in springfield Mass?

Indian economic[edit]

How socialist was india in the 1950's and 60's where people allowed to operate bussiess'?

India wasn't very "socialist," but it was still more left-wing than the U.S. and European nations. More areas were administrated by the government at that time and the trade restrictions were much higer. Since the 1990's many tariffs with other countries have been gotten rid of. GizzaChat © 09:58, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty certain that private ownership of business was allowed. DJ Clayworth 14:45, 3 April 2006 (UTC)


  1. Who are the current bosses of the five families in New York?
  2. Is it true that in order to become a made member of the Mafia you must commit a murder for the mafia?
  3. What if any power does the La Cosa Nostra currently have?

(I numbered your questions for easier answering)
  1. Current Bosses
    1. Bonanno crime family: Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano
    2. Colombo crime family: Carmine Persico
    3. Gambino crime family: Probably Nicholas Corozzo
    4. Genovese Crime Family: The latest boss was Vincent Gigante, but he died last year.
    5. Lucchese crime family: The last one was Carmine Tramunti but he was just taking care of the mob for Antonio Corallo while he was in prison.
  2. Maybe if you're not directly related. It would seem if you were part of the family you would be in right away. I don't exactly know however.
  3. La Cosa Nostra just seems to be how members of a particular mafia refer to themselves (their mafia) and those within it. It is translated "this thing," but "this thing of ours" seems to be a prefered translation.

Hope this answers your questions.schyler 13:35, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

The Uniformed Little Boy[edit]

I am trying to locate this poem / saying that I have read in publications. I did not keep a copy of it and would like to use it in a forthcoming event. Could you please help me locate it?

Thank You

Scoutmaster Troop 589

April 2[edit]

What's the correct password for the Underground Railroad?[edit]

I want to know the correct password for the Underground Railroad. I don't know if the password is "A Friend with Friends" as stated in the article or "A Friend of a Friend" as inserted by an anon editor (Possibly a vandal). Which one is the correct one? --Bruin rrss23 (talk) 01:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea, but "Friends" (plural, capitalized) means "Quakers" (early anti-slavery activists). AnonMoos 04:26, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Funnily enough, a question asked just above about the Five Families leads one to the La Cosa Nostra page, and thence to the Mafia page, where one reads that another name for the Mafia has been "amici degli amici" ("the friends of the friends"). Joe 22:07, 3 April 2006 (UTC)`

General schwartzcoffs father[edit]

Is Col. schwartzcoff's rank a result of his state trooper service or his, military service?

Have no idea, but some say he was involved in the Mossadegh incident...[2] AnonMoos 04:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

the title of colonel[edit]

I have noticed that many important leaders if fields as diverse as politics, bussiness and publishingt from the early 20th century, to about 1950 where refered to in the press as Colonel; where do these titles come from? Further more this tradition has stopped. Why is that leader who are colnoels are not addressed this way? For example both Lindsey Graham and John are colonels but their never addresses as such.

In many Southern states, "Colonel" is just a term of respect and has no further meaning. In fact, I knew people who were able to get Colonelcies from the Governor of Alabama just by writing and asking him to send them a certificate. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
See Kentucky Colonel. AnonMoos 04:21, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

You might want to see this page.--Brendenhull 21:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

military officers in paliament[edit]

Are than any former Colonels or generals (or their naval or air force equivalents) currently sitting in the British house of commons?

Generals in politics[edit]

In the U.S. military who is oldest active(or semiactive)General or Flag officer? Who is the youngest? Are their any general who are under 45, or over 70?

Age of Generals[edit]

During the Civil war, most of the Generals where, young in early forties; though their where a handfull of elderly generals. During WWII most of the most powerfull generals where well into 50's and usually well into their 60's, older they are now, why the change?

A simple answer would probably people live longer now. schyler 03:45, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

During the U.S. Civil War, there was only a very tiny standing army of permanent "regulars" (pre-war professional soldiers), and number of these defected to the South, while many of the rest remained in the west, keeping an eye on the Indians from remote forts. So naturally many officers of all ranks were drawn from outside the structure of the regular army, and when some became generals, it was usually for reasons other than seniority. AnonMoos 04:17, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

It's pretty complicated, really. Both armies were a mix of patronage officers and professional officers. For example, a highly educated person from the upper classes would, upon volunteering, be an officer, despite lack of military experience (or even leadership, in some cases). However, the military academies, both the official and state ones, had been turning out career officers as well. The US had not had a standing army, it's true, for very long, but it had in effect had one since the Mexican War. Most of the brigadier generals on both sides had served in the Mexican War, many with each other. Lee, Grant, Sherman, McClellan, Hooker, Burnside, and Jackson had been professionally trained and served prior to the war, but they were youngish men. These days, of course, the standing army is enormous (largest in the world, exclusive of China) in the US, and officers are no longer made by patronage (unless you count ROTC), so generals have to be promoted to the position (although they still could be directly appointed), and the internal requirements of the branches of the military mean that it takes a fairly long time. Nevertheless, it's incorrect to say that all generals now are elderly. Colin Powell was hardly old when he became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Geogre 15:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
George Custer, depsite having graduated last in his class at West Point, was made a brevet (temporary) Brigadier General at the age of 23 in 1863. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
It's interesting (to me) to note that George Washington was a babe of 43 when appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the outset of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. Most Americans visualize him as the old guy with the white hair on the dollar bill, but that's Washington two decades later.--Kevin Myers | (complaint dept.) 16:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

military rank[edit]

What does this mean? Are people who have apparlently left the military still considered to hold their military rank?

Retired members of the United States military are often referred to by their rank, for example in print they would be, "Maj. John Q. Doe, retired". Dismas|(talk) 04:03, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
And of course, some are still in the Individual Ready Reserve, and don't even know it... ;-) AnonMoos 04:11, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
In normal British practise, only people of the rank of Major and above keep their rank with "(rtd.)" after their name. Captain Mark Phillips was an exception, but only because he was the Queen's son-in-law. -- Arwel (talk) 02:15, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Wait - what about Captain Peacock! Rmhermen 00:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Australia's Governor-General is Major-General Michael Jeffery (Retd). He retired from active service in 1993. JackofOz 02:27, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Note that in the Southern states in the US, it has long been the practice to refer to people by their former military rank, typically without the addition of the word "retired". In the rest of the states, however, the "retired" is included (if their former military rank is even mentioned). StuRat 20:48, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Presidental monogamy[edit]

What U.S. Presidents are belived to have had any sex outside of marriage (either before during or after their marriage)?

Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy come to mind. schyler 03:46, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
If you ask Bill Clinton, he may respond with a question of his own about whether oral sex is the same as your definition of "sex". Dismas|(talk) 04:24, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
ISTR that one of the early 20th century ones (can't remember which - Teddy Roosevelt? Woodrow Wilson?) fathered a child out of wedlock and it caused a huge scandal during his campaign. Anyone else remember enough to provide details?

Grutness...wha? 08:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Grover Cleavland was reputed to have fathered an illegitimate child. His opponent's slogan was "Ma! Ma! Where's my Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha ha ha!" Not as short as "Whip Inflation Now" or as pithy as "SoreLoserman", but the bumper sticker lobby was much smaller back then...Brian Schlosser42 19:04, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Reagan, Eisenhower and Franklin D Roosevelt belong on the list. I don't know if Reagan was unfaithful to either of his 2 wives, but they certainly weren't the only women he ever slept with. Ike's and FDR's affairs are well documented. As is Eleanor Roosevelt's long-running lesbian affair. JackofOz 08:51, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Given the high-testosterone nature of high-level politics, my guess is that the vast majority of presidents had sex before and/or outside marriage. One can think of individuals who might not have, but I dont know who (for example, the idea that the current resident of the White House was a virgin before he married Laura is pretty unlikely, given his fondness for exuberant entertainment in his youth.) Anyway, the out-of-wedlock one was Grover Cleveland. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget Warren G. Harding. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:10, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

"Then Senator Warren Harding's political career was almost derailed when he was caught with an underage girl in a New York hotel. He managed to avoid a scandal by paying the hotel detective $1000. Always one to learn from his mistakes, President Harding later conducted all his affairs with underaged girls in a White House closet, guarded by two secret service men." StuRat 20:42, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Presidental occupations[edit]

How do like my classifications? TR Roosevelt: Public offical Harry Truman: Farmer LBJ: Public offical

Not much. --Halcatalyst 03:54, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
"Public offical" sounds like a kind of public receptacle for condemned or unwanted offal. Pretty distasteful. Not quite as bad as some presidents, but pretty bad. (wink*) JackofOz 08:44, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Character assasination by conspiracy theory[edit]

It seems that conspiracy theories are often used as a way to assassinated the character of a political opponent. For example the JFK assasination is generally used to spare Cuban emirge population, and conservative political leaders (including the relativly mainstream Richard Nixon) With Lindberg Kidknapping cospiracy theorists believe the Lindberg either killed is child or coveredup his childs murder by a family member. Even though their might be some grounds questioning Hautmans involvement, their is no evidence that points to lindberg. It seems that people defaming him because they don't like his conduct before the war.

And your question is...? --Halcatalyst 03:53, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
It appears to be "Don't you agree?" One of my forgotten laws is "Wikipedia is not a venue for negotiating ultimate truth or announcing private revelations." Geogre 13:40, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

essay help[edit]


i need to write an essay on the topic 'charity begins at home' im in class 8 .the problem is im running out of ideas because i need a big essay aropund 700 words . your help will be appreciated by me in other words please help me.

There are a lot of ways to leangthen your essay and not having to do a whole lot of extra work.

  1. No conjunctions. Leangthen with do not instead of don't, I am instead of I'm, etc.
  2. Animal names? Look up its trinomial name and write that in there.
  3. Go of on some random subject that has a remote tie to your project and just write. With that kind of essay prompt, I'm guessing the teacher is like my Biology teacher and will think it's "Good Research" if you talk about something forever.

I'm sure you will need more help, these are just the main tactics I employ. Try visiting this site. It'll give many more ideas. schyler 13:20, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

You might see our page on charity as well as the Category:Charities. Obviously, no one can write an essay for you. "Charity begins at home" usually means its best to take care of poverty and other problems literally in one's own home, or at least close community, before sending donations farther afield. Thus you might think, "if someone I knew wanted to donate time or money to a problem, what problems are nearby that they should focus on first?" Marskell 13:22, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if we have an article on Guns and Butter, but we should have one on foreign aid for whichever nation the questioner is from. The slogan "charity begins at home" is often used as an anti-aid point. Needless to say, few professionals agree that foreign aid is either charity nor unrelated to the home/donor state. It's a subject that, honestly, invites such polemics that one wonders what the point of the assignment might be. Geogre 15:58, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

You could also think of it in terms of local economy. I mean this in terms of the economic practices talked about by Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. late in his life, where it's best to purchase things that were produced as locally as possible and are sold buy stores that are owned as locally as possible, the idea being that if the capital stays in the community then the community's economy will improve and this will have a positive effect on everyone in the community and the influence will pervade into the surrounding economies and so forth. This would be a perfect tangent to go off on. -LambaJan 03:05, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Keeping the money at home is not a new idea. See The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, published in 1776. StuRat 19:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Do your own homework - Pureblade | Θ 17:22, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Comparison between Vietnam War and Iraqi War?[edit]

Good Afternoon,

I am writing for my US History course and am looking for some information on the above mentioned topic. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Pamela

You could just look at the articles for Iraq War and Vietnam War. Isopropyl 18:44, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
They have approximately the same distance to Delhi. Other than that... from a military perspective there's plenty of similarities relating to assymetric warfare. On the political side - I'm not so sure the reasons for the war are comparable - in any case it would be speculative at best. Gardar Rurak 02:06, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Historical political world maps[edit]

Is there a resource where I could look up the political world map as of certain age? --tyomitch 18:37, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Have you tried ancient world maps? I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. Isopropyl 18:45, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
There are about ten thousand historical atlases available. You can find them on Amazon or in your nearest library. HenryFlower 19:53, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I meant an online resource. And I wanted something not as ancient as ancient world maps; I don't think that even the concept of political map was present back then. I'm looking for maps that are, say, one or two centuries old. --tyomitch 22:10, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
You might want to start with Category:Historical maps. Thuresson 23:34, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
This is splendid. Thanks! --tyomitch 07:06, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

American Law Schools[edit]

The article Law school notes that many states require applicants for the bar exam to have a degree from an American Bar Association-approved school. A guide I have seen from a few years ago says there are 187 ABA approved schools in America. Could anyone tell me the current number? How many law schools lack their approval? And does any state besides California let non-approved school's graduates take the bar exam? PedanticallySpeaking 18:59, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Ask the ABA Looks like 192 or 193, depending on what you count. Ande B 23:12, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

"Did you hear about the alcoholic law student ? No matter how hard he tried, he could never seem to pass the bar." StuRat 19:49, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The Islamic Conquests...[edit]

I was just wondering what the cause of the Islamic Conquests were? Why was an empire created during and after the death of Mohammed and why was it militaristic and expansionist? Islamic Conquests

See Islamic conquests, Muhammad as a warrior and Jihad. Thuresson 23:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Nearly all of the territorial expansion of Islam was accomplished by conquest and threat of death. Some might say, based on history and the daily news, that the empire was militaristic and expansionistic because Islam teaches that Allah favors the killing of those who resist their bloody concept of god and religion. Dalembert 11:26, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
But then again, pretty much all conquests, especially religiously based ones, are violent. Look at the Crusades for example, or the conquest of the Americas (especially by the Spanish). StuRat 19:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
As is the case with most cultural and militaristic expansions throughout history it largely depends on 1) The presence of an economical (food, people) surplus in the society 2) Military or technological superiority making it possible to successfully translate the surplus into conquest. If these two things are present the civilization will more likely than not expand once they realize that they can in fact do so – the Romans, the Vikings, the Huns and the Mongols are examples thereof. This is why some civilizations suddenly expand wildly and at other times remain relatively passive for centuries – it’s largely expansion because 1) I can 2) It’s profitable. The question is really what creates the surplus in the first place – sometimes it’s a leader, sometimes it’s new technology and at other times it’s a boom in the economy due to i.e. new trade routes, new resources etc.
In the case of Islam, when Mohammad united the Arabic tribes under the common goal (of Islam) much of the previous inter-tribal wars stopped (thus releasing a potential surplus) and focus were instead directed outwards. Due to a relatively high level of development combined with a powerful and experienced military the (mostly) unified Arabic tribes were capable of conquering vast areas over their less organized neighbors. It should be added that an expansion of this nature, at this speed, is unparalleled for this time. It went fast!. It was, however, not unique. Gardar Rurak 02:01, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Lit[edit]

Does multiculturalism have big role in defining modern Canadian literature? Their are essentially two genres of literature, French canadian literature and English Canadian literature.

Absolutely multiculturalism plays a role in CanLit. Our so-so page on the topic, Canadian Literature, doesn't go into at great length but you might see Michael Ondaatje and Yann Martel, amongst others. Of course, there is always something fraught about contextualizing an author born outside the country where their career blooms. I remember a quote in the New Yorker: "Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan writer who has lived in Canada for forty years." A rather odd statement I thought--if you're not of a place after forty years in it, then I don't see that you can ever be. I think it was Mordecai Richler who said Canada was like a giant hotel room... Marskell 13:52, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Food/Recipe from Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Greetings. Our Nutrition teacher wanted us to find recipes for various countries. My objective is Northern Mariana Islands. From the wiki page I got the history and other information but three recipes are still needed (and I have to make food from one recipe...). Does anyone know a good recipe? or direct me to a page where i can find them?

thank you.

--Kgptzac 22:08, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I thought this would be easy, since Google turned up as first entry a site called "recipeland" saying it supplied recipes from around the world and had an entry to North Marianas. Guess what - it turned out to be a Wikipedia clone article with no recipe information in it at all. Sometimes I hate mirroring. DJ Clayworth 14:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
NMI is a Commonwealth, not a country. However, search for "Chamorro recipes" and you should find some of the food native to CNMI. If that helped, you do have to cite Wikipedia now. Esquizombi 23:04, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Now you just need to find a supermarket that carries breadfruit, achiote seeds and parrotfish! Rmhermen 00:21, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Some Commonwealths are countries. The Commonwealth of Australia, for example. JackofOz 00:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you all very much. I shall do more researchs on this :P --Kgptzac 02:52, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


I would like to know what rights the people of California who are given summary probation have?––

  • That's one to ask a lawyer. But it's more what they lose -- the idea is that they can be conveniently rearrested and have their paroles revoked if they don't behave. The language is nicely archaic: parole can be revoked if the judge feels the person "has become abandoned to improper associates or a vicious life". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:23, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

April 3[edit]

Polio Vaccine Effects[edit]

What effects did the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk have on Society?

I can't seem to find any specific statistics on what the vaccine did to the "numbers." After the Vaccine was used on most of the children in America did the mortality rate from it drop? or Did the number of the people who contracted it just fall??

Any Help with this would be really appreciated.

kd7jit (Jason H.)

See Jonas Salk; there was a very dramatic drop in cases within a couple of years of the vaccination becoming widely available. Unfortunately, the statistics in that article are unreferenced. --Robert Merkel 05:18, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

The polio article has some sourced numbers - but only since 1988 and it can't compare the two vaccines. Rmhermen 17:10, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank You for all of your help. I managed find some things. Took a while though :(

In relation to this any Idea why there are so many conspiracy theories on the Polio Vaccine?

Once again any help here would be really appreciated. --Kd7jit 18:42, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

There will be lots of conspiracy theories on anything as widespread as polio vaccines. By contrast, it would be difficult to get people concerned about a conspiracy in some treatment of a disease that only 1 in a million people get, since it wouldn't directly effect them. StuRat 19:34, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank You that makes a lot of sence.

What would I do with out Wikipedia?

Kd7jit 21:04, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Irish military history[edit]

During the joint monarchy era, when Ireland was technically a seperate kingdom, did Ireland have at least skelton of standing army seperate from the British Army?

Ireland didn't become a de jure republic until 1949, if memory serves, so yes. The British Army split from the Irish Army in 1922, with five of the (eight?) Irish infantry regiments being disbanded that year (admittedly shortly before the Free State was established).
According to Irish Army it was cut down to about one division after the end of the unrest in 1923 or so, and according to [3] it was down to 6-8000 regulars in September 1939, and then became much larger during the War (unsurprisingly). It was a somewhat sketchy and badly-equipped force compared to the major nations of the time, which for a small neutral nation is unsurprising, but it was certainly more than "skeleton" - there were two decent brigades there before mobilisation. Shimgray | talk | 22:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeats Poetry[edit]

How can "Easter 1916" be viewed from a post colonialist perspective?

That's very homework-ish. Which post-colonialism? I suppose you can read the article on Edward Said, but you've probably been given lecture notes or readings from the post-colonial thinkers you should employ when formulating the answer. Geogre 10:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Reading Irish Free State may give you the background you need; then reflect on the lines
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse...
--Halcatalyst 04:16, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

What makes a country industrialized?[edit]

By industrialized, we ususally mean that a country has industry, meaning factories, power plants, and other infrastructure. Did European countries quit being industrialized after the destruction of World War II? And why don't we call China, a place with tons of factories, industrialized? Captain Jackson 05:08, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

There are no 'rules' about what we call industrialized, but I'm pretty certain we wouldn't have stopped calling Western Europe industrialised after WWII. While the destruction of industry was enormous, it wasn't total. As for the second, what makes you think China isn't called industrialised? DJ Clayworth 14:28, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I would say the proportion of factory workers to farmers would be the best indicator of the level of industrialization of a country, not the absolute number, which, of course, goes up in an overpopulated country like China. However, as we are now entering the post-industrial/information age, we are beginning to see the deindustrialization of many former industrial giants, like the US. So, using "industrialized" as a synonym for "developed" no longer really works. StuRat 19:26, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Who said: "There is not the smallest fact..."[edit]

I heard a quotation that I have remembered so incompletely that I am unable to find it in any database.

The meaning is roughly

"There is not the smallest fact that I would rather know than not know, even to the .. "

and then there's a bit about a wine jug (I think).

The problem is that I can recollect the meaning rather than the actual words. i.e. "smallest" may in fact be "least significant" etc.

-- Charles McLachlan


Who coined the term "said here today journalism"?Iwould like to know more about this as i am a journalist student working on my thesis. please, please I need answers and a Big THANK YOU in advance.

  • I've never heard this term and couldn't find it in use; where is it used? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 21:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • google was no help whatsoever (only three hits, and none of the listed pages actually used the term). As a part-time journalist I've never encountered the term, either. FWIW there's an interesting Harpers article here that may be of some use, even though it doesn't address the phrase directly. Grutness...wha? 01:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Swift Boat Veterans[edit]

I understand that this group was formed by a PR firm. If true, please give me the name of the firm and who hired them.

Thank you

Natalie Dunn —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:41, 3 April 2006 UTC

%< email address snipped %<

A search for Swift Boat will find you what you need. --Hughcharlesparker 15:45, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Our article is at Swift Vets and POWs for Truth. (The group changed its name after initially becoming well known as SBVT.) JamesMLane t c 11:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Oliver Twist[edit]

In the Oliver Twist topic, which summarizes the novel by Dickens, the article sites Oliver's birth year as 1797. That would make the main part of the story, after his birth, take place in the year 1806. In fact the whole of the story, from when Oliver is 9 to when he's 12, take place before 1810.

The story is about Dicken's opinion of the Poor Laws, which were implimented in 1834. The book was published around 1838, when the Poor Laws were in full swing. How could Oliver be born and come to the age of nine years 25 years before the subject of the Poor Laws, which is what the book is about?

I'm thinking that whoever wrote this article has the fact of Oliver's birth year wrong. Otherwise, I'm willing to be proven wrong, if the writer of the article can site the source. I've searched the text on-line and have found no references such as 1797.



1797 sounds early to me, too. Please post your query at talk:Oliver Twist, though. One hopes that the author of the fact will see the question and offer up the citational proof. Geogre 20:44, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Dewey Decimal System: Table of Last Resort[edit]

The OCLC's introduction to the DDC gives, on p. 10, the "table of last resort." But the example they provide doesn't make much sense to me. I would think that surveillance by border patrols is a kind (#1) of patrol and surveillance, but only a process (#4) of border patrols, and so 363.232 is the right number. And I have no idea where "police services" comes into play. --zenohockey 17:48, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

In practical terms, for what it's worth, I'd ignore that table completely - by the time you get to several equally good numbers, it's more practical just to go with your gut, or with what you have most of in the collection (or the traditional "hand it to someone else and ask 'Is this book about X or Y?'")
Here, what I think they mean is that [border patrols] are a particular kind of (physical) thing, but that [surveillance] is an (abstract) process. You class it with the noun, not the verb; if we had a book on "Swimming chickens", we'd class it with "chickens, doing things" not "things which are swimming". Does that make any sense? Shimgray | talk | 22:28, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

April 4[edit]

Translation of a page I found on JA wikipedia[edit]


I found what looked like a very useful listing on Kunasiri Island on your JA site - . My Japanese is insuffienct to read the page and the babelfish translation is pretty close to useless so I was wondering if at some stage an Enlgish version of the page on Kunasiri Island is likley to be uploaded on to the English language site at all?

Thanks and regards

Glynne MacLean

Probably one will eventually, but you've got to remember that this is all a volunteer project - there's no organisation saying "write articles on these things now", so there's no schedule for new articles. You can always request that an article is written (or the Japanese one is translated onto the English Wikipedia) by going to Wikipedia:Requested articles and following the instructions there. Grutness...wha? 05:07, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
You could also ask for help on the Chatsubo for non-Japanese speakers. David Sneek 06:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
You could also use Wikipedia:Translation into English/Japanese to ask for help from the translation team. --Hughcharlesparker 09:51, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
There's already an English article, see Kunashir Island. Eivindt@c 02:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Miss Washington D.C.?[edit]

I was recently watching the final rounds of the Miss America Paegent when I saw that Miss Washington D.C. advanced. Looking at our article on Washington D.C. and doing a little Googling, I pretty much gathered that Washington D.C. is a city with its own city government, although the federal government hold ultimate power. To get to my question: Is washington D.C. a city (I'm quite sure)? And if so, why is there a Miss Washington D.C. in the Miss America paegent? Shouldn't she just have advanced to the Miss Viginia or Miss Maryland competition? Thank you for clearing this up for me. schyler 02:35, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is not a part of any state, nor is it an independent city, since Congress has a major say in its operations as the District of Columbia. The people have no representatives in Congress (although there is a non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives). So Washington DC in a way stands apart from the rest of the United States. The Miss America contest, put on by a private body, originates in state contests. The very first winner (1921) was from Washington DC, indicating that the district was represented from the start. --Halcatalyst 03:02, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Washington is a city, but it's not part of Maryland or Virginia. It wouldn't be fair to leave DC out of the Miss America pageant, so there are 51 contestants. -- Mwalcoff 04:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
True - it's perfectly OK for them not to have government representatives, but they gotta have a Miss USA contestant :) Grutness...wha? 05:18, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, titillation without representation might make for bad PR on their license plates. Best to head that one off before it begins. — Lomn Talk 13:32, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Washington is a city, and the District of Columbia is similar to the territories which most US states were prior to admission to the Union.

Note that the reason why DC is not a state is because it's vote in Congress, combined with it's influence over government workers who live there, was thought to combine to be an undo influence on the Federal Government. Note that in Canada, where Ottawa is in Ontario, not in a separate non-voting district, there are complaints that Ontario has an undo influence over the Federal Government. The western provinces, Atlantic provinces, and Quebec all seem to resent this influence. This, along with French resentment of the English, has led to the formation of the Bloc Québécois, a party in favor of Quebec independence. StuRat 19:14, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The reason Ontario is perceived as having so much influence is not because the capital city is in the province. It's because Ontario has one-third of the country's population, 40% of GDP, the biggest city and most of the major corporations. In the previous parliament, 75 of the governing party's 135 House members were from Ontario. If the capital were to be relocated to Charlottetown, no one would complain about the power and influence of Prince Edward Island. -- Mwalcoff 23:06, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
You should consider that perhaps part of the reason Ontario is so disproportionately populous is that it has been historically favored as the seat of the national government. Although Prince Edward Island is too small to become so populous, perhaps if Quebec had been the seat of government, it would now have those same advantages. StuRat 10:03, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Art in Jerusalem between 11th and 13th centuries[edit]

I'm having difficulty finding images about Medieval art in Jerusalem, both Islamic and Christian, that also has a summary of the image, like basic background information and possibly some analysis of the piece. Any kind of art in this area would be very much appreciated. thanks

For some of this time, Jerusalem was the capital of the crusader kingdom, so there is a lot of crusader art from this period. Two examples that you can find on Wikipedia might be the Melisende Psalter, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (which in its present form is largely the church rebuilt by the crusaders). But I would also highly recommend books by Jaroslav Folda, who writes about art from this period (both Christian and Islamic). Adam Bishop 02:14, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Yazd: Towers of Silence[edit]

Hi.I just want to know the date that "Towers of silence in yazd" have been built and also I want to know what they have been made of. I will be thankful if you give me answer to these questions. sincerly yours Mercy-mgh 2006/4/4

we have a Towers of Silence article, but it doesn't give dates... --WhiteDragon 16:24, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Underground band[edit]

hi guys. despite my best efforts, i am unable to find an article i once read about a highly influential band from the 60s/70s or about that time. to best summarise the introduction:

"though they weren't as commercially successful as their peers the beachboys beatles and rolling stones (etc) due to the fact that they neglected to extensively market their music, they are nevertheless regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time".

i find the possibility of an underground band that shares the influence of the beatles but choosing to turn their backs on commercialism intriguing. does anybody have a good memory to help me out? did this introduction get edited out or something? i would really appreciate help

thanks dabanhfreak

Maybe I'm being led astray by your use of "underground" in the question, but was it The Velvet Underground? The intro currently has the shorter and less OTT "Though never commercially successful, The Velvet Underground remains one of the most influential bands of their time". (OTOH looking at the history, it's always said that, so maybe not.) --Bth 09:27, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The Velvets actually were that influential though. A popular saying explaining their influence is "while they didn't sell many albums, everyone who bought one started a band." Some bands commonly credited as being influenced by them are Joy Division, Sonic Youth, The Strokes. I'd take Franz Ferdinand as a recent example. --BluePlatypus 11:01, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
They were an enormous influence, particularly on bands in the early to mid 1980s - and, indirectly at least, on the many bands influenced by those bands since. The most obvious influence was probably on people like The Jesus and Mary Chain, but the list that Blue Platypus gives is a good one. In fact, Scottish band Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released a song ("Andy's Babies") which was basically a mild attack on people wanting to copy the Velvets rather than do something original. Grutness...wha? 13:44, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that there are far too many candidates for your question. It could be any one of a dozen, at least, from The Soft Machine to The Pretty Things to The Fugs to Moby Grape to 13th Floor Elevators to...well, a bunch of folks. There were quite a few who didn't market but did end up influencing others. Go just a bit later, and you get Big Star, one of the most influential unheard bands of the 1970's. So, unless you can narrow the genre or give us more information, I'm not sure anyone can answer your question except through guessing. Geogre 13:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
...there are many bands that this description could fit. To Geogre's list from the late 60s - early 70s you can add The New York Dolls and The Stooges. In the late 70s there were bands like The Soft Boys. But the description probably still best suits the Velvet Underground overall. Grutness...wha? 07:42, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Height of Acropolis in Athens[edit]

I would like to know the height of the actual acropolis itself. I would like to know the height of the slope as opposed to its height above sea level217.196.239.189 09:42, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, the elevation of the acropolis is 150m above sea level and that of Athens itself is 70m so for a first approximation I'd say 80m, but then that depends on the foot of the slope being at the average elevation of the whole of Athens, which seems unlikely. I'm not finding anything useful from Google, but perhaps I'm just using the wrong phrases. --Bth 11:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The acropolis is on a hill, and although parts of it are terraced, I would guess that most of it would be about 6 - 8 metres in height.--Sepa 19:10, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Human Rights Organisation ,UK, Intellectuals, university[edit]

I would like to know what human rights organisations there are in the United Kingdom that would be friendly to intellectuals, ir cover topics like "persecution of intellectuals". Or such Human Rights Organisations that are not in the UK bit deal with or cover the UK as well. If none exist, are there groups, parhaps connected to a university that support the general rules of human rights law specifically as tailored to advanced concepts or intellectuals. There should then be more than just the physical aspect with which people are so obsessed

My email is mohinihersom AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk

Please reply, Thanks!!!!!

Don't give your email like that! You might get extra spam as a result, so I've disguised it - Adrian Pingstone 12:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Can you give some specifics? As you point out, UK law now enshrines various human rights explicitly thanks to the incorporation of the relevant bits of European law so the legal system itself should be on the side of the person in question if their rights really are being violated. Universities themselves have various appeals procedures which tend to ultimately include a right of appeal to the "Visitor", who in some cases is as distinguished a personage as the local bishop or a member of the royal family, and taking it to court before that process had been exhausted probably wouldn't be the best idea.
As to organisations, Amnesty International UK should be interested in principle; although their main focus is on torture and arms control and detention without trial and all that jazz, they're an umbrella human rights body. If the "persecution" is for some specific belief, say, it might be worth seeing if there's an organisation of people with that belief that would be interested in taking up the cause (eg if the intellectual is being persecuted for being a Muslim, then the Muslim Council of Britain might be a good choice).
Of course, in some cases it may be that the intellectual in question has gone off the rails and the perceived "persecution" is just perfectly legitimate criticism. (Bearing in mind the enduring popularity of whining about oppression among Creationists and other pathological scientists.) --Bth 12:26, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Name and/or author of a classical music piece[edit]

I'm trying to remember the name of a piece of music my father played for me when I was a kid in the early 80's. It was symphonic in the sense that the whole song was "glued" together by a full symphony orchestra, but the piece consisted primarily of a wide ranging and eclectic group of recordings. So for instance, there are lines spoken by Franklin Roosevelt & Adolph Hitler, fire engines, "striptease" music, an atom bomb, and the entire piece was bookended by a group of men reciting the Lord's Prayer, among much else.

I love Wikipedia already, but if someone knows this song, I will bow down in abject humility and be eternally devoted to the Wiki cause.


- Jeff Los Angeles, CA

I don't know the particular piece but it sure sounds like something John Cage would do. —Keenan Pepper 13:05, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

A google search on "found sound" or "found recording" might turn something up (those are the terms usually used for the items used in such montages. Our article on Found art (which "found sound" redirects to) suggests that other than Cage, Nicolas Collins and The Books have used such techniques. Grutness...wha? 14:00, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I am writing about the subject heading "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets." This designation refers to a specific literary journal where many of these poets published; however the group of writers existed prior to the magazine, and many of the writers do not wish to be referred to by the magazine's name. The proper term should be "Language poets" or "Language writing" or "Language school of poetry."

I do not see how to change the heading of a subject. Can you help?

(email removed to prevent spam)

The question is not their preference, but rather the most common naming. We put discussions under their most common and most logical name slot and then create redirects at other common nominal locations. The article was written primarily by one of the Lanugage poets, incidentally, who prefers to keep his real life identity anonymous. For my part, I consider "Language poet" more common than "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets," but, so long as a redirect exists, the results are the same, and the subject's preference is somewhat irrelevant. Geogre 19:10, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

To notify companies or not?[edit]

Hello there!

Please be kind to me as this is my first endeavor at this. I just want to ask something in a general way. I guess I am looking for a certain sense of direction or a certain feel for the situation, so to speak. My lovely wife of 20 years, just passed away about 3-4 weeks ago and I am left to tend to matters which she did all by herself. I am trying to do the best that I can by sorting through things so I have somewhat of an idea of what I have. I noticed the other day I had asked for itemized hospital and clinic bills to make sure bills are being paid. When I finally got around to looking at them, I noticed irregularities. For example, a certain medication given to my wife only once a week at a very specific time, was listed on one of the itemized bills.It was listed on a day I know for a fact that she did not receive it because she was on a 1-2 day pass with me at home! The oral pill costs around 150.00 dollars. I noticed on other occasions medication listed as being given, was in fact more than what she really received. I know because I was with her constantly and I know her medication. For example, any tablet that has LA or XR in it's name, you only receive one of these in a 24 hour period, not the 2-4 tablets listed. We would have major complcations then. My last example is this; my wife was receiving physical therapy from a licensed professional one day. She was having difficulty walking because a tiny hip muscle was constantly in spasms. The therapist gave us this velcro belt and should us how to put it on and to see if this would help the walking. It helped a great deal from before, but was not perfect. She wanted us to take the belt home and use it. I said no, I cannot pay for it. She said that there was no charge and they give these belts to people all the time, free of charge. I took the belt only because there was no charge and it made my wife happy. I looked on the bill for this day after I noticed the other irregularities, and here we or the insurance company was billed 300 dollars. My concern is this; I know morally(difference between right and wrong), I should speak up and not let them do this or get away with this. I am having a hard time doing that because ethically(what ought I do?- I ought to do the right thing) is getting in my way. I might add that my wife has my private insurance carrier as the primary and Medicare as the secondary carrier, and all the bills have been paid so all the balances are at zero dollars. I am not doing this for dollars. Maybe peace of mind? Maybe it is the principle of the matter, I don't know. I am not taking this personal, I am not being harmed or wounded by this. It just makes me mad things like this happen and I want to do something about it. Do I pursue this? Do I let it go? Do I not try to fix it? Am I making too much of a big deal with all this? I don't know. I am so confused and I don't know what to do or say, if anything. Any light you can shed on this matter, would be appreciated. Thank you for your time. Patrick ---

I would say to do whatever makes you feel best. Insurance fraud by hospitals and clinics is widespread throughout the US, because nobody ever seems to go to jail for it, they just pay back the fraudulent claims when caught, then submit even more fraudulent claims to make up for the loss. If everybody followed up on all fraudulent claims, we could reduce them, but nothing will end them until they start jailing CEOs of health care agencies which routinely submit such fraudulent bills. So, if it makes you feel better about it, please do pursue them. You might find an amazing lack of gratitude at the insurance companies and Medicare, though, as their workers don't care about the bottom line and are just angry that you disturbed them. StuRat 20:16, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
All of us will have to pay for fraudulent claims. I'd suggest that you contact your insurance company and tell them that you have doubts about the hospital bills. Any decent insurance company clerk will give you a discount if you find that mistakes have been made. Thuresson 20:37, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The inefficiency and errors are unfortunately not rare. If the people who gave or listed each item got paid based on them you would be right in suspecting intentional dishonesty or fraud. Instead, you are seeing the inefficiencies of our insurance-based healthcare system. Absent from the bills are the things given to and done for your wife that were not billed because of similar inefficiencies. No insurance clerk is likely to thank you for pursuing this, but do what you feel you need to. However, of all the parties with a financial stake in American health care, including patients, doctors, hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid programs, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies, only the last two consistently make large profits, and all of the others scramble to use money from an adequately reimbursed service to pay for the inadequately reimbursed services. If you want plenty of examples of egregious cheating of health care providers or patients by insurance companies to balance your story, many of us can supply them. The trillion dollar question is of course whether we should convert the entire American healthcare system to something like Medicare. Would that save us or destroy us entirely? alteripse 22:10, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

My condolences on your loss. It's too bad that you have to deal with the details of the hospital bills at a time like this. You might benefit by getting some help, especially from someone who's more familiar with the specifics of this sort of thing. (For example, I myself once had a prescription for more than one pill a day of an extended-release (XR) medication. Another example: The billing for a med on the day your wife was home with you could be fraud, or it could be an innocent foulup, or it could be that she was given the med a day or two earlier but the billing date is the day someone in Accounting got around to punching it into the computer.) Many social workers are experienced in things like this. Your doctor's office or the physical therapist might be able to give you a referral to a social worker who could help you. JamesMLane t c 07:32, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Up to you of course but I would pursue it (if I didn't have the NHS) simply because it looks like they're trying to rip off someone (insurer or whoever pays the bills) & are relying on you being too grief stricken to go through the bills or too apathetic to complain. Basically I take the view if you see something thats wrong the least you should do is bring it to the attention of the people whose responsibility it is (& those who'll have to pay the price of it). After all what's it going to cost you? AllanHainey 12:16, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I have found similar errors on medical bills to insurers for myself (only rarely) and for elderly relatives. The insurance companies were quite thankful for the heads up. Often, these errors result from a simple entry error or poor record keeping, not because of deliberate fraud. Your notification about such errors will reduce costs to others and may help the institution to develop more occurate reporting protocols. Just my two cents. Ande B 23:04, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Hello. I haven't heard any Kraftwerk and I'm looking to buy some through itunes. Could anyone suggest any songs I should make sure to include? I don't want to buy too many until I know if I like them.

Thanks. 20:35, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

All of them. For a beginner, I'd suggest any song from Electric Café. Thuresson 20:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Starting with Electric Café? Are you on crack? The only way to truly appreciate Kraftwerk is to start with either The Man Machine or Trans-Europe Express. Oh, and I predict once enough people have answered this question, there will be at least one answer for each Karftwerk album saying how it's the only one suitable for a beginning listener :P
A bit more seriously, I recommend the two above albums because they contain pretty much all their better-known songs (like The Robots and The Model). And if at all possible, I'd recommend looking for the German versions of these songs. -- Ferkelparade π 21:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Anything from "Autobahn" up to and including "Computer World" is generally considered to be their best. But I second that Man Machine would probably be the most accessible. --BluePlatypus 22:09, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The All Music Guide is a popular website for rock music. It's at They list discographies and put stars next to the albums that represent the group's most pivotal, influential, or identifiable records, and their articles list the songs that achieve chart or critical success. There are any number of other review sites, but All Music seems to be one of the best, and they might prove a useful guide. Geogre 21:08, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Seeking Truth In Life.[edit]

Having experienced numerous setbacks and conflicts in my life, I ask respectfully: Is there "Truth In Life" that will transcend these devastating experiences. Thank you for any assistance.

The reference desk is more concerned with information than personal values, so I'm afraid this is not the place for answers to such a question. Best wishes, Halcatalyst 22:43, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Pea Soup and Coincidences[edit]

I remember reading an article on here about a man who had some strange experiences involving pea soup (or something of the like). Apparently, the only three times he had the soup the same man would suddenly appear. Because of this, the phenomenon of learning (or talking) about something and then suddenly having it appear is named after the two men. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

I can't help you with the story you're after - sorry. B F Skinner did some work on superstition in pigeons which makes a similar point about learning. --Hughcharlesparker 09:16, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
If you're prepared to swap your pea soup for a plum pudding, then Synchronicity has the story featuring Emile Deschamps and a Monsieur de Fontgibu. But it doesn't suggest that either of them is used as a name for the phenomenon. --Bth 13:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Timeline of Public Nudity Events[edit]

I looked at the Timeline of Significant Non-sexualized Public Nudity Activities and I wanted to participate. But can I really go naked in public on these days? Is general public nudity legal? Also, public school; can I go to school naked? We have clothing rules and stuff, but are they effect on theise days? I go to Portsmouth Middle School. If you get the answer, thank you for it.

If you go nude in public you may be arrested and in school you may be arrested and expelled. Hopefully, you can keep your pants on long enough to find a nudist colony or nude beach. StuRat 09:10, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
There was some guy in California that sued for his right to go to class naked. He won and showed up naked one day. Then, his 15 minutes of fame were up and he was sent back into anonymity. I don't know his name because the press only referred to him as "the naked guy". --Kainaw (talk) 14:34, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Possibly Ugly Naked Guy? Thuresson 20:46, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Some activities exist. In the Netherlands some people organized nude bike rides which were heavily protested against, but did go on. And last week I my paper had a picture of hundreds of Italians posing naked for an artist. I would however recommend a nude beach or colony for someone your age. And I definitely DO NOT recommend going to school naked. - Mgm|(talk) 10:12, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The page Mgm refers to is at Clothing-optional bike rides. Ojw 18:43, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Check out George Monty Davis and naked yoga. For great justice. 18:46, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Harry Business[edit]

I was very startled when I read this on the Internet: I read that someone named Eva Nugent (I think that's the name) published a paper proving Harry Potter is gay. They said that he has a secret love for Draco Malfoy and that his wand represents femininity and homosexuality. Also, his discovering and accepting he's a wizard in Sorcerer's Stone represents his coming out as gay, I read. This can't be true--J. K. Rowling is a good person--why would she write about something like that? Someone please help... Janet6 23:52, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing "un-good" about homosexuality, so there's no reason why a "good" person like J K Rowling should not make one of her characters gay (if that really is the case). Maybe the problem with the attitude to gayness lies closer to home. :--) JackofOz 00:10, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
A second point is that the "proof" (which I have not read) is merely one person's interpretation of the Harry Potter books. Books are a tableux on which the reader overlays their own experience and imagination. If one's imagination sees threatening homosexuals everywhere, you'll probably see those in books one reads.
Furthermore, there is a long history of individuals in the fundie Christian right interpreting all manner of popular modern children's works as promoting homosexuality, from the Teletubbies through Spongebob Squarepants (the Potter books are aimed at older children, of course...). Making such claims has led to a great deal of publicity for the claimants. One might very well draw the conclusion that gaining publicity for themselves was a motivator in making the claims. --Robert Merkel 00:47, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Robert, but why is Voldemort so obsessed with Harry? I don't think the wands represent femininity by the way, they're obviously phallus symbols. David Sneek 05:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Reading the books would help. Book 5 clearly explains why Voldemort is so obsessed with Harry (and no I won't post a spoiler). - Mgm|(talk) 10:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I sincerely doubt that in this case the author of the piece was a fundie; I find it much more likely they were into slash fiction. The essay was probably a salvo in one of the particularly protracted and unpleasant shipping wars that have been raging in the underbelly of Internet Potter fandom for years now. --Bth 13:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Don't feed the trolls --Hughcharlesparker 10:01, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely: the reference desk gets a lot of hungry trolls. Just for yuks, though, the type of literary criticism involved in psychoanalytic criticism. It's somewhat passé these days, but it was all the rage in the 1980's. It's no longer cutting edge because most folks have realized that Freudianism, in particular, is the imposition of one mythos upon another in literature, and, no matter what you expose to it, it seems to "work" and yet give zero results. As Richard Ellmann wrote, in Golden Codgers, there is no doubt many of our greatest artists could benefit from some posthumous psychoanalysis, but I doubt we'll cure any of them. (Psychoanalysis is supposed to be a clinical tool for curing madness, and you can't "cure" a book.) Geogre 10:35, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Read such papers and see if you agree with their arguments. Unless Harry/ or JK Rowling admits it and says Harry is gay, there's absolutely no proof that's the case at all. I was surprised he had time for a love life at all when his life is constantly on the line. - Mgm|(talk) 10:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

April 5[edit]

Ancient Group similar to Rotary[edit]

Greetings from New Zealand. Can anyone help with some information about an organisation, probably in England in the early 1700s, which was similar to Rotary?

Thanks for any assistance. Carole

I think you're talking about Freemasonry. As a former Mason, I can't tell you any more though, or they'll kill me in a spectacularly gruesome manner. Brian G. Crawford 02:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I thought they'd make you kill yourself in a spectacularly gruesome way. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:49, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I should think they would brick you into a wall still alive. StuRat 09:07, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
For the love of God, StuRat! -- 19:34, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
In the 18th century, there were quite a few organizations like the current day Rotary, but in different ways. It was, to some degree, the age of political clubs. From the Kit-Cat Club to the Rota Club, there were quite a few from about 1710. Later, clubs organized around social reform and philanthropy, so there were various Bluestocking organizations that sprang up, and Methodism inspired even more. So, "like Rotary" is a little ambiguous: do you mean a philanthropic organization, a secret society (in which case the Freemasons are probably who you're thinking of, as they took their modern form during the 18th century), a guild that became a social organization, or a political club? Geogre 10:39, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Early Civil War Battle Location[edit]

What made Virginia and the Mississippi River the location of so much fighting in the early years of the American Civil War, besides wanting to capture Richmond and cut the South in half? Thanks. --Swang 02:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Shouldn't that suffice? Oh, also, controlling the continent's major navigable waterway has certain trade advantages, I should think. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:48, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You just answered your own question... from a military standpoint cutting the enemy forces in halves is one of the best things you could possibly hope to achieve - besides encirclement. Celcius 09:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Also, it's just not quite true. There was a great deal of action along the coast of the South as well, but those battles ended up in clear victories or defeats. All the time the Union was trying to gather another mile of Virginia and Mississippi, it was attacking the major ports of the south. It took ages to get Charleston and Savannah, but the Union took island after island and got New Orleans relatively early. Geogre 10:42, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

You're right about the American Civil War and why most of the fighting was in the State of Virginia, (and West Virginia along the Shenandoah Valley,) as well as along the Mississippi river (and the blockade along the coastline/waterways) but this was the plan drafted at the beginning of the war by *an important general whose name I can't remember, played a major role in the Mexican War of the early 19th century.* Most of my information comes from Shelby Foote, Bruce Catton, and a couple of other civil war historians I've read. —This unsigned comment was added by Zachariahskylab (talkcontribs) 11:52, 5 April 2006 UTC.

Virginia was the scene of so much fighting because that's where the main armies were, and they were there because the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia, and the Union capital, Washington, D.C., were so close together. The reason why nothing much happened between Viriginia and Tennessee was that the Appalachian Mountains were unsuitable territory for the movement and maintainance of large numbers of troops. The plan for the encirclement of the Confederacy that User:Zachariahskylab is trying to remember is the Anaconda Plan, prepared by general Winfield Scott. Gdr 17:44, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Encores in opera[edit]

Hi all, I have been told that there was an opera production that had 108 (or so) encores. Which one, when and where?

I very much doubt they were encores (as in, repeating all or part of the opera 108 times in a single evening). Luciano Pavarotti has the world record for curtain calls, at 165. Does anybody know the details? JackofOz 04:00, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
165 in one performance or 165 in all? Just quick math... If each curtain call took as little as 10 minutes to close the curtain, wait for the audience to applaud, open the curtain, and then come out and acknowledge the curtain call, bow, sing a couple notes, bow, and leave the stage again... Then 165 curtain calls would take more than 24 hours. --Kainaw (talk) 14:30, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
A curtain call takes far less than 10 minutes, and rarely if ever involves additional singing. But even so - 165!!! Must have taken quite some time. Maid Marion 15:53, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
It took an hour and seven minutes, which averages about 25 seconds each. HenryFlower 15:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, 25 seconds cannot be an encore. By definition, an encore is: "An additional performance in response to the demand of an audience." What was the performance he did in 25 seconds? --Kainaw (talk) 15:52, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
They weren't encores, they were curtain calls. Open curtain, walk out, bow, close curtain. This being Pavarotti, he may have omitted the walking part. HenryFlower 16:01, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh - I was being retarded. I didn't notice the change from "encore" in the question to "curtain call" in the first response. --Kainaw (talk) 16:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


If GOD creates and controls everything in the world, why he could not avoid evil things which happen in the world?

This is one of the classic and eternal questions of theology, see our articles on theodicy, problem of evil and Existence of God for some discussion of the issue. -- Ferkelparade π 09:50, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
If you assume "GOD creates and controls everything in the world" then logically it follows he didn't want to avoid evil things. AllanHainey 12:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
To look at it another way... Humans created computers. Humans programmed computers. Humans control the computers, telling them to turn on, load a program, and run it. Why is it that computers don't always do exactly what humans want them to do? --Kainaw (talk) 14:27, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Either humans need to make better computers, or there is a limit to how perfect computers can be. Ergo God needs to make better humans, or there is a limit to how perfect humans can be. Carcharoth 15:13, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
"Humans control the computers." No, we don't. We control them to some extent, but there are problems with that control (even beyond human error); we can not make them do whatever we want. For example, there are physical limits (capacities) as well as logical ones (no concept of infinity, for instance). However, if God is omnipotent and benevolent (which he is by many definitions), there is a serious problem in my view. Superm401 - Talk 16:25, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
So, the real problem is the free will of all those damn electrons! --Kainaw (talk) 19:47, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Yup, that's a paradox. It really means God cannot be omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, and logical all at the same time. He (she?) can be any three of those four things though. —Keenan Pepper 17:29, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I personally reject the concept that God could be omnipotent and infinitely good as a logical fallacy. The Eastern religions which feature equally powerful good and evil Gods battling for control seem more plausible. Of course, I prefer to just ignore the whole religious silliness entirely and stick with what can be proven scientifically. StuRat 18:56, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe one day you'll appreciate that not everything that can't be proven scientifically is silly. :--) JackofOz 03:09, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
If you do believe in God and The Bible then you may be interested in the following. In Matthew, Jesus is sent to the desert blah blah blah, but when Satan approaches him, he says bow to me and I will give you all that you see (kingdoms etc.). Now how could he do that if Satan didn't control the Earth? schyler 02:28, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
He was lying? Black Carrot 04:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Allowing us to have the freedom to choose right from wrong, our will vs. the will of others (including that of God) results in our vulnerability. If God should protect us from our vulnerabilities, it would come at the price of the freedom of choice. A very basic example of this would be the Adam & Eve story. That being stated, there are times when God does prevent tragedies and lift those from the extremes of their despair. How could we recognize each situation if it does not come to be (no tragedy has occurred) or a situation as it really should be interpreted when there are so many interpretations of one single event? Usually such recognition is made on a very personal level when an individual has experienced such an action/intervention from God first hand. How often have you heard the exclamations, "he/she was so lucky," "it was a miracle that he/she survived," or "even doctors cannot explain it." How much more does one need before questions are answered to allow belief that there is intervention by God? The book of Acts in the New Testament seems to attempt an explanation of suffering. That is a good place to start your research.

IMHO there is no God so the question has no meaning (this is a serious comment) - Adrian Pingstone 17:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Why would you provide a comment to a question that has no meaning to you?

If there is no GOD, how will you explain SOUL ?--Aju 06:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

awww man - that's deep. But maybe he dosn't think there are souls either?
In response to the original question. If God is infinitely wise and humans are not - it follows from logic that there are things we can not comprehend. Might this not include God's concept of morality? So that would be a sollution - everything God does and everything that happens is good - we just don't "get it". Of course, it raises the question of whether we can trust the word of a God who's morality we obviously can not comprehend. Seeing the state of the world one might speculate that our concept of heaven and hell are vastly different from that of God. In other words - there might not be broadband in heaven... Gardar Rurak 13:25, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

"American" villages[edit]

While reading a little while ago, I came across the term Potemkin village. I thought I knew what it was but I wanted to see what the Wikipedia had on the villages. Much to my surprise, a Potemkin village is not what I was thinking of. What I was thinking of was villages that were built in the old USSR where United States culture and daily life were copied so that the Russians could train spies. So what's the term for what I was thinking of? I'd like to read the article on that too, if we have one. Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 10:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

According to this page they never existed except as a phantom of Cold War paranoia. They were possibly invented by defectors trying to prove their worth (or maybe the defectors just played up to what their interviewers already believed from having thought it might be possible), though apparently they're mentioned in the propaganda film Red Nightmare. You're probably thinking of that terrible John Travolta film, The Experts, which I would be very happy to see stay a redlink (for analysis of said film from a highly strange but informative in this regard POV, see here). --Bth 13:00, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

signing of the peace treaty in 1945 by the Japanese[edit]

Who signed the peace treaty on behalf of the Japanese government at the end of the Second World War?

See Japanese Instrument of Surrender.

Montreal Olympics[edit]

Canada has 2 official languages, which have equal official status. Which language was used to determine the order of countries at the Montreal Olympics Opening Ceremony? and why? JackofOz 14:19, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

This was asked a couple of months ago, and my answer at that time was, French. This is because Montreal is a majority French-speaking city, and Olympics are awarded to Olympic Organizing Committees representing cities (or regions), and not to countries. User:Zoe|(talk) 23:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I missed the earlier question/answer. JackofOz 03:03, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Most powerful rulers[edit]

Who would be considered the most powerful rulers in history? By this I mean exercising absolute power over a large area for a sustained length of time. Carcharoth 14:49, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

At a basic level, this is an optimization problem. How much relative weight do you give to, say, area ruled versus time ruled? For instance, is a US president more or less powerful than Fidel Castro on this basis? Anyway, you'll probably want to look at list of largest empires or list of dictators and go from there. — Lomn Talk 15:09, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider a US president to have absolute power. Thanks for the list of largest empires. The dictators list is less helpful, as they are modern dictators. Absolute power over a wide area is (currently) a historical phenomenon. I guess I'm thinking more of the Roman and Chinese emperors. What I'm really looking for though, is a Wikipedia article on the topic, but maybe it doesn't exist yet? Carcharoth 15:22, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You're correct in noting the historicity of absolute power. That said, is it a yes/no sort of question or a sliding scale like the others? Historical leaders never had the option open to recent US Presidents (or Soviet Premiers, if you want an example with fewer checks and balances) of obliterating mankind via nuclear weaponry. Anyway, in searching, I also ran across a reference to a list of Roman dictators; there are probably also lists of Chinese emperors (or perhaps the Khans of the Golden Horde) and the like. — Lomn Talk 16:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I also found Global empire, which was helpful. But any further links would be appreciated. Carcharoth 15:39, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

My guess would be Ögedei Khan for the potent mix of power wielded, area controlled and people ruled. As others have said the form of power exerted makes the question difficult, Queen Victoria had a large empire and significant influence beyond it but she held much less personal power then the Khans. You may be ignoring spiritual power, caliphs and popes may at times distain the importance of temporal power but several have had life and death power over huge numbers of people. Of course any self respecting leader knows the parts of the world which they don't control are not worth having, the peoples idle, the land barren and the weather bad. MeltBanana 00:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Well.. As was said, you haven't really made your question clear: Most global power (if only as one of the leading figures in a large power) or most national power (as in an absolute ruler of a globally less significant country), or a mix. For the absolute-ruler bit, it'd have to be a leader with a strong personality-cult. Like Kim Il-Sung in North Korea, Enver Hoxha in Albania, Mobuto in Zaire or any other number of such dictators. For the mixed version, I'd say Mao or perhaps Stalin would be some of the most powerful in recent history. If you go back in time, you can of course find a lot more absolute rulers, but the empires were smaller as well. --BluePlatypus 04:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Didn't you know - the world is run by the Zionist cabal! Ok - but land, time, people - which is most important? Ruling Siberia isn't really as impressive as ruling continental Europe due to the relatively larger amount of people and the cultures involved. I agree with Platypus thugh, I think the Mongols are a good candidate. Gardar Rurak 13:09, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

There is also David. (4/8/06)

list of Shi'a/Sunni distribution[edit]

relative distribution of Islam (green) vs. Christianity (red), generated with the GIMP

On my quest to automate updates to Image:Islam by country.png I have written a GIMP script that automatically generates images like Image:Christ Islam.png (see thumbnail) from the lists at Islam by country and Christianity by country. The advantage (beyond automatization) is that rather than in tiers, the scale is smooth (plus, of course, such maps can be generated for any other list of percentages by country at all, like Image:Christianity.png)

What I am looking for now is such a list for the distribution of sects within Islam, just a list of

country name - Shia % - Sunni %

would do. dab () 15:36, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

The CIA factbook has this info, under the "People" section and "Religion" subsection for each country: [4] StuRat 18:44, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
If the factbook has it, we have it too. You could look in all of the appropriate country articles here. Rmhermen 22:20, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I will. The Shi'a article unfortunately is quite unspecific. dab () 12:21, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I found the list at Demographics_of_Islam now, that's at least something. dab () 12:31, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm. I'd be pretty sceptical about a graphic like that. To consider the whole of the Americas as a more or less monolithic bloc is pretty dubious. I mean, it's interesting, but kind of wierd, don't you think? For great justice. 18:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Border walls on the Southern Border with Mexico[edit]


My name is Sara Ines Calderon, I'm a reporter in Texas working on a story about the proposed HR4437 700 mile border fence.

I'm wondering, for context, how many times in the history of the U.S. has it been proposed to build a fence-like structure or a wall along the Southern border with Mexico. Other politicians, perhaps in the Polk era after the U.S.-Mexico War of 1846-8 probably suggested something like that.

Thanks so much, (email and phone removed)

I appreciate any assistance.

--Sara Ines Calderon

You may be better off with a presidential historian at a local U. Fencing, a la Hadrian's Wall or the Great Wall of China, has been talked about before, but the idea of actually constructing something like that has rarely gone beyond the rhetorical stage. (Needless to say, Hadrian and the Chinese were at war with the "barbarians" they sought to exclude. It seems to take something more than immigration to justify the expense and time necessary for wall building in ancient cultures. Whether our modern societies are so automated and wealthy, or so mistaken in war vs. immigration, that they would attempt a wall now is another matter.) Geogre 16:16, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You're only looking at the benefit side of the equation. The cost must also be considered. The cost is now lower, due to automation, than it would have been 160 years ago. For example, razor wire can be dumped out the back of a truck and occasionally spiked into the ground with only a single driver needed. Back then it would have taken hundreds of people to put up a comparable barrier in the same amount of time. The much larger population now also means that the cost is spread out over more people, and is thus smaller per person. While I suspect that a barrier on the scale of the one Israel is building might be too expensive, a simpler version might not be. StuRat 18:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
A simple wall of the sort you describe, with no monitoring technology, would be useless and still very costly. There are thousandsl of completely uninhabited sections of border. A migrant in such a region would not be stopped by razor wire. Superm401 - Talk 20:05, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course, people only come overland from Mexico because it seems the easiest route. If this were blocked by a high wall, people would try the sea route. So it would be necessary to back this up with a good high (maybe 20 foot) ocean front wall on both coasts, from Mexico to Canada. Vote winner? Notinasnaid 19:51, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
As you can see in this link, the wall already extends into the ocean. Love the music there - Coming to America. Rmhermen 22:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Hello. Do you know where I can watch the previews of the new Japanese Hamutaro season in Japan? like what site to go to? - Mgm|(talk) 10:19, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I didn't check, but I'm sure our article on the subject has loads of good fan sites linked and if it doesn't, try a google search for it. - Mgm|(talk) 10:19, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

April 6[edit]


Can you tell me or can you please direct me to a site that I can obtain a list of the top 20 best selling songs from 1966? Thank you so much. Randy Schmelzer Boulder City, Nv (e-mail address removed by Halcatalyst 02:51, 6 April 2006 (UTC))

Have a look at 1966 in music - the article does not contain the hard numbers you are looking for, but it should be a good strating point for further research -- Ferkelparade π 10:48, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Photo Essays[edit]

I am researching the origination of photo essays, when they were first used, the photograper who first used photo essays and which magazine (ie National Geographic, Life, Time, etc) was the first to begin publishing them.

There are a lot of examples of photo essays online, but; not much information about which magazine pioneered the concept of telling a story with photos rather than words.

Do anyone have any information and possible web sites on the FIRST actual photo essay?

I appreciate your time and consideration.


Sandra Hammond (e-mail address removed by Halcatalyst 02:49, 6 April 2006 (UTC))

Child Photography[edit]

I am an amateur photographer and I coach girl's soccer. I have been making a photo album of all areas of the sport and some of the photos of the girls in the lockerroom have caused a dispute. I know that there are many galleries in New York and Los Angeles that have photos of nude boys and girls as art. Why is it that having the same photos in Olathe, Kansas makes it child pornography? At what point does artwork become pornography? Legal answers only, please. I am working on a defense.

Read the top - this is not a legal resource. See a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one at no charge. --Kainaw (talk) 01:23, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Um... many people would consider shooting nudes as a professional photographer to be quite different from shooting pictures of the kids on your team in a locker room. It's like the difference between a physician performing a gynecological examination on the one hand and feeling up or groping a girl on the other. And I've never been to Olathe, Kansas, but I think the people there might be a tad less liberal than NY or LA. -- Mwalcoff 01:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, professional photographers have been prosecuted for child pornography, even when they have legal permissions from the parents, consent from the models, and have been taking the photographs purely for gallery exhibition and not pornographic distribution. In fact, I would be interested to know what contemporary photographers (since the Reagan era in the US) have mounted shows of nude children who haven't been prosecuted or had their shows shut down. Other than Anne Geddes, who works only with babies, I can't think of a single one. I think this theory that there are gallery shows of nude adolescents is a bit of a myth at this point: whatever reality there was to it, it is now more legend than fact. Geogre 02:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm. Some of the works of Bill Henson, (you might find some relevant samples of his work here who had a major touring exhibition in Australian galleries in 2005, come close. His models may well be older than they look, though. In any case, I can only echo the previous posters' advice. To steal a line from Tex Perkins, "better get a lawyer, son. Better get a real good one". --Robert Merkel 04:20, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Some parents have even been charged with child pornography for taking pictures of their children nude (I don't believe you even need to have them on display…) The Jade Knight 07:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
One such was Frank Van Deren Coke[5] although his estate was sued by his daughter after his death. Others who have run into trouble include Jock Sturges, Jacqueline Livingston, David Hamilton, Sally Mann. This woman seem to have won her lawsuit.[6]
Is this just in the United States, or is this the interpretation of the law in the UK too? We know a couple who used to take photographs of their children naked and thought nothing of it, as they were genuine practising naturists themselves and saw nothing indecent in the human body, or the depiction of it. Some of these photos were even published in a naturist magazine - but this was several years ago, before the scares about child pornography and the horrific crimes that have possibly changed peoples' perceptions of what is, and what is not, acceptable. What would be the case today, I wonder? Would they be prosecuted for possession and dissemination of 'child pornography'? I'm not necessarily advocating taking these pictures of children, but it is, imho, a case of basic human rights versus what is (currently) regarded as unacceptable. Bruce, aka Agendum |; Talk 15:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I forget who but there was a news reader or tv presenter in the UK who took photos of her child in the bath & when she took them to be developed the developer told the police who investigated her. She wasn't charged but the fact that she was investigated gives some idea of how the police view it, this was about 10 years or so ago though. AllanHainey 15:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The big difference that I see with this case is that this guy was taking pictures of other people's children in the lockerroom. He seems to state that they were nude. I seriously doubt he got permission from the parent's of the children to take nude photos of their children. I did a search in the Olathe online news and found nothing relating to a case of child pornography and soccer. --Kainaw (talk) 16:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The soccer coach is obviously a pedophile, their is reason why he should be anywhere near that girls locker room, never mind snapping pictures in side it!

I tend to agree with the above two comments. I smelt a rat with the original posting, especially as it was unsigned (sorry - not implying that all unsigned comments arouse suspicion!) Bruce, aka Agendum | Talk 22:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Everyday life from 1 AD - 350 AD[edit]

First, I would like to note that I love Wikipedia and it has been most useful for many of my searches! In the past several months, I have been trying to gather information regarding the everyday life of people (from any area) from 1 AD to around 350AD. I have tried to make individual searches of Greeks, Romans, etc. in an effort to learn what I can. The information only seems available in small tidbits after painstaking searches and many hours of sifting through articles that offered nothing. Generally, I would like to get an idea of their lifestyles (perhaps it can be broken down by century). Food, clothing, tools, weapons, homes, building materials, etc. More specifically, I would like to find information on how they washed, shaved, outhouses or 'water closets', aqueducts, wells, toys, games, stored their food, disposed of their waste, etc. I am aware that this seems like a tall order but I was hoping there would be a way in which I could get collective information that offered it under a particular type of search that I have not yet attempted. Any information will get me one step closer to rounding out this endeavor. If there is no way to obtain a collection of such info., could someone consider creating an "everyday living" section divided by century? Thank you!

There are some specialists in this field. For Roman food, try some of the links from here. Jameswilson 03:49, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Jameswilson, I have checked out several sites from your link and will continue to do so.

Suzanne Dixon's The Roman Family details much on the nature of Roman family life (and the legality behind much of it), if you can obtain a copy of it. Smith's Dictionary may also come in handy; many of the entries are quite detailed. The Jade Knight 06:57, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Try a web search using the term "everyday life in ancient" and include the name of the region or country you are interested in. This is the type of research where having a hard-copy reference book in hand can be useful. There are many such reference texts; you should have no trouble finding them on-line, at large bookstores, or at public libraries. Ande B 07:38, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Reading up on your classics might also be a good idea; the letters of Pliny the Younger offer invaluable insights into everyday life at least of the upper class. I'd also recommend The Golden Ass by Apuleius; it's a highly entertainig read and gives a very good impression of everyday life in the Roman provinces in the first century (of course, the story deals with magic, gods and myths, but apart from that, there are lots of pretty accurate and interesting descriptions of city life, travelling, bandit life, etc). As far as Roman cuisine is concerned, try to get ahold of a copy of Apicius. If you get a good translation with annotations and an introduction by someone who knows what they're writing about, you'll learn lots about Roman eating habits and Roman society in general (I'd recommend an edition, but I have only read a German translation since that's my mother tongue, and I don't know much about English editions). And then, of course, there's Pompeii - most of what we know about everyday life in Roman cities was pieced together during the excavations of Pompeii, and there are dozens of books about that city. -- Ferkelparade π 10:32, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Several books with titles like Everyday life in Roman Times have been published over the last 60 years. One of the most recent in English is Adkins & Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome. Oxford, 1994. The people who tend to collect these are high school Latin teachers and if you cannot locate one in a local library, you might check with a Latin teacher. alteripse 10:39, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you all very much for the wealth of information. I have bookmarked the recommended sites and have run suggested searches. At least one recommended book is out of print, but I will make use of the links and try to locate what books are available. Already, I have found information that is helpful to my endeavor.

Prime (film)[edit]

Greetings, RefDeskers! This is kind of a lame question, but it is bugging the hell out of myself and several friends and coworkers. The movie Prime was originally advertised under a different title, at least on television commercials here in New England. Very quickly, though, the film's title changed to Prime. Does anyone remember the original title? Some people on the IMDB forums were asking the same question, so I know we're not all crazy. I've thoroughly searched the web and haven't found anything. So I thought someone here might be able to help. Please be sure to suitly emphazi any answers you may have. Thanks! — orioneight (talk) 03:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

This press release from March 2004 calls it Prime... --zenohockey 23:53, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Could you possibly be thinking of Proof? --zenohockey 23:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Chappelle & Jackson[edit]

Why is it that every time Dave Chappelle imitated Samuel L. Jackson on his show, he shouted "Yes they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!" at some random moment? Black Carrot 04:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

It's a quote from the 1996 movie "A Time to Kill", sppoken by Jackson's character Carl Lee Hailey. presumably it must've made some sort of impression on Chapelle. Grutness...wha? 08:10, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Top ten groups/songs in 1995[edit]


I am writing a book and need a list of the top ten pop singers/groups in summer of 1995. I've searched the internet and haven't found anything.

Thank you.

1995 in music might be a good starting place; for a more detailed breakdown of number one hits in the US, see this list. -- Ferkelparade π 10:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
In the UK the summer of 1995 saw the second Battle of the Bands between Oasis (band) and Blur. Both released singles on the same day with much media hype, Oasis releasing Roll With It and Blur releasing Country House. It was also percieved by some as a North/South and a working/middle class battle, Oasis being the former in both cases. In then end Blur got to number 1, Oasis 2. -- David.

historical archive.[edit]

What was the Prahran Community College? [Prahran - Victoria - Australia] It existed in Prahran in the 1970's. Also, what was the 'Certificate B' they offered, and it's equivalent today? I can't find this information anywhere! Also, how can I obtain an Obitury notice for Melbourne, Victoria Newspaper for February - either 1989,1991 1991 or 1992 not sure of the year but definately one of these and definately February. Ty. Elizabeth Townsend

Buddhism & Pantheism[edit]

Would someone please clarify the Buddhist veiw on dualism and pantheism . Are their different veiws ? And is Nirvana related in any way to pantheism .Also , do all buddhist schools reject the concept of God ? I have a translation of the bible of Buddha , and it has refrences to Hindu an Vedic deities , yet i read in many studies that Buddhism is more atheist than theist . Thank you Hhnnrr 11:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it would be better to call Buddhism nontheist; Buddhism is indifferent to gods, but does not necessarily claim they don't exist. This is explained in the parable of the arrow. A man approached Buddha with a long series of theological and metaphysical questions, and Buddha compared him to someone who was wounded with a poisoned arrow. "When the doctor arrived to remove the arrow, the man grabbed the doctor's hand and asked, 'Before you start treating me, Doctor, tell me, who was it that shot me? Was he of warrior class or some other class? Was he tall or was he short? Was he young or was he old? Was he dark skinned or light skinned?" The doctor ignored the questions and removed the arrow. Had he taken the time to answer the questions, the patient would have died. For this reason, said the Buddha, I will not answer your question about God.'" David Sneek 14:55, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you , and regarding dualisn and pantheism ? Hhnnrr 17:52, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The same answer, I think; I'm not completely sure about pantheism, but among the problems the man in some of the versions of the above parabel asked about was dualism - "that the soul and the body are identical, or that the soul is one thing and the body another" [7]. Buddha declined to discuss it. David Sneek 18:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks , any other thoughts ? Hhnnrr 12:36, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

My mind is empty now. David Sneek 14:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Pledge of Allegiance, Law?[edit]

Being from a (relatively) different (european) culture, and simply an observer, I am curious as if it is law in the United States to say the oath, or can you object to it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • The only time when one is generally mandated to say it is in school, and children are allowed to refuse to participate if they don't want to say it for some reason. The argument in the most recent legal case against the Pledge was that even though children could opt out, the social stigma of doing so was large enough that in effect they would be coerced, even though they were not legally bound to it. (The Court did not rule on this; they dismissed the plaintiff as not having legal standing, if I recall.) There are other occasions in which the Pledge is said (city council meetings, for example) but as with schools one is not legally mandated to recite it. There are people who object to it on religious grounds (the Pledge includes an explicit reference to belief in monotheism, added during the Cold War), and most likely some people who object to giving nationalistic oaths in general. Most Americans, I suspect, have said it so many times in grade school that the words are practically meaningless to them at this point, but that's might just be my cynicism talking. --Fastfission 17:01, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
    • The father who brought the case (which was about removing the words "under God") was deemed not to have standing since he was not the custodial parent of the girl in whose name he brought the case. He and his wife are divorced and she has custody, he has visitation rights. This was a way for the Supremes to sidestep the issue. User:Zoe|(talk) 20:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
  • You can opt out of the pledge in all cases, even children, although there may be sanctions appended to the opting out. Since there is no law mandating the agreement nor repetition of the pledge of allegiance, there are no criminal penalties for refusal, although a kid could face suspension or being sent to the time out corner (i.e. non-criminal sanctions). So, no: it is not a law, although schools still have in loco parentis rights and children are minors. Geogre 17:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
    • I think a school would get into trouble for punishing a kid for that. The recent case referred to above may be Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow. Шизомби 18:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
    • I think you're right, generally, although the school would never claim that it was for not saying the pledge (unless it were led by a genuine moron). They'd claim that it was disrupting the class and causing difficulties in the educational environment, which is a bit of a catch-all. All I was trying to say, though, was that a school can require the pledge be repeated, but it can only do this the same way that it can require "Good morning, Mrs. Crabapple" be said by the students -- as an internal requirement that has no criminal injunction behind it. This, of course, applies solely to public schools. Private schools can and do require pledges, prayers, and corporal punishment. Geogre 21:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
The courts have ruled that public schools cannot in any way compel students to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The schools cannot even tell the student's parents about a student's decision not to recite it, I understand. It's very strange to me that some politicians want to force kids to say the pledge, since it's meaningless if it's not said voluntarily. Then again, I don't think most people ever really think very much about what the Pledge of Allegiance actually is, or what it says. I think patriotic symbols, like the pledge, the flag and the national anthem, simply give people warm-fuzzies, like Christmas trees. -- Mwalcoff 23:51, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Do you happen to know when this was ruled (and under what court)? I don't recall such a decision. The Jade Knight 20:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Illegal as it may have been, as a kid in (a public!) Elementary school some 20 years ago, I was forced to say it. I refused quite a lot, if not most of the time, I think I just felt it was complete BS (which I only feel stronger about today). Depending on my teacher's mood the penalty varied, from a verbal reprimand ("I saw that some of you weren't speaking..") to being forced to recite it alone before the class could be seated, which was of course demeaning and humiliating. That didn't make me more approving of the ritual. I eventually resigned myself to faking it by mouthing the words. A kind of silent protest. (In retrospect, I'm a bit proud of myself for showing that kind of integrity - but I was always the kind of kid who hated being demeaned or patronized by adults). I understand the questioner's curiosity; the US is the only Western country I know that forces its kids to chant such mindless drivel. It's not just demeaning to the kids, but to the pledge itself - it robs it of all meaning. --C.K. (not logged in)
Gee, I sure had a different experience in public school 40 years ago. I didn't say the pledge and no-one made a big deal about it. By the mid 1960s, no more than half of the students in my suburban public school recited the pledge. No-one faced any pressure, not even a scowl, from the school administration or the teachers. And the local politics were fairly middle of the road to conservative. Of course, it was from a region historically associated with both great military volunteerism, pacifism, and conscientious objectors. Perhaps that long standing mix of opinions finally learned to live together. Ande B 01:42, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I faced no significant pressure in schools in the 80's to recite the pledge. The Jade Knight 20:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Rituals and nationalism... I don't want to be presumptuous on the parts of our good friends across the pond so do correct me if I'm mistaken - but isn't there in American culture a tradition for strong symbolism and "flamboyant" rhetoric i.e. using the words “evil” and “patriot” a lot etc. I’m also pretty sure I have seen the American flag stoically waving in the sunset with an eagle coincidentally passing by more often than I have seen the flag of my own country or any other European country used in a similar way. I’m getting this from observations of TV shows so… I really have no clue what I'm talking about.
And it’s not a criticism. I really don’t think Americans are more nationalistic than their European counterparts – it’s just delivered in much a different way and there is a tradition in popular culture to make good use of the symbols. Symbolism and tradition combined with the religious undertones of the oath might be the reason why it is considered such an important part of American identity…? On the other hand two world wars on the continent caused largely by nationalism may have made any hint of nationalism a big no-no in Europe although it is most definitely still here i.e. the Balkans and French cultural-protectionism. Gardar Rurak 12:55, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure of this. During the recent Bush era the contrast seems to have heightened, maybe even gotten out of hand. But my recollection from the 1980s and 1990s is that, at least in the UK and France, I saw as many entities making use of their national flags as I ever saw in the US. I mean, it was used for advertising by merchants, decorated clothing and accessories, showed up in pub and restaurant decors. Perhaps I am missing a more important comparison that strikes you more strongly than it does me, or perhaps the landscape has changed since I last visited. During these last few years, though, I agree that there are a lot of flag-wavers in the US, especially in the Red States. It's been the subject of many talk-show discussions and magazine articles. Ande B 01:42, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
No, you're right. Americans use the flag far more often than Europeans use their national flags. In the U.S., every public building, most office buildings and a fair number of houses fly the flag. I remember reading recently that some politician was outraged because some classrooms don't have flags. (That the school itself would have a flagpole goes without saying.) In the UK, you hardly ever see the Union Jack. When Americans fly the flag, they don't really see it as a political statement. We would say it's "patriotic," not "nationalistic." Most Americans would say we don't have Balkans-style "nationalism" in the U.S. -- Mwalcoff 22:13, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
It's true that you see the flag at most government locations (public libaries and schools, for example). American patriotism is definitely of a different sort, however—the US, for example, has no national language, and the states themselves collectively have as official languages English, Spanish, French, and Hawaiian. Some states also have no official language. Again, this is very different from French nationalism (where they have established L'académie française watching over the national language, for example). The Jade Knight 20:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I can remember being in school back in the Dark Ages (public school in California) where at least one girl was allowed not to participate because she was a Jehovah's Witness, but she did still have to stand. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Reciting oaths and pledges has never been part of the Australian school tradition. But I like the way Americans respect and honour their flag. Australians have traditionally recoiled from overt displays of patriotism or nationalism. Well within living memory, Aussies would generally have been happier to wave the Union Jack during a visit by the Queen, than fly the Australian flag outside their home all year round. The vexillological cringe has been overcome to a large degree, as our national identity continues to emerge, but at the same time there's an ongoing public debate about changing the design. Advocates often refer to the simplicity and distinctiveness of the Canadian flag as a model. JackofOz 00:58, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I always liked the Canadian flag - the idea of combining your flag with a national symbol is great. Think of the Irish clower, it's almost more synonymous with Ireland than their flag. The Greenlandic flag is also nice - it's supposed to be a sunset with the sun mirroring itself in the Atlantic - IMHO two of the better flags around.
I'm particular to the Welsh Flag. The Jade Knight 20:49, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
It's an ideal concept for those countries that have not just a official non-flag visual national symbol, but one that is popularly recognised world-wide and did not come into prominence through appearing on the flag. I can only immediately think of a few: Ireland (shamrock, or golden harp), Israel (Star of David), Lebanon (the cedars have been known since biblical times), Malta (the cross well predated its appearance on the flag), and the Vatican (papal tiara). I'm sure there are others, but this is less than 10% of countries. (Queries: Not sure whether the maple leaf was an uniquely Canadian symbol before it appeared on the flag. I don't think the rising sun was particularly associated with Japan before it appeared on their flag. Same for the prayer wheel, which is not specifically Indian away from the flag. And the swastika was well known for millennia, but wasn't associated with Germany until Hitler, but is now immediately associated with Nazi Germany. An onion dome would have been a far better representation of Russia than the hammer and sickle.) A flag is a representation of the country and its people, both to itself and to the rest of the world. There seems little point in having an obscure symbol on your flag, particularly if you're already an obscure country. Australia has the reverse problem. We have too many unique national faunal and other symbols, but none of them have general acceptance for the purposes of a flag. Papua New Guinea has a beautiful solution, but there are very few flags with animals. JackofOz 03:14, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Somehow I suspect small countries to be less nationalistic due to the European history of wars, conquest etc - nationalism is counter productive as a cultural cohesive when you're constantly getting conquered. In the end it's probably a cultural thing - people identify with the symbols they are comfortable with to the extend they need it. Gardar Rurak 02:53, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd say exactly the opposite, actually. Countries which have historically been conquered and supressed are much more nationalistic. Just look at the Balkans. Countries which have been independent since time immemorial are less nationalistic, perhaps because they take their independence for granted. But I agree that small countries are certainly less nationalistic. Not due to being conquered, but just because foreign influence in all forms is larger. People in those places have talked more with foreigners, traded more with foreigers, visited foreign countries more often, etc. It would be hard not to if you're living in say, Luxembourg. OTOH, they can be very proud over surviving as a small nation. Perhaps a better description would be to say that the nationalism of small countries is usually far less chauvinistic? --BluePlatypus 01:01, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, in fact you're right! In my opinion anyway - I think it's a much better explanation. Small countries are more outgoing simply because they have to be in a globalized world etc etc. In addition, some while ago there was a controversy which brought my country into the international media due to resentment from other countries - this sparked an influx of members to both extremes of the political spectre. Now, this almost never happens - international attention, tension, hostility etc diverted at my country - and the result of it was quite worrysome. Compare that to the US or France where this kind of attention is more frequently diverted one might speculate that larger countries receiving more negative outside attention might have a tendency for a more polarized political climate - them against us etc. Gardar Rurak 01:48, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
(wink) Is that what politicians become when they die - political spectres? JackofOz 03:14, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

The U.S. Supreme Court, in deciding West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette in 1943, held that students in public (government-operated) schools cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (A small percentage of U.S. schoolchildren attend private or parochial schools, which could require such recitation as a condition of continued attendance.) JamesMLane t c 20:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I can offer info as a current teacher in the pbulic schools: we are instructed that students must stand and remain respectfully quiet during the Pledge if they choose not to recite it. We ourselves have the same right as teachers. I cannot envision ever invoking disciplinary action against a student who chose not to stand during the pledge (loud disruption might compel me to such action), but in my school, at least, the consequences would be minor at most. Jwrosenzweig 05:39, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

American Revolution[edit]

Why is July 4th 1776 considered Americas birth as a Nation when the Second Treaty of Paris was not ratified until January 14th 1784?

It's the date on the Declaration of Independence. David Sneek 22:05, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I tend to agree with the asker, however. The Declaration of Independence was quite useless until it was accompanied by British acceptance of that independence. It could even be argued that they didn't really accept it until after the War of 1812. StuRat 09:29, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't that view imply that the US needed Britain's consent to become a nation? I can see why "the date our colonial masters finally decided that we were allowed to be a nation after all" wouldn't be a popular choice of public holiday. DJ Clayworth 15:54, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Look at cases where somebody declared independence and then lost the war. Do you consider them to have been an independent nation as soon as they declared it ? Not really. It's considered to be in a state of rebellion for some time, not really a separate nation. International recognition, especially of the powerful nations in the area, is critical in defining an independent nation. StuRat 23:29, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

KV. Number (Mozart)[edit]

Does anybody know the KV. number of this trio(?) composed by Mozart? There seems to be two pianos and an oboe. Shouldn't be to hard to find out. Preciate an answer. -- Funper 22:59, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The Köchel-Verzeichnis article mentions the following compositions for oboe: Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314, Quartet in F for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello K.370, Adagio and Rondo for Glass Harmonica, Flute, Oboe, Viola and Cello K.617. Perhaps what you heard was an arrangement of some other piece. David Sneek 07:50, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to add the link to the piece:
(It's NOT kv. 570) -Funper 11:22, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Ummm...the filename says KV570. Might that be the Köchelverzeichnis number you're looking for? :P -- Ferkelparade π 11:25, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Oops, just read that you said it's not KV570. Ahem...I guess I'd better read the whole sentence before posting :P -- Ferkelparade π 12:22, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Was 570 a misprint for 370? JackofOz 00:20, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Please note: the above file was formerly named "File:Mozart - KV 570.ogg". Graham87 09:53, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Economic indexes[edit]

I am writing an economic project on the Washington Consensus in my university. What I need is economical index(like GDP per capita, human development index, unepmloyment rates, landlessness, etc) statistical data for countries that had applied it(mostly countris in south america) for period at least starting 1989, but if it is before it would be even better. Information for any countries that have applied it would be of great help. What I have found so far is , but the periods there start at May 1995. Thank you. -- 23:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The most comprehensive (and widely used) dataset for international economic aggregates would be the Summers-Heston dataset (the Penn-World Table). It goes back to 1960 for most countries of the world and includes any economic measure you might want for almost every country. Next, for human development index, literact, or other non-economic measures, it would be best for you to get it directly from the UNDP. Their dataset can be accessed HERE. Or you can manually access all previous HD reports back until 1990 HERE. --WonderBread 14:10, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you so much, WonderBread:) Your help is great. I just want to add what else I just have found, for anyone else who might find that information useful. What I found are the reports for various statistics published by the IMF. Can be foundHERE -- 16:09, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

April 7[edit]

Temple on Attica's south peninsula[edit]

What is the name of the temple on Attica's south peninsula in Greece? And is there an article on it?

Temple Poseidon

You're probably looking for Cape Sounion where a temple to Poseidon is located. Ferkelparade π 05:47, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Victor Hugo Quote[edit]

I often see the quote "I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes -- and the stars through his soul." attributed to Victor Hugo, but I have been unable to find the precise source. Does this line appear in one of his novels, and if so, which?

It's from Les Misérables, Chapter 4 -- User:Zoe|(talk) 16:17, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

a new FEMA regulation governing pets/domestic animals in time of adisaster[edit]

I am trying to find out if fema was sucessful in passing a regulation requiring communities to have a evacuation plan that now includes animals. The reason for the new regulation was the amount of pets lost and or abandoned during the past 2 hurricanes. I operate the only animal sanctuary serving the Kenai peninsula here in Alaska. There are over 60% of our residents that have NO form of animal control - beyond "shoot, shovel and shutup". I am certain that it is not an acceptable solution to an evacuation plan! Thank you for your help, Tim Colbath / founder AELAS

I don't know - you might be best off asking FEMA - if they have managed to pass such a regulation, it might well be on their website, also, animal rights organizations probably track this kind of thing. For great justice. 06:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Quote? Lazy evil man is less dangerous than a foolish busy man.[edit]

What is the original/correct version of the quotation, or is it an aphorism derived from a folk tale, or is it a personality matrix diagram? The basic moral (all i remember) is that: A productive fool is more dangerous than a lazy evil man. Thank you for any help. -- 09:18, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

This sounds a great deal like "Idle hands are the devil's plaything", but I've never heard anything that resembles your formulation. Jwrosenzweig 05:35, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Sci-Fi Book. Does it exist?[edit]

I am looking for a specific name of a book

It was a science fiction novel I read in 1995, It exists however I never have been able to find another

The plot goes as follows, its quite vague

A group of people travelling through space fall through some kind of hole in space to somewhere. The spaceship is very damaged and they barely survive. Theres some kind of metal capsule in the ship? It had something to do with the plot.

They become scattered and form groups, workers around a planet, others in a fancy city built around the remains of the ship and other's. I remember that a group of survivors built thier home from the bones of the dead and ate each other.

The area of space they lived in had an atmosphere, and they could travel around on trees.

The plot ends with some sort of disaster, i think the atmosphere starts to thin and a large group escape to another planet inside some sort of 'space whale'

I really liked the book and wouldn't mind reading it again. I don't know the writer or the name of the book.. Perhaps some literary genius could shed some light on the books name? I don't think I dreamt it.

Many thanks wikiers

I'm 99.9% sure that's Raft by Stephen Baxter. --Bth
Concur. (The big "gimmick", incidentally, was that the gravitational constant in the new universe was different) You might also enjoy his Xeelee novels, if you liked that one, but his later ones are a little iffy. Shimgray | talk | 11:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

psychology and philosophy[edit]

what is the signifance of various influences on the development of self-concept

Is this by any chance a homework question? Notinasnaid 12:06, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

One could read the article on self-concept...

Samaddhi & Nirvana[edit]

Are they the same ? If not whats the difference ? Hhnnrr 12:34, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Assuming Samaddhi and Samadhi are the same, Samadhi is being completely focused on one thing in the present moment - a complete absolute concentration. Nirvana in the classical sense is a state of non-existence. In the more modern American sense, it is just being vegan, into alternative music, and highly supportive of hemp products. Either way, Nirvana has little to do with concentration, but concentration may be used as a tool to gain Nirvana in the classical sense. --Kainaw (talk) 18:35, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Samadhi, apart from meaning total concentration, also means death. An etymological development of the word in Hindi laguage implies tomb, too. Nirvana is also a state of attainment of absolute knowledge, a state of disentaglement from the physical world, so on and so forth. Many philosophical concepts of ancient Indian philosphy have more meanings than one and different commentaries by different scholars state them differently, giving Indian philosphy its ambiguity and richness (remembering Borges) --Tachs 08:26, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I see , but what is confusing is that they both are said to be the climax of extended meditation. So is samadhi a state before nirvana , or are they just two different goals ? Hhnnrr 09:24, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

There are many paths to nirvana. Samadhi may be one. You can use the story of the Bodhi tree as an example. Buddha meditated under the tree until he achieved samdhi. Then, he attained enlightenment. It is important to note that while it is common to say he attained nirvana, most texts do not make that claim. Instead, the claim is that he attained the enlightenment necessary to enter nirvana, but turned back to remain on Earth and teach - becoming a Buddha. Of course, he went on to the state of nirvana after he died. That is where American rationalizations of nirvana cause a problem. There are many who want to make nirvana a frame of mind. Others want to turn it into another word for heaven. Others want it to be a place you go visit, like on a vacation. None of that fits with the earliest explanations of nirvana. Everything we know exists. Death exists. Life exists. Energy exists. Any gods, heavens, or hells you believe in exist. Nirvana is an escape from all of that - an escape from existence into a state of non-being. --Kainaw (talk) 17:00, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Propaganda broadcasters[edit]

Looking at the Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf page I found that it links to several other personalities widely known as propaganda broadcasters/personalities during various wars. Looking at these personalities, most of them have similar links. However I also noticed all of them are personalities not affiliated with the US/UK side. I appreciate that as the US/UK were the victors (well except for in Vietnam, but we all know the US likes to pretend they won there anyway), and as an English wikipedia, we tend to hear more about those on the other side but for balance we need some links (and some articles if they don't exist) on propaganda announcers on the US/UK side! I know very little about this so can't help much but hopefully someone who is more of an expert can help... Nil Einne 12:52, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I also noticed that the [[Category:Propagandists]] is also similarly one sided. And Hasbara is still not listed under [[Category:Propaganda]] and instead only Hasbara (disputed whether it is propaganda) is listed. At least Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is listed under [[Category:Propaganda Organisations]] for example. I think someone with an open mind and time on their side needs to make an effort to correct this clear bias whereby propaganda by the Allies (WW2), US and Western Europe (and Israel) is frequently not properly listed whereas propaganda by the Axis (WW2), communists, Arabs, Muslims etc is listed. From a quick read through, the propaganda article seems fairly well written with an adequate coverage and recognising propaganda from both sides so there are clearly some people in wikipedia able and willing to adopt NPOV when it comes to coverage of propaganda. But for whatever reason, this is not reflected in our categorisation and coverage of propanda in other articles on wikipedia. P.S. I've been posting this to Talk:Propaganda as well Nil Einne 13:28, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
You can link to a category by putting a colon in front of it, like this: [[:Category:Propaganda]], which appears like this: Category:Propaganda. —Keenan Pepper 16:41, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

just a comment samedi is saturday in french... is this a omment on the long awaited peace of the weekend?

how many libraries?[edit]

Hi, How many public libraries aer there? Both main branch and individual building sites? And what's the number of high school libraries and college libraries? I'm trying to get my head around the entire sales universe for a documentary film I'm working on, so these numbers would help. Thanks so much! Virginia

What country are you looking for information on? --Serie 21:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
In 2002 in the U.S.:
      • Central public libraries: 8,986
      • Branch public libraries: 7,500
      • College: 3,527
      • Public high schools: 22,398 (presumably all have libraries)
      • Public combined elementary-high schools: 5,552
      • Private high schools: 2,704
      • Private combined schools: 9,142

From the 2006 Statistical Abstract of the United States ([8]).

"don't cut off your foot to smite your other foot unless it has no shoes"?[edit]

who said this?21:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I guess maybe Ben Franklin. - (EricSpokane 02:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC))

No, he didn't. Even Poor Richard made more sense. This is a lame late 20th century pseudo-aphorism. alteripse 15:08, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

My answer was going to be "the insane homeless guy on Lexington and 23rd Street after he had a bottle of wine and a tube of glue," but I figured that it was best not to feed the question. Geogre 16:21, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
The old French proverb (translated) is "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." As with all proverbs, people change the words for a variety of reasons. --Kainaw (talk) 17:06, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I never even understood the original expression. Is the person supposed to be angry at their own face ? I think it means the same as "don't throw the baby out with the bath water", which makes far more sense to me. StuRat 09:15, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
That's not my understanding. It's easy to be angry and to hit out at whatever's angered you, and in doing so to harm yourself and not help anyone. Sometimes it's better just to leave it. I work at a primary school - sometimes two kids will be working on something together, then they'll argue, then one of them will get angry and destroy the piece of work, wrecking the results of their own efforts as much as the other kid's. I might say to them "That was daft, wasn't it. You'd cut off your nose to spite your face". Actually, I wouldn't, but you see what I mean. --Hughcharlesparker 14:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I feel that the clear meaning is lost in translation. I am terrible with French, so I had to ask a French doctor if it was a good translation. She said it wasn't at all, but she'd heard the English version many times. Her description of the meaning is very rambling. Condensed, she said that if you think you have an ugly face because your nose is too big or too fat, cutting off your nose won't make it better. She thinks it was originally used as an anti-revolutionary phrase. If you think government is bad because the King is bad, killing the King won't make it better. I personally don't know the origin. --Kainaw (talk) 16:46, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

April 8[edit]

marriage between two sub castes[edit]

can a sunni boy marry a mehdavi girl.

if yes/ no .. what are all the problems one can face

Well boy lives in bangalore and girl in a mehdavi dominated village. But girl is studying medicene in bangalore.

So what is the real difference between sunni and mehdavi people.

cant they have these kind of social relations.

Have you tried asking here? Jameswilson 23:29, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
That's one answer. An alternative answer is "Yes", consenting adults have the legal right to marry. This sentiment is expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is not a legally binding document but is largely reflected in domestic law.
But there's obviously more to this question than the black letter of the law. You obviously know more about your own family, religious beliefs and culture than I do, but as I understand it the views of your extended family play a far bigger part in marriage decisions for many people in India than they do in my own country. Only the people concerned can really figure out what is most important to them. For mine, if two people truly love each other meddling families and priests should get the hell out of the way and let them be happy. Be aware also that from a Western perspective, the idea of caste is a racist anachronism; if an Indian friend asked me here for advice in a similar situation, I'd tell him or here "what the hell do you care about such nonsense?". But, again, that's speaking in the abstract and may not be terribly relevant to the situation you are asking about. --Robert Merkel 04:21, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


There are two factual errors and a little missing information in the article on George Everest (for whom Mt Everest was named). Here's your entry [my comments/corrections are in brackets]:

'Colonel Sir George Everest... He was largely responsible for completion of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from the south of India extending north to Nepal... The survey was started by William Lambton in 1806 and lasted several decades. Mount Everest was surveyed in 1852 under his successor Andrew Waugh [it sounds like Waugh is Lambton's successor: wrong - he was Everest's successor who, in turn, was a successor [which one?] of Lambton in the position of Surveyor-General of India], who named it Mount Everest in 1865 [the correct date is '1856'] in honour of Sir George. [George Everest was not knighted until after the mountain was named for him... so it should read 'in honour of George (later Sir George) Everest'.

Hope this makes sense. If any questions, contact me:

Don Messerschmidt, PhD Anthropologist & Writer Kathmandu, Nepal [email removed to prevent you being spammed]

If you click on the "edit this page" link at the top of the George Everest article you can make any changes you feel appropriate yourself. That's the beauty of Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:How to edit a page for more. However, note that it would be very helpful if you could give some sort of verifiable source for your corrections. --Bth 09:50, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Dr. Messerschmidt hasn't modified the article. Looks like one of us will have to crosscheck them and fix them ourselves. Dr.Messerschmidt seems to be a notable person himself. Tintin (talk) 12:10, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Gospel Sheet Music[edit]

I am looking for a piece of sheet music by Jake Hess. The title is "Prayer is the Key to Heaven, but Faith Opens the Door". I have searched many sites, but have failed to find this sheet music. Ant help you can provide would be very appreciated!

Thank You, Debra Boyle [email removed for spam prevention]

Tried & googld "key to heaven lyrics" & found Jim Ed Brown :
"Words are so easily spoken
Prayer without faith is like a boat without oars"[9] --DLL 18:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Narratology Article[edit]

The article on narratology is problematic in many respects. Beyond being outdated and limited in scope, it does not follow guidelines for use of gender-inclusive language outlined in most style guides (see the section on "conflict"). Can the article be flagged as disputed?

The "disputed" tag is more often for articles where you believe that the information is incorrect, and not merely insufficient or improperly phrased. If you wish to change it to reflect gender neutral language, please feel free to do so. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. If you wish to add newer material, you may do that as well. Personally, I feel that narratology as a proper noun belongs so much to Kristeva and Derrida that I don't know how it can really have progressed very much, but, then again, I'm not very fond of the theory game and don't edit any of those articles. Geogre 16:23, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

peruvian elections[edit]

Hi guys... I'm a bit worried since my country is in a risky situation now since Ollanta Humala is leading the electoral polls... I've been campaigning and doing what I can do but I'm just one person... Humala will get the votes of uneducated people who think they will do better with him when in fact they will do worse... is there anything I can do for him to not get elected? anything at all? I mean... like asking for help to the UN?... because seriously...I'm afraid we are gonna end up like Venezuela or even cuba... I'm scared... I mean... Can't the UN make a call to concience or something noticeable by the peruvian people?... He will win... or maybe Alan... We are doomed... people who vote for them, deserve what the country is gonna be like... but I don't since I'm a rational person and I deserve a rational gobernment :( . Our economy is falling appart... prices are going up... inversionists are taking their money away from the country... it's gonna be chaotic. can't the UN do something?.

--Cosmic girl 16:19, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing to worry about, Cosmic girl. On the contrary, a Humala victory will give Peru some new possibilities. You should vote for him. Hopefully he will break away from the Washington Consensus in the same way Néstor Kirchner did in Argentina. David Sneek 18:22, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Even accepting your POV that he'd be a disaster for the sake of argument, I think you're on a hiding to nothing here. Other countries or international agencies trying to persuade people which way to vote in an election almost always backfires -- the electorate feels patronised (at best) and votes the other way out of orneriness. --Bth 18:43, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Your comment above seems more emotional than rational. Democracy means accepting (but not necessarily agreeing with) whoever gets elected. It also means trusting the people enough to believe they'll not reelect him if things do go bad, or oust the leadership if they try to subvert democratic rule. If you ask me, South America has already had enough dictators who knew "the good of the people" better than the people did. I'd prefer a populist asshole like Chavez above a dictatorial asshole like Pinochet any day. --BluePlatypus 19:04, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I like the washington consensus u guys... really... I know I'm being emotional, but our economy was OK until Humala had the most percentage... from then on, our economy has been going down... seriously! and every middle class citizen is freaked out! I swear! and also...maybe I have to do military service like every person younger than 21 here... so I'm screwed... he's also planning to take away our internet services and maybe also cable, because it's better for him to keep us uninformed... if dictatorships where as right as u said above...then they wouldn't need to keep people dumb to mantain power... they are scared because they know they are not right and they are corrupt. --Cosmic girl 20:23, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I had to put up with Mrs Thatcher for 11 years! Now its Conservatives turn to live under Tony Blair for nine years, which they hate. Its just the way it is. If you have definite political beliefs, half of your life you have a government you dont like! Jameswilson 23:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know why emotion is being side-lined in this debate. Questions of human society and government, and the lives of individuals, cannot be considered in the light of reason alone, because emotion plays a large part. Otherwise nobody would give a damn enough to ever change anything. All politicians and their spin doctors know this. And emotion is one of the strongest explanations as to why people take diametrically opposed political positions. It's not generally a question of either of them being "right" or "wrong" - personal emotional factors determine the choice, by and large. JackofOz 01:29, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Military service, huh? Hey, look at it this way - equal draft would be a major victory for the feminist movement - that's not so bad :) -anon

It seemed pretty much the same way here in 2004. I like the fantasy that we could appeal to the UN if it looked like the electorate were about to make a major mistake, but not really. When some idiots in the UK tried to warn voters in Ohio not to vote for Bush it did indeed backfire. He may be an idiot and his party is busy wrecking our economy but he's our idiot and we have to get rid of him in two more years without outside help. alteripse 02:01, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you are right... but Bush isn't Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez... don't compare them... I wouldn't complain about any other president but Humala and Alan Garcia because they both suck... so I know I have to live with the gov. that my country chooses... it's democracy, BUT I don't think that would be nice if we where to fall prey to a dictatorship, and if Humala does win... trust me... it WILL be a dictatorship.--Cosmic girl 02:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe in an "equilibrium model of government". That is, once extremists of any stripe win elections, they are bound to eventually piss off the electorate and get themselves thrown out of office. In a democracy that can be a rather short cycle, whereas in totalitarian systems the cycles can take decades, since the government can kill off the opposition. Even this method eventually fails, however, and the dictators fall. Meanwhile, you might want to consider leaving the country for a few years, until the cycle reverses itself. Ever consider studying abroad ? StuRat 09:03, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
If you seriously anticipate a dictatorship you shouldn't be so down on compulsory military service as you're better off getting all the training you can so you'll be able to overthrow it. Also dictatorships generally rely on the military, if you're in the military at the time that gives you a chance to stop it. AllanHainey 11:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not some sort of heroe, dude... I want to life my life in a free country! :S ... I'm scared! now that Lourdes Flores is out of the way... it's all between Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala, the most feared candidates...and I'm sacred as hell... you don't even know how many things happened during Garcias government...and I swear me and all of my friends are pro-Lourdes and pro washington consensus, since it helps our country believe it or not! and... now all that is GONE!! :( just for you to get an idea... Humala said that all propreties will be redistributed, that means, what my parents worked hard for and own... because they didn't spend their money traveling and wasting it, but invested it's all gone! because Humala eill give it to the poor when in fact the poor are people with just no motivation to do things for themselves and expect everything to fall from heaven to them... it pisses me off,,, this isn't a free society...the UN should help us... for real... Ayn Rand save me!!!! :( --Cosmic girl 22:05, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I suggest your family transfer your assets abroad and then join them there, before the new government takes power. This, in itself, is a revolutionary action. If enough assets are pulled from the nation's banks, the economy will suffer and the electorate will vote out the leader who made it happen (with reckless threats). StuRat 03:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The situation is especially amusing in Finland, because "humala" is a Finnish word meaning the hops plant, or more often, a term for being drunk. JIP | Talk 07:02, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
You might want to consider at least the possibility that capitalism is not such a wonderfully meritocratic system that each and every poor person "deserves" their situation. --Bth 10:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

ok maybe...but then again... we do have the right to work for our capitalism is worth even the bad parts of it. and also... to answer StuRat... I have so told my parents about that...but they don't take stuff seriously...before Garcia and Humala got to the finals... they where like don't worry, you'll see Lourdes will win! and I was like don't be so optimistic, I'm quite sure she won't and I was sooo right, cause she didn't win... so when I told them to put their money (we are not rich or anything by the way) out of the country, they just like... basically laughed at me and where like chill nothing's gonna happen, besides we don't have that much money to secure ... but I'm like... if I where them I'd definitely do something... I mean, I didn't suffer Garcias government, they did! they suffered it a lot! and my grandparents suffered Velasco's gov. since he took properties away from their families...and I mean... they should despise communism more than I do! they do, but not as much... as they should!I mean, they don't fear it enough, they are sleeping... but you'll see my country will end up like Venezuela soon...I swear I see that coming... and I may sound like a pessimist, but sometimes pesimistic people are more realistic than optimistic people. and I'm also scared, because I'd like to be an Industrial Psychologist for mining companies here, that require a lot of industrial psychologists, but now I may not be able to, since all those comppanies will close!.--Cosmic girl 02:26, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

painting of woamn playing piano[edit]

I have this copy of a painting of a woman whom i assume is MAry she has a halo and shes wearing a cross. Shes playing the piano and there are 3 cherubs throwing flowers does anyone have any idea what the paointing may be? It is signed but I cant tell what the name is THe first initial is G and the last name starts with N. I would love to know who painted it

               Thank you
It's probably not Mary. Instead, check out Saint Lucy or Saint Cecilia, both music-associated saints. Mary is almost never depicted as wearing a cross. Geogre 16:50, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Or playing a piano. 23:11, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Quite right. In fact, the piano is a big, big hint on the painting, if it's actually a piano, as the pianoforte is post Renaissance, so it sounds 19th century or later. I really can't think of any keyboard saints (and no, not Keith Emerson). Very peculiar to have a harpsichord or piano playing saint. Geogre 00:23, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
For St. Cecilia at her keyboard, (mostly the organ) see here, here (by Carlo Dolci), here, here (by Rembrandt Peale), here and here. - Nunh-huh 00:33, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

silver hallmarks[edit]

How do we find out what the letter hallmarks mean on silver? We have an old butter knife that has a I S mark on it after the makers names which is holmes & edwards. Any help where to find hallmarks on silver would be appreciated. Thank you Terri208.5.80.94 16:41, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

There are any number of books of hallmarks, usually by country. Check your local library or bookstore. --BluePlatypus 18:17, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Many almanacks and cyclopedias have that sort of thing. It might help you to know that "the Holmes and Edwards Silver Co. was established in 1882 in Bridgeport, Ct by George C. Edwards and Israel Holmes. They were primarily manufacturers of silver plate, however they did make some sterling flatware. In 1898, the Holmes and Edwards Silver Co. was purchased by the International Silver Co." (from here). Grutness...wha? 01:46, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Reading Grutness's reply, might the IS stand for International Silver? Chapuisat 18:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

April 9[edit]

historical costume[edit]

Can anyone tell me what a Parisian tailor might have characteristically worn in the 17th century? Adambrowne666 00:47, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Long pants and a linen shirt were the basic costume of the working classes and petit bourgeoisie. The type of trousers worn was quite class-expressive. See Sans-culottes for some pictures and more explanation. alteripse 01:52, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Excellent, thank you very much (also, apologies for double posting this question on Micellaneous Ref Desk). Adambrowne666 00:00, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


Where did the phrase, "you can't go home again" come from? And what exactly does it mean?

Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again in 1940. Although the phrase occurs before that, it is the genesis of the widespread usage. Basically, it means that you can never recapture your youth or your family hearth. As you grow older, you may wish for the days of your youth, when you lived at home and had a small town life. If you try to go back to the old home town, you will find only sadness. (I.e. "Where are the snows of yesteryear?") Geogre 02:15, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Which, incidentally, is the same sentiment expressed (though it's usually misunderstood) by Gertrude Stein when she said of Oakland, "There's no there there." --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:58, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Cool! I had always understood that as satirical -- Oakland being so empty, so boring, so devoid of everything that you cannot go there. (Then again, Ms. Stein and I have never been fast literary friends.) Geogre 12:06, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
It's generally considered a quite understandable misinterpretation, even by those who live in Oakland. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
The earliest I'm aware of this idea is by Heraclitus, usually quoted as "you can't step in the same river twice" - by the time you step in it again, the water will have flowed. --Hughcharlesparker 15:42, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

how to[edit]

how can I make an article about someone that is not mentioned at wikipedia

Firstly, the proper place for Wikipedia-related questions is at the Wikipedia:help desk. See Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia to see how to create new articles. Note that you will need to create a user account if you want to create new articles; we had to ban anonymous users from creating new articles as a vandalism-reduction measure. --Robert Merkel 04:27, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Or if you have some objection to creating an account (though really it's nothing more than a login, no personal data is collected and it actually hides your IP in most circumstances) you can use the process at Wikipedia:Articles for creation. --Bth 09:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

People of The Plains[edit]

Among the Plains Indians, who did the decision making, how were they chosen and how did their system of government work?

... -snpoj
We cannot even direct you to a proper article to help you with your homework unless you have a tribe in mind. Various tribes were living on the Great Plains in the US at various times. There are no generalizations that can be safely drawn about such diverse tribes in government, except to say that they had some government. It's likely that your teacher has assigned you something far more specific than the question you have asked. Geogre 15:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

"Some Indians were plain, but others were extra fancy." StuRat 08:45, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Osiris origination[edit]

Where did Osiris and Isis originate 4,000 BC? Were they born/incarnated as humans, or how?I am moving to Horus as alleged son og God and waht ahppened there....Donald, South Africa

I'll suggest you read our articles on Osiris and Isis, and that you phrase any further questions in standardized English. :) --Eivindt@c 11:41, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

"I am a member of 'dyslexics who worship Dog' " StuRat 08:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Leo Blair[edit]

Is Tony Blair father, Leo, still alive?

Yes. See Leo Blair Chapuisat 13:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Or not, that would be Blair's son. Excuse my stupidity, haven't had coffee yet. Chapuisat 13:50, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I should have sent you to Leo Blair (senior). And yes, he is still alive. Chapuisat 13:51, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


Do Scotish Sheriffs have any lawenforcement powers?

In the Scottish legal system, "Sheriff" is the name given to a judge in the lower tier of the courts. A Sheriff is a judge, not a cop. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:54, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
See Sheriff Court. Note that a judge sitting in a Sherrif Court may be only an acting sherrif. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Scotish Attys[edit]

Is it possible for a Scotish trained in Scots law to practice before general English courts?

ONly if they obtain additional qualifications. The two legal systems, and the two sets of laws, are fairly different. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:56, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


What does it mean to be monarch of a country? Does it mean they own the country (sometimes only technically)? Or is the monarch simply a public office that is hereditary?

If you had followed the instructions at the top of the page, you would have typed "monarchy" into the shiny little search box on the left, and ended up at Monarchy. If you have some more specific questions not answered by the article, let us know! — QuantumEleven | (talk) 08:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Quantum, before you're so quick to judge, try checking out the page you're referring to. The article on Monarchy doesn't answer the second question.
To answer that question, yes, in an technical sense, the monarch does "own" the country, or at least all its land. (At least the Queen of's possible some other monarchies are based on different philosophies.) When someone "owns" a piece of property in England, he or she is, in the strictest technical sense, a mere tenant of the Queen. In reality though, for all intents and purposes, if you own the land, you own the land. The fact that the Queen technically owns the land is for all practical purposes irrelevant. Loomis51 17:43, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Labour leadership election[edit]

Who is likely to oppose Gordon Brown in the next Labour leadership election?

according to the BBC, Alan Milburn has not ruled out standing. This BBC news item] may be informative. Grutness...wha? 07:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
John Reid is a likely possibility too, if it is contested. AllanHainey 12:00, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Prince Harry[edit]

How did Prince Harry qualify for Sandhurst? How could Harrys Handlers allow him to attend a strip club?

Harry doesn't have handlers. He has a single special-branch officer, whose job it is to stop Harry getting kidnapped or killed. Bar clear and present danger to Harry's person, he doesn't have any business telling Harry what to do. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:58, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Harry is 21. He's perfectly entitled to go to a strip club if he wants to; there was no reason for his bodyguards to stop him. 11:56, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
As to how he qualified for Sandhurst, presumably he attended the Regular Commissions Board and passed the examination. I'm sure he received extensive preparation and unofficial pre-examination to ensure he passed. Mind you, there is apparently a shortage of army recruits at the moment, so perhaps they're not that picky right now. --Robert Merkel 23:33, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Royal MP's[edit]

Who is the closest relative of the monarch currently sitting in the house of commons?

Are their any descendents of the Electress sofia currently sitting in the house of Commons?

What's all this about an "electric sofa" ? Some attempt to increase the capacity of the electric chair for "improved law enforcement efficiency in Texas"? LOL StuRat 08:39, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
It was reported some time ago that David Cameron is a cousin (probably fairly distant) to the Queen. I presume you mean Electress Sophia of Hanover, in which case it'd probably be the same answer. AllanHainey 12:05, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps Ian Liddell-Grainger, who is in the direct line to the throne? User:Zoe|(talk) 17:16, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
That seems very likely, when he was elected in 2001 it was said that he was the first descendant of Queen Victoria to be elected to Parliament, and he's the Queen's 2nd cousin once removed. David Cameron is only a fourth cousin three times removed. - Nunh-huh 02:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC) (In case it's not obvious, Liddell-Grainger, by being a descendant of Queen Victoria, is necessarily a descendant of the Electress Sophia. Cameron is a descendant of King William IV and is thus also a descendant of the Electress Sophia. ) - Nunh-huh 03:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Cameron is of illegitimate descent of William IV and therefore not in the line to the throne. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:59, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
That's true, but the questioner asked about descendants of the Electress, not Protestant legitimate non-Papists who had entered into communion with the Church of England and had never married a Papist <g>. But it's good to give an answer to the question you imply he probably meant to ask, as well! - Nunh-huh 18:09, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Mandatory retirement ages[edit]

What is the mandatory retirement age for: U.S. Military? The LA PD? The British Military?

Maybe the articles U.S. Military, LAPD, and British Military will help. What do you think? schyler 01:50, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

For the U.S. Military there is no mandatory retirement age for the Active Force. There is a Mandatory reitement age of 60 for the Reserve Force. For enlisted length of service is based on Rank/Tenure a 29 year maximum at E-9(One can enlist from age 17(with parental consent) to age 35). Officers have a diffrent system than enlisted, at the highest rank (O-10, General of the Army, Admiral of the Navy, General of the Air Force. (No one currently holds these ranks.)) They are simply placed on an "Inactive List" subject to recall to active duty as required.

Saint Nicholas[edit]

Are their any known miracles associated with him, that occur around Christmass?

Do you actually want answers to the nine questions you posted in fifteen minutes? Is this a serious request? Isopropyl 15:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Some of these questions are inappropriate for Wikipedia: it's not the job of an encyclopedia to offer political opinions or makes judgments on current affairs. Please make a comment as to why you are asking these varied questions and remove the ones that are non-factual in nature and likely to cause unnecessary debate if you want any answering! ~ VeledanTalk 17:18, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
A few months ago there was a Wikipedia user who would rattle off various questions for the sake of giving the rest of us something to do, namely answer their varied questions. I think they were eventually banned but not just for asking questions. They didn't care about the answers, they just thought we'd have nothing to do without questions to answer. This could be the same person. Dismas|(talk) 12:54, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

The 5 aggregates : examples ?[edit]

I know the first noble truth of Buddha is the truth of suffering . I assume that means understanding the aspects of suffering . My question is regarding the five clinging aggregates , how are they related to understanding suffering ? An example of each one would be much help . Hhnnrr 16:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at Four Noble Truths. i think this is what you're asking about - the causes of suffering and the logical path to removing suffering. Wapatista 09:10, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Brave New World[edit]

I have an assignment on the scientific developments Aldous Huxley forsaw in his book "Brave New World", how much of his scientific prophecy came true and how have these developments resulted in progress in ordinary people. I have some ideas but not many, since it's been a while since we read the book. Test tube babies is an obvious ones, and also hypnopedia. Other than that I have no real ideas. If anyone can remember any specific examples they'd like to share that'd be great. Thanks in advance.

Actually, lab-grown babies and sleep-conditioning, as envisioned in the novel, are not particularly part of life today. AnonMoos 03:37, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I know this, but the question states to compare his prophecies with the actual development of science today.

Neil Postman wrote Amusing Ourselves to Death in 1984 with the premise that the political prophesy of Brave New World had proven more true than the prophecy of 1984. He was interested in soma], and he saw television as an analog. Now that we have anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-shyness drugs, and anti-hyperactivity drugs common as candy, and now that any attempt at discovering a cause of unhappiness is secondary to an empirical treatment of the mood itself, I'm not sure that "soma" hasn't also proven scientifically true as well. Basically, though, see Brave New World. Geogre 04:36, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I've been and haven't found much. I know there is something about in the book I believe it was Mond or someone who said that the advances in science were only to help create more stable state rather than for knowledge, something along those lines. Anything you can get out of that?

C-c-c-c 04:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Huxley's prophecy is more social than technical. It isn't really the kind of Sci-Fi that revels in technical detail (apart from the beginning), but opposed to say, Arthur C Clarke. Although Huxley does make good use of contemporary buzzwords, with all the references to Ford and Pavlov. But IMHO, his descriptions of recreational drug use probably seemed more prophetic in the 60's than today. On the other hand, the behavioristic psychology he espouses has lost a lot of status. (although behavioral methods have made a comeback in certain areas where they've proved useful, like in treating phobias) The emphasis on conditioning is also outdated, now that the role of genetics is much more understood. But, ignoring the technical details, you could probably draw a parallel to things like pre-natal ultrasounds and similar. As for '1984', I'd agree that despite BNW's obvious dating in certain respects, it's a more relevant book today. Or at least a more interesting one. (1984 is a bit too clear-cut for my tastes; "Big Brother" is evil. But is Mustapha Mond evil?) --BluePlatypus 05:06, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Please remember too that science fiction is almost never written deliberately as attempted prophecy. Te overwhelming majority of dystopian novels set in a near future world are intended primarily as entertainment and social commentary on the contemporaneous world. Huxley's novel was a definite example of this, using the social and societal conditions of the 1930s and extrapolating from them a situation which was simply "1930s with the dials turned up" - a society where the trends apparent in 1932 were continued into the future. As such its principal target was the world of his own time, much like orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was really about 1948 (the original title, which was rejected by his publisher). The novel takes the technological advances of the early 20th century and mixes in early political attempts at world government (such as the League of Nations) and the rise of totalitarian states (the Soviet Union was busily expanding its influence and a new and dangerous nationalism was starting to brew in Germany), then posits a future society where these things are taken to their logical extreme. Grutness...wha? 07:53, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Was a form of birth control invented before the novel was written or was this an unknown at the time and one of his prophecies? C-c-c-c

The condom has been around since antiquity (the Romans used to make them out of sheep gut), but they weren't in common use at the time he was writing. But if you're referring to oral contraceptives then no, they were invented in the '40s and became widely available in the '60s. --Bth 08:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Try taking a look at Sparknotes - they usually have very good thematic discussions and especially excellent chapter summaries. One aspect you may wish to look at is Mustapha Mond's discussion of the shelving of technologies that make life too easy. This isn't prophecy as such, but it leads into interesting debate. The mindset at the time was that scientific progress was inexorable and would eventually create a society where people spent only a few hours every week working, as the overwhelming abundance of resources available would let everyone laze around. But the modern world sees an increase in work hours and intensity - every increase in technology that could reduce work hours is matched by an increase in what is considered necessary to lead a normal life (e.g. fancier and fancier cars). in addition, the direct parallel is of multi-national companies buying and shelving patents for products that would reduce their profits (for example, Gilette might buy the patent to a shaving cream formula that increases the lifespan of razor blades and then shelve it).

Another thing to consider might be eugenics - insofar as this can be argued to be a scientific process. The idea of eugenics was gaining popularity in the thirties, and was put into place in the US, among other places, before being somewhat deflated by the Third Reich

Police detective[edit]

Is this a police rank, or merley a specialization?

It could be either, depending on the jurisdiction. StuRat 08:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Modern Fascism[edit]

Besides Franco, where their fascist regimes to survive WWII?

Depends on what you define as fascism. In the strictest sense, it only applies to Mussolini's gang. In the loosest sense, it could be any right-wing military dicatorship. Of course, in one sense, the Axis defeat in WWII discredited the word "fascist", so a lot fewer people would call themselves that after the war. (Similarily, a lot fewer people/parties call themselves "communist" post-1990) Anyway, one possible idea is Perón's rule in Argentina, although he came to power after the war, and couldn't be said to have survived it. --BluePlatypus 04:38, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget Spain under Francisco Franco (although technically they called themselves Phalangists). User:Zoe|(talk) 17:18, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
My 1938 atlas says that, of the right-wing dictatorships, the following were fascist in their ideology:-
  • Italy, Germany (with Austria), Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Brazil, and Franco's part of Spain (this was still during the Spanish Civil War).
  • So in Europe only Spain and Portugal wewe still fascist after WW2. Dont know about Brazil. Jameswilson 00:22, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Jo Swingson[edit]

Is Jo Swingson the youngest MP who was born in 1980 not attractive?

  • Whether someone is attractive is entirely subjective. You're therefore not likely to get a single answer. - Mgm|(talk) 08:20, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I presume you are referring to Jo Swinson. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you find her attractive, or unattractive, that's really up to you. And, frankly, her job is to represent the views of her constituents, not look pretty.
That said, there have been a few female politicians who have been the recipients of a fair bit of attention because of their perceived good looks. One of the best known is Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minster of Ukraine. Natasha Stott-Despoja, who was in her mid-20s when she entered the Australian Senate, was another to do so. And Stephanie Herseth attracted a fair bit of attention (and probably a lot more internet-based campaign donations than she might have otherwise) when she ran for Congress in South Dakota. There are probably plenty of others around the world, particularly in Europe where female politicans are much more common, but that's some I know about. And, just to be equal opportunity here, Victorian Health Minister John Thwaites is apparently widely admired for his looks in the Victorian gay community. --Robert Merkel 08:39, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Verily. ("Surfie Boy" is in fact the Deputy Premier and Environment Minister. The Health Minister is Bronwyn Pike). :--) JackofOz 10:43, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
In New Zealand we had Laila Harré, who was also worthy of note (though I prefer Metiria Turei). Grutness...wha? 04:05, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
How can you forget Ilona Staller? :) User:Zoe|(talk) 17:22, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

postmodernist theory and philosophy[edit]

How is Marx's theory of false consciousness, Baudrillard's theory of simulacra, DuBord's theory of spectacle and Gramsci's theory of hegemonic tension similar or different and which best fits our experience as people, thinkers, socially engaged creators in the media dense 21st century and which theory allows for the most effective oppositional of socially engaged art practice?

See above, under "Do your own homework". --BluePlatypus 04:29, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but holy smokes, that's some bizarre homework, and it's bizarre beyond words to expect that the reference desk would have an answer. (It seems highly, highly licensed as a reading. The implication is that there is a "yes" answer, but that's one heck of a whopper of an assumption.) (In fact, it's really, really, really naive.) (Never mind, though.) Geogre 04:39, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Your teacher may need to do some catching up on this stuff. "False consciousness" is not an idea actually found in Marx, but something that was developed later. Though all of the concepts you are asked to discuss probably find their origin somewhere in the first chapter of Capital (on commodity fetishism), they are too different to make a comparison very useful, I think. "False consciousness" and Gramsci's theories deal strictly with ideology, while Debord's spectacle and Baudrillard's simulacra are more concerned with the seductive, alluring (and alienating) aspects of modern society and the media. David Sneek 07:14, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

United States (name)[edit]

Why doesn't the United States have a country name, like Canada or china, all other countries have names that allow their citizens identity. Saying one is an American may include any person born anywhere in America, which is a continent. Thus saying one is a Peruvian-american becomes a redundancy.

Take a look at
According to that the term "America" has two meanings, although imo the second one is far more common.
But before you so assuredly dub "America" as a continent I suggest you take a quick look through [Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography]. -Snpoj 04:13, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
You must be non-American. I have asked this question from USAns, and they have replied "United States is a country name. No sane person would use the name 'America' to refer to anything other than the USA anyway. If someone really cares about all those poor countries in South America, they can say 'South America'. The fact that this makes America a subset of North America instead of the other way around isn't our problem." JIP | Talk 16:27, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

According to JIP, I must be insane. Columbus discovered America, but to my knowledge he never set foot on what is now known as the United Stated of America. Does that mean that historians have got it wrong all along and Columbus didn't discover America, but merely a few islands near America in the Carribean?

The US does have a's "The United States of America". The fact that it's name is merely based on a description of what it is doesn't negate the fact that that's its name. The US isn't unique in this respect. Take, for example, South Africa. It's also a country name based merely on a description. West Africa, on the other hand, is commonly understood to be a region of Africa and nothing else (since there's no country called "West Africa"). If someone says they're West-African, it means that they come from one of many countries in West Africa, whereas if someone says they're South African, it's usually understood that they're referring to the country, not the region. Therefore, if someone is from, say, Botswana, they can say that they're South African in the geographic sense, but not in the political sense. Loomis51 20:55, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Also note that many countries only seem to have names, in the sense described, because they are referred to in their native language. For example "Yugoslavia" sounds like a "name", but all it means is "The Southern Slavic [countries]". Similarly, Pakistan simply means "Land of the Pure". The Netherlands is another good example, the Dutch simply named their country based on its geographic features. Finally, Australia, in Latin, can be roughly translated as simply "The Southern Land" or "Land of the South" Loomis51 20:55, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

If "United States of America" is so much a country name, why does no one say "I'm Unitedstatesofamerican" or "I'm Unitedstatesian"? Why do they say "I'm American" instead? The proper full name of my country is "The Republic of Finland" in English. However I would never say to an English speaker "I'm Republicoffinlandian" or "I'm Republicoffinnish". I would say "I'm Finnish". So doesn't that nicely parallel to the situation with the United States? Also note that when Columbus discovered America, the United States did not exist, so the term "America" was unambiguous. It only became ambiguous later. JIP | Talk 10:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what your argument seem to be agreeing with me. All I said was that the official name of the US was "The United States of America", just as the name of your country happens to be "The Republic of Finland". It's just that when countries tend to have long, descriptive official names, people tend to shorten them to one word, that's all. In fact you've proven my point for me. The phenomenon isn't unique to the US, but as you've just pointed out, it's used in Finland as well, as it is in many, many other countries. What exactly is your point then?

The point is, like you said, both countries have both long official names and shorter commonly used forms. Whereas the short form of "The Republic of Finland" is "Finland", which is nicely unambiguous, the short form of "The United States of America" is "America", which is also the name of a continent, and annoys people who live in America but not in the United States. JIP | Talk 05:19, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Then we agree. :) Loomis51 13:10, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

What was it going to call itself otherwise, "The Former British Colonies of the Eastern Seabord of the North American Continent South of the Aroostok River"?? AnonMoos 06:28, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Columbia would have been a good name, before that South American country named itself Colombia (note the spelling diff). StuRat 08:18, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I think you all need to realize that the United States of America are just that - united states. They were intended to function to some extent as individual countries but are all united under a federal government. So from this point of view the United States is not a single country, but a collection of them (50, actually). --Kasimov 23:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

This might be all well and good for USAns, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned, the USA is a single, sovereign political entity. No other sovereign nation deals with any one or any group of the 50 states directly. All foreign negotiations are with the federal government. So this distinction is useless as far as anyone outside the USA is concerned. JIP | Talk 06:36, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a pretty broad statement. I know of many conventions where, for example, my home province of Quebec deals directly with its American neighbours, like NY and VT. Loomis51 21:00, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I did not know that. As far as I know, all European countries only deal with the United States as a whole. Canada might be a special case because it's so close to the United States. JIP | Talk 10:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

commodification of the body[edit]

what is commodification of the body and how does it relate to labelling theory

You could at least rephrase so it dosn't look EXACTLY like homework Gardar Rurak 05:21, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
It belongs with the DeBord question, above, as something that looks more like trollery than homework. I can't imagine anyone offering up such a question as homework at any level low enough for students to think they'd get an answer here. It's null: anyone in a class where that question is asked knows the answer. (It's not complicated.) Geogre 10:31, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

martial law in Hawaii[edit]

During World War 2 Martial Law including black outs and curfews were imposed in Hawaii. I would like to know the dates when the curfews and blackout restrictions were lifted.

Thank you, -- Ted Chernin

[10] says that it was lifted October 24, 1944. Chapuisat 17:05, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Rock music chronology[edit]

I would like to get chronology of hard rock , by years, by days. Like on 2 of Apri 1996 happened that, that and that... on 5 of May happened that, taht and that ... and so on ....

Thank you

Have you had a look at the various articles linked from List of musical events? There is a series of articles like 1996 in music, 1997 in music, etc - although not rock/hard rock-specific, they should provide you with the information you are looking for. -- Ferkelparade π 10:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

List of South African Statutes cannot be found[edit]

I put a list of South African Statutes up in Wikipedia and want to add to it. But I cannot find the list anymore. Why would it disappear? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ritafelgate (talkcontribs) 11:06, 10 April 2006 UTC.

Firstly, this kind of question would be better off at the Help desk, but no matter. The article you're looking for is at South African Statutes and other Legislation (you should probably remember the title, as you created it! :)). In future, you can get a list of all the articles you contributed to by clicking on "my contributions" (top right hand corner).
Also, could I suggest you read What Wikipedia is not, specifically, the section on Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. It doesn't look to me like your list of statutes will ever amount of an encyclopedic article. You may want to consider Wikibooks or Wikisource for this kind of information. — QuantumEleven | (talk) 16:14, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Partial Gift Deed?[edit]

I am considering the transfer of Real Property in Colorado and in California.

My questions are:

1) Can you transfer 50% ownership in Real Property located in California via Grant Deed?

2) Can you transfer 50% ownership in Real Property located in Colorado via Grant Deed?

Thank you.

Even if you get an answer here, I think you may want to consult with a real estate lawyer. Chapuisat 15:14, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Social Injustice on Immigration Laws[edit]

I need help on my research paper about Social Injustice on Immigration Laws. I need someone who could give me websites or any sources that would help me with the topic. Thank you and have a nice day.

Michelle Besitula

I think you're in danger of people ignoring your question - it's quite homeworky. I recommend a bit of time with wikipedia's search facility and google, then posting a new, more specific question. --Hughcharlesparker 16:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Social Injustice on Immigration Laws[edit]

Hi, I'm Michelle Besitula, 10th grade. I need help on my research paper about Social Injustice on Immigration Laws. I need someone who could give me websites or any sources that would help me with the topic.

Contact me at: %< email address snipped %<

Thank you and have a nice day.

Michelle Besitula

Still as above. Wikipedia's search bar and google will help you. You could start by searching for "immigration". The instructions at the top of this page tell you not to post your email address and explain why - I've removed it for you. --Hughcharlesparker 16:41, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Immigration to the United States would be a good palce to start. 16:59, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

This is actually a pretty difficult topic, because of the fuzziness of the definition of "social justice". If you think back to all the arguments last week in the US about the immigration bill, every single side, including the proponents of a 2000 mile wall, claimed to be speaking for justice and fairness. So your biggest problem is finding a precise definition of social justice so you can even begin to evaluate current immigration laws. alteripse 18:22, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


How do you spell Renesance? It was the period around the 1400s when people started to break off from the Catholic church. Jonathan W 17:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Renaissance Chapuisat 18:04, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


OK thanks a lot! Jonathan W 18:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually the Reformation was when people started to break off from the Catholic church. AllanHainey 11:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the Nestorian Schism was when people began to break off from the Catholic Church. Followed by the Great Schism. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:02, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Novel about holocaust[edit]

I would like to identify the author and title of a book (written during 1950 - 1980) about a German Jewish family, totally assimilated, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. There were 2 or 3 sisters. One sister married a German soldier in Frankfurt in the 1930s and the marriage is unhappy. One sister escapes to Palestine. I read it in English but it may have been translated from German. ___________________________________ -- 18:03, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


Does Wikipedia have any paid employees?

Wikimedia Foundation has paid employees. —Keenan Pepper 21:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Famously, it has one paid employee. The rest of us get fame and esteem. Geogre 02:38, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah and all the venom, Andrew whatever his name is at the register can muster against us. It seems either no one bothers to listen to him anymore or he has given up. Not sure who pissed in his cheerios. - Taxman Talk 22:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we speedied his band or his vanity page. "Famous Internet journalist who has dozens of devoted readers" -- you know, something sterling like that. At least I don't think anyone suggested he shot Kennedy. Geogre 23:17, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Members of congress[edit]

Why is it may members of congress, at more like gang leaders then legislators?

Check out Kleptocracy. Actually, it's largely because relatively small, but dedicated lobby groups can create more influence than diffuse interest groups. For example, suppose that 10 of us widget makers decided to lobby to get a 1 million dollar widget subsidy - each of us gets 100,000 dollars out of the deal, while the cost to the taxpayer is about 5 cents each. Who is going to be more active and determined in lobbying? Indeed, who is going to lobby against this at all? For great justice. 20:04, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
This is a conflict of interest inherent in representative democracy. That is, it is in the reps interest to vote for the subsidy, as they will get kickbacks from the lobbyists to do so. Thus, they are not truly representing the electorate, but only their own interests. In a direct democracy, there would be no reps to bribe. It would be impossible to bribe the entire electorate, as that would cost far more than the subsidy would be worth. StuRat 23:17, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Members of which congress? JIP | Talk 07:00, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Money laundering[edit]

How is money laundering done?

Have you checked out money laundering? For great justice. 20:12, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Or Office Space? Dismas|(talk) 01:56, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
The first step in laundering money is to find a suitable variety of soap... --Serie 19:58, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


What was Black Beards history prior to 1716?

See Blackbeard. For great justice. 20:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


Since when has the New York accent existed? Since when has the American Southern accent existed, did it exist in colonial times?

Are you expecting precise answers? Have you looked into dialect and the articles that are linked to it? Dialect in the US is due predominantly but not exclusively to when its immigrant populations arrived and where they arrived from. This is aggravated by a degree of isolation present. The greater the isolation, the more persistent archaisms will be. There is no such thing as a "southern accent." There are at least fourteen separate "southern accents." Similarly, the state of New York has at least eight identifiable dialect bands. As for their antiquity, one would have to say that they've been recognizable as separate from the dialects of other regions since there were settlers present, as the settlers arrived (and therefore froze their variety of British English) at different times. However, upland and lowland, piedmont and coastal, mountain, canal, and various prestige dialects are all separate and instantly recognizable by natives. Further, the process is ongoing. Contemporary Bronx accents differ from Pelham Bay to South Bronx, and each is different from Brooklyn, and both are different from Manhattan, and all are different from Hudson Valley, and that's different from "downstate," etc. Geogre 02:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

State Defense force[edit]

What must one do to recieve a commision in a state defense force?

any country in particular? Grutness...wha? 03:43, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

trustee guards[edit]

In Prisons, Why where trustee-guards used? Is their any place they are still used?

impersonating a dentist[edit]

Why would someome impersonate a dentist?

Because they were tired of posting masses of random questions on the Reference Desk? For great justice. 21:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Fancy dress party? Grutness...wha? 03:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Unaccredited dentists are a major problem in Italy. --Bth 07:58, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Why would someone impersonate a dentist? I presume because they make a lot of money. - 09:14, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

To put their knowledge of calculus to good use ? StuRat 23:10, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Legal access to cocaine? [11]- Nunh-huh 03:07, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to go with their being a sadist. --Fastfission 16:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

In One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie, someone impersonates a dentist to murder a blackmailer.

African Fashion and the Woynosi[edit]

Wole Soyinka, a native nigerian and noble prize winning author, wrote a ballad opera called The Opera Woynosi. It is a reworking of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. Soyinka makes reference to a Woynosi not only in the title but in the play at several points, yet I have yet to even find a picture of what one may look like. My question is what is an actual woynosi, and what might the history be behind it.

Articles of Hamas with respect to Jews...[edit]

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Hamas when I saw this under Section 2.2 Anti-Semitism:

Article 7: ... the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

I was just wondering if anyone could tell me if this is true, that "Mohammed, the Prophet, says to kill the Jews" (paraphrasing this quote), and if it is, could anyone point me to the passage in the Qur'an were it says this. --Le Vrai 23:12, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Not Qur'an but hadeeth, specifically The Book Pertaining to the Turmoil and Portents of the Last Hour of Sahih Muslim text. MeltBanana 00:19, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

It's the infamous "Hadith of the Gharqad tree"; the specific reference is Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985. As to whether Muhammad actually said this, it's rather hard to say, since the vast majority of ahadith were transmitted purely orally until well over 150 years after Muhammad's death, and even the most traditionally-minded Muslims will generally admit that there are bogus ahadith. The fact that it's in Sahih Muslim indicates that there were respected individuals in the early 9th century A.D. who thought that Muhammad said it; beyond that, it's rather difficult to go... You might find the rest of the Hamas charter [12] interesting reading (don't miss the bit about the eternal jihad against the Lion's Club and Rotary!). AnonMoos 02:26, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

April 11[edit]

Ulster Unionist[edit]

What happened to the ulster unionist party, how did loss virtually all of its seats? How is paisley viewed the UK, as an elder statesman or an ageing fanatic?

It's all a matter of conjecture and personal opinion - the UK mainland (which I presume you mean when asking about the Rev. Paisley) has as many differing opinions as anywhere would. No doubt there are some people who regard him as a dedicated and notable member elder statesman of the Northern Ireland political scene. Mind you, everyone I know who has an opinion on him, both in the UK and elsewhere, regards him as a barking mad bigot and a major thorn in the Northern Ireland peace process. YMMV. Grutness...wha? 03:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
As to "what happened to the UUP", there's an interesting but rather POV analysis (the Troubles are unambiguously referred to as a "war", with no reference to terrorism) here. --Bth 07:50, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
What happened to the Ulster Unionist Party - lots of their voters stopped voting for them & voted for the Democratic Unionist Party instead, probably for a variety of reasons including their opinion of the Reverend Doctor Ian Paisley. To make a generalisation I'd say that most regard Reverand Paisley as a very committed individual relentless in pursuing his goals & defending his beliefs, though of course there is considerable difference of opinion of the validity of those beliefs, the rights & wrongs of the cause he supports & the political effect of his expression of his opinions. AllanHainey 12:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I think its quite interesting that as a peaceful settlement became more of a realistic option, support for the "moderate" parties on both sides declined. Jameswilson 22:46, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
This is pure speculation, but I suspect that the moderate parties were willing to compromise to reach a settlement acceptable to both sides. Everyone in NI wants peace, but maybe relatively few want compromises to their views on how that peace should be. Grutness...wha? 03:49, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

What are the Nature of gun control laws it:[edit]

What are the natue of gun control laws in France?
What are the nature of gun control laws in India?
What are the nature of gun control laws in Ireland?
What are the nature of gun control laws in Japan?

  • I'm not sure about India, but in all the other countries, bearing arms is illegal unless you are with the police or army or unless you join one of a few selected shooting or hunting organizations. All of these require a permit and are subject to rigorous background tests.
India had strict gun control when it was a British colony (so they couldn't revolt). When released from colonial status, gun control waned. They have stiffened recently in an attempt to control terrorism (and insurgency). I do not know specific laws in India. Also, you have to take into account the clan-controlled areas that pay very little attention to national laws. I believe they are almost all in northwest India. --Kainaw (talk) 14:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
France is not that strict on gun ownership. Here are the rules. Jameswilson 22:54, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

law practice[edit]

Is anyone hiring lawyers in the Springfield mass area?

This is, without a doubt, the completely wrong place to ask this question. Read the rules at the top before posting a question. schyler 00:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
It was also asked in slightly different form about a month ago. Grutness...wha? 04:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

mailing systems[edit]

when was the first mailing system invented and when did trains start to be in use transporting the mail?

Well, your first question can be answered by reading the article on mail. See Railway post office and Travelling Post Office for info on the second. Dismas|(talk) 03:59, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Is there a new/ish song...[edit]

with some or all of its lyrics in French? (or what sounds like French -- I think I caught "français") --zenohockey 04:35, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

You do know that France has a thriving pop music industry, so in effect you could be talking about any of hundreds of songs which have been released by French-speaking artists recently? I'm afraid you'll need to narrow your question a bit - can you quote us some lyrics? — QuantumEleven | (talk) 06:06, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
It was playing, rather softly, in Borders, and I vaguely remember hearing it before as well, so I suspect it's fairly recent. The only word I caught/recognized was "français." I realize this is a sort of Hail Mary...but it was worth a shot. --zenohockey 23:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
How about a bit more detail? Spoken word or song? Male or female vocalist(s)? Solo or group? Instruments? Style or genre? Rhythm? Upbeat or downbeat? And where was the Border's located (city or region)? Not that I would necessarily know, even with all the above, but you've got to provide more clues before anyone can even take a guess. If you're in New York and it was female vocalists, it may be something by LaLaque. Ande B 00:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Name of unknown tune[edit]

Hi, does anybody know the name and the composer of this tune? File:Marche funèbre (third movement - Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor - Frederic Chopin).mid

Sincerely -Funper 12:14, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

It's Frédéric_Chopin, the Marche funèbre from the third movement of his Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor. - Nunh-huh 18:02, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Silk napkins[edit]

How exactly am I supposed to fold and stuff a silk napkin into the breast pocket of a black tie jacket, so that it looks good? Can someone give me an idiot's guide, preferably with pictures? JIP | Talk 16:21, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The article on the handkerchief should get you started. for further info, see [13]. If you google handkerchief you'll find plenty more sites with instructions. Chapuisat 16:41, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Here's an easy way:

      /   \
    /       \
  /           \
 <-------------> <- FOLD LINE
  \           /
    \       /
      \   /
      /   \
    /|     |\
  /  |     |  \
     ^     ^
     |     |
      /   \
     | \ / |
     | / \ |

StuRat 23:03, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

And you actually drew him a diagram... Gardar Rurak

America: Republic or Democracy?[edit]

I am wondering if America is a republic or a democracy. The more I search for answers, the more mixed up the definitions get. I am under the impression that a government cannot be both a republic and a democracy since a democracy is rule by the people and a republic is rule by law.

Please someone help me clear this up. It's as though everyone's definitions for republic and democracy are mixed up and sometimes they use the two words interchangably.

-- 19:24, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The United States is often considered a democratic republic as it incorporates both forms (frequently as representative democracy, though direct democracy also exists). Our articles discuss how the two terms intermingle, since there is no one "republic" or "democracy" existing in vacuum. — Lomn Talk 19:38, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Just to expand a bit on what Lomn has said: In a pure democracy, the majority rules regardless of whether that rule is oppressive, destructive, violent, etc.. Pure democracy has often been referred to as "mobocracy," for historically sound reasons. A republic places limits on what the majority can legally do. In the US, the ultimate limits are described in the constitution, which cannot be amended by a simple majority vote. Thus the use of the term "democratic republic." Ande B 19:47, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
It depends on what you mean by "republic" and "democracy". Some (know-it-all type) people like to say "The USA is a republic, not a democracy", but that's a statement which depends on certain quite narrow definitions of the two terms. In the most broad usages (and the most common ones, too) "republic" simply means "not ruled by a monarch" and "democracy" means "ruled by leaders elected in free and fair electons". By those definitions, the USA is both. --BluePlatypus 21:53, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with your def of democracy as "ruled by leaders elected in free and fair elections". That's a specific type of democracy, a representative democracy. StuRat 22:49, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not my definition. It's common usage. Look it up in a dictionary. Or read a newspaper or something. --BluePlatypus 04:06, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and any state that calls itself a democracy (e.g. GDR, DPRK, LPDR, DRC) isn't. --BluePlatypus 21:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Here's a chart that should help:
Republics Monarchies
Democratic Italy, USA Canada, Netherlands
Not democratic Cuba, Turkmenistan Saudi Arabia, Nepal

Mwalcoff 23:17, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect, I believe most of the above explanations are quite innacurate. (Except for the last chart which is quite accurate) The United States is both a republic and a democracy. The two refer to quite different things are not mutually exclusive. A republic is a state where the people rather than a monarch "embody" for lack of a better term, the essence of the state. For example, the French Revolution transformed France from a Monarchy to a Republic. Whereas prior to the revolution France "belonged" in at least a legalistic sense, to the King of France, after the revolution, France "belonged" to its people. Hence the "public" in republic.
On the other hand a democracy (or more often, "liberal democracy") refers to not only strict majority rule, but a devotion to such principles as equality, free speech, freedom of religion etc...
All this to say that the presence of democracy is far more important than whether or not a country is a republic or a monarchy, as many monarchies exist that fully respect democratic principles. For example, the US and France are republics, whereas Canada and the UK are (technically) monarchies. Yet all four countries are equally devoted (give or take!) to fundamental democratic principles, and as such, their status as republic vs. monarchy is largely irrelevant when assessing the freedoms enjoyed by their citizens.
I'd just finally like to say that the only problem I have with the above chart is the assertion that there is a such thing as an undemocratic republic. Cuba may claim to be a republic, but it's clear that its dictator Fidel Castro, as opposed to the Cuban people, trily "embody" the Cuban state. Loomis51 01:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Ande, I think you're mistaken in equating a "republican democracy" with what you seem to be describing, namely a "liberal" or "constitutional" democracy. For example Canada and the UK are definitely not republics, yet they both have constitutions (in the latter case, an unwritten one) that clearly place limits on what the majority can do. A republican system has nothing to do with that aspect. Loomis51 01:36, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Interesting post. At first I thought you were saying Canada and the UK etc are monarchies in a technical sense, but because the monarch always acts on the advice of the Prime Minister, the PM is the effective head of the country, and as the PM is (at least indirectly) elected by the people, this makes the country tantamount to a republic. Then you say they're definitely not republics. Was I misinterpreting you? JackofOz 12:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your point, or rather where you disagree with mine. I think you're probably right and you may have been misinterpreting me.
I'll use the generic word "free" since I think we can all agree with what is a "free" country and what is not. The US, the UK, France, Canada, and Australia (I threw that in just for you, OZ!) are what you would call, generically "free" countries. There are two fancy Political Science terms for this which can be used almost interchangeably: "Liberal-Democracy" and "Constitutional-Democracy".
When drafting the US constitution, James Madison (who perhaps more than anyone else was responsible for drawing up the US Constitution) struggled with the best way to reconcile the will of the majority with the rights of the minority, or the individual. Ande was right in saying that a "pure" democracy is far from the ideal, as that means that a simple majority can democratically pass laws that are extremely unfair to the minority. This is what Ande described as a "mobocracy" and what Madison described as the "Tyranny of the Majority". This also accounts for the "democracy" element in the term "Liberal/Constitutional-Democracy".
Madison's struggle at reconciling the democratic will of the majority with the fundamental rights of the minority/individual has come to be known as the "Madisonian Dilemma". Being a "dilemma", this problem is by definition impossible of a perfect solution, yet all "free" countries try their best to come as close as possible to this ideal, taking into account varying cultural values, which accounts for the differences in the constitutions of different "free" countries.
As for the "Liberal/Constitutional" aspect of a "liberal-democracy" or a "constitutional-democracy", this is embodied in those very limits described above that are placed on the democratic will of the majority. Possibly the best example is the American Bill of Rights, which states, amongst other things, that "Congress" (i.e. the majority) shall pass no law abridging freedom of speech, the press, religion etc... That's why the United States is not a pure-democracy. It has nothing to do with its status as a republic.
With regards the term "republic", its practical significance is largely outdated. It was very important in the 18th century, but today it's more of a technicality than a term having any practical significance. What it means is that, in the most technical sense, the people are the country, whereas in a monarchy, the King/Queen in a purely legalistic sense is the country. This idea was exemplified by one of the King Louis of France (I'm too lazy to research which Louis it was) who declared "L'état, c'est moi", roughly translated into English "I am the state".
Today the only difference is that in a monarchy like Canada, all laws passed by Parliament and the legislatures of the provinces begin with something like "Her Majesty, with the advice and consent of Parliament..." whereas, for example the preamble to the US constitution famously begins "We the people...". Also, in criminal cases in Canada, the style of cause (title) is framed as The Queen v. Smith (even though the Queen herself almost certainly has no idea with what's going on) whereas in the US the same case would be entitled The People v. Smith. Another bit of trivia is the fact that in Canada, in the purest legal sense, the Queen owns all of the land, and those individuals who would usually think of themselves as owners are in fact tenants of the Queen. Again, this has no practical effect except for lawyers. In other words, for all intents and purposes, if you own the land, you own the land. The Queen can't simply walk in and take it from you. Otherwise, for all practical purposes, both democracy, and the actual rights and freedoms of the minority/individual are respected to an extent indistinguishable from those protected in a republic like the US.
For a great example of the difference between a republic and a monarchy, just ask OZ. A little while back the Aussies had a referendum about whether or not to abolish the Monarchy and change Australia to a republic. The referendum failed, I believe for technical reasons (I believe they couldn't agree on how to replace their current legislative system with a republican one.) In any case, apparently the Aussies weren't bothered much one way or the other whether to keep the Queen or get rid of her. (Not bad for a Canuck, eh Ande? Feel free to correct me as well!)Loomis51 20:24, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Aussies can indeed be apathetic about things, and a lot of us felt that an outdated system that was safe and comfortable and generally benign (the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr being a rather notable exception) was better than an untested presidential system. So they lent no support to having a referendum to begin with, and on referendum day (6 November 1997) they generally voted for the status quo. But the decision to hold the referendum was made by John Howard, a notorious monarchist, so he would have taken a lot of convincing there was enough popular support for it. The referendum failed not because there wasn't enough interest in change, but because the only alternative to the current system that was offered was not a model that most republicans wanted. The questions were craftily designed to ensure this outcome. JackofOz 03:57, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Loomis is right that the US is is, indeed, a (constitutional) democracy. It is also a republic. I am no longer so sure that merely being a democracy protects any of the civil or human rights that those living in the western democracies hold dear. That's what I was taught as a student but I now believe the connection is not so clear or certain. Also, most of us think of democracy as meaning that all the citizens of a state or nation have an equal vote, but historically this has only recently become common. I'm reluctant to rely on dictionary definitions to fully or accurately describe terms that require more than a phrase to give an accurate sense. (Also, good to see you, Loomis, correct my errors anytime!) Ande B 19:56, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The word "democracy" or "democratic" doesn't appear in the original U.S. constitution, since in 1789 some founding fathers were skeptical that that might really mean "mob rule" -- but in the late 18th century the U.S. was in fact more democratic than just about any independent entity anywhere in the world above the size of a small city-state. In the last decades, some right-wingers have adopted as their slogan "The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy", but you'd have to ask them exactly what that's supposed to mean, since I have very little idea... AnonMoos 02:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe the questioner is mixing up "Presidential system" with "Republic" and "Democracy" with "Parliamentary system" so the question is really "America: Presidential system or Parliamentary system?"? Yes, I know the answer to that question is straightforward but the mix-up is a common error and can be the cause of confusion when searching for data in different places which use the terms arbitrarily and erroneously. Just a thought... Regards, Gardar Rurak 14:36, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually I think what's going on is that the questioner is "mixing apples with oranges." It's like asking "The elephant: Is it a large animal or a grey animal?" It's has nothing to do with the other. Loomis51 04:27, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

A Painting[edit]

I am trying to find the name of a painting. It shows a little girl sleeping in an iron bed and her dog keeping watch over her. It's a couple generations old, "sweet" has alot of blue color. Can anyone help? Thanks so much. BK

Is there any signature on the painting, or anything to identify the artist? GeeJo (t) (c)  21:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

April 12[edit]

Australia East or West ?[edit]

Why is Australia considerd a western country when it is located in the farthest east ? Is the division based on culture or geography ? Does anyone know a good book I can read about the history an significance of dividing the world into east & west ? Hhnnrr 00:51, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Australia's culture is closer to that of the "Western" nations of Europe and North America than to "Eastern" countries like China and Japan. -- Mwalcoff 00:56, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The terms East and West are often used to describe a country's political orientation. It originated because "Western Countries" in the political sense, have a generally tendency to be located to the west of "Eastern Countries" (which, although outdated, have historically been associated with the communist totalitarian bloc). But there are many exceptions, Australia being one of them.
Politically, a "Western country" tends to refer to a liberal democracy. Yet many "Western" countries are in fact not located in the west at all. For example, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Israel are commonly referred to as "Western countries" despite their eastern location.
A simlar, though less used geographical distinction is made between "Northern" and "Southern" countries, based on economic criteria. "Northern" countries are those considered to be wealthier and more developed than the comparatively poor and underdeveloped "south".
This of course leads to the extreme oddity that Australia is considered to be both a "northern" and "western" country! Loomis51 01:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we're a northern and western country located in south-east Asia. We've got all the bases covered.
As an historical aside, see Treaty of Tordesillas for the story of how the non-European world came to be divided between the Spanish and the Portuguese (and hence why Brazil speaks Portuguese not Spanish). This had a lot to do with why the eastern border of Western Australia is where it is. JackofOz 02:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I found this comment interesting and went looking for an article that discussed why the borders of Australian states are where they are - but I didn't mange to find anything that mentioned it. Do we have an article on it? If so what is it? Thryduulf 22:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I was surprised that we didn't have one, too. I'll do some digging and find a source somewhere. JackofOz 23:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Here are three refs I've found on the web: [14], [15], and [16]]. The book frequently referred to, Kenneth Gordon McIntyre's "The Secret Discovery of Australia", is a fascinating and utterly convincing story of the Portuguese explorations of the east coast and the southern Victorian border two centuries before Cook. JackofOz 10:39, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and see Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia. JackofOz 11:33, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Is there such thing as an official west ? I mean is it officially recognized by the rest of the world , or just in politics & media ? I've never heard of Japan being a western country , is this information factual and well-known ? Hhnnrr 09:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I would never consider Japan or South Korea to be 'western'; 'westernised', yes, but that implies an essentially oriental nature. 'Western' for me means 'culturally of western Europe' (which would include ex-imperial remnants such as the US and Australia). Our Western world article seems to agree with me. HenryFlower 09:39, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually, there is no such thing as being in the west or being in the east. Unlike north and south, east and west are relative terms. The reason is that there is no West Pole and no East Pole. One can only be to the west of something. So Australia is to the west of America, and to the east of Europe. Geographically, it all depends on where you are. Politically, "western" has turned into a propaganda term that is really not worth bothering with. (As they say, there are only two kinds of countries: western countries, and rogue states...) --Chl 18:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

There was originally though. The first global maps using the mercator projection placed the zero meridian (Greenwich, London; and Paris, variously) in the centre, with the US to the west and Asia to the east. From this, western Europe and the US became known as the western hemisphere, from where we derive our use of the term western when referring to social, cultural and political history and influence. Now, of course, western culture extends far beyond the tradtional western hemisphere, and Australia is definitely a western country. Natgoo 20:33, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Christian Sabbath[edit]

I'd be interested if a Christian can explain to me why most Christian denominations celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday as opposed to Jews who celebrate it on Saturday. Wiki has an article on this but it's way too complicated. I'd just like as simple as possible an explanation from an ordinary, everyday observant Christian. Wiki's article seems to differentiate between the "Sabbath" and the "Lord's Day", which only confuses me further.

The Jewish and the Christian "Sabbath" are essentially derived from the same source, that being the Old Testament, and in particular both the portion of Genesis where it explains that the Lord rested on the seventh day as well as in Exodus, as one of the ten commandments to "keep the Sabbath holy".

So why the different day? Is is simply a matter of one of the two religious traditions making a blunder and messing up the calendar by one day or is there a deeper reason why Christians and Jews celebrate the same Sabbath on different days. Loomis51 00:51, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The Sabbath never changed. It's Saturday for Christians and Jews alike. However, Easter and Palm Sunday, as well as Pentecost, occurred on a Sunday. Because Easter marks the new covenant, Christians celebrate the memorial of the resurrection on Sunday. Therefore, Christians have a mandatory feast day and celebration on Sunday. However, as Jesus Christ healed on the Sabbath and made clear that keeping Sabbath was less important than doing God's work, Christian churches have taken the injunctions about the Sabbath less and less stringently. Thus, the Sabbath is still Saturday, but Christians don't keep it the way that Jews do. On the other hand, Sunday is the Christian celebration of the new covenant. It's pretty simple, really. Anyone who calls Sunday the Sabbath is mistaken. Geogre 02:45, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
That may be one viewpoint, but Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary disagrees with your proscription, defining "Sabbath" not only as the seventh day of the week observed by Jews and some Christians as a day of rest, but also as "Sunday, observed among Christians as a day of rest and worship". Various Christian sects differ on when the Sabbath is to be observed, and while one may have preferences, there's no particularly good reason to consider one "right" and another "wrong". Words have more than one meaning, and those meanings change. - Nunh-huh 03:06, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster's is descriptive, so it defines words as used. If enough people change the meaning of a word, the dictionary will record the change. The sabbath never did change, although people have used the word incorrectly long enough to have changed its "meaning" in lexicons. I was explaining the history and probably shouldn't have included the value judgment. Christians never ceased to know that Saturday is the 7th day of the week and that God rested on the 7th day and that all the levitical prescriptions on the sabbath applied to that day. The loss of stringent observation has been widespread enough and long lasting enough that people have stopped thinking actively of Saturday as the sabbath and have conflated it with the Christian holy day of Sunday. Historically and theologically, however, I was describing how this came to pass. I.e. I was trying to explain why and shouldn't have judged. Geogre 10:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I find it interesting that in Asian use, until heavily influenced by colonialism, Monday was day 1, Tuesday was day 2, and so on. That makes Sunday day 7. However, it was rarely numbered. It was given a special name, like Heaven Day. Of course, that has nothing to do with Christian/Jewish sabbath. --Kainaw (talk) 18:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Largest constituency?[edit]

A few months ago there was a discussion on the reference desk about what is the world's largest electoral constituency by area. [17] The answer given at the time was Australia's Division of Kalgoorlie. However, in the Italian election this week, there were seats reserved for overseas voters, divided among (1) Europe; (2) North and Central America; (3) South America; and (4) Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Antarctica. Each of these areas would elect at least one member of the Chamber of Deputies and one Senator. My question is: should the Africa/Asia/Oceania/Antarctica area be considered the world's largest electoral constituency by area? Or are there other countries which have similar seats for overseas voters which could be even larger? (For example, if San Marino offered a single seat in its parliament to be voted by all of its citizens outside the country in the rest of the world, that would be an even larger constituency than the Africa/Asia/Oceania/Antarctica constituency.) --Metropolitan90 02:59, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

This comes down to definitions, doesn't it? The fact that the elected member for the overseas regions doesn't actually sit in a chamber that has any direct power over those regions has to count against them somehow, I would say.
The Croatian Parliament might qualify for having "whole of the rest of the world" representation, though since it's done on an entirely proportional basis there isn't a specific seat reserved for representation of expatriates as there is in Italy (if I read the article right). The French senate has 12 expatriate seats, but like other French senators they're appointed rather than directly elected (in this case by some sort of expatriate council).
Interesting blog post about expatriate representation (which is where I found out about Croatia and France). --Bth 11:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The state of Alaska, the largest state in the United States, has one United States Congressman, so that's a pretty big constituency. User:Zoe|(talk) 23:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
    • ...but still considerably smaller than Kalgoorlie. Mind you, surely one Australian electorate has de facto say over the bases in AAT, which would make it enormous. Grutness...wha? 03:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
      • Nope. The Australian Antarctic Territory is not considered a part of Australia for electoral purposes. Voters who are there on election day must cast an absentee vote, as they would if they were in any overseas country. JackofOz 03:07, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I can't really read Russian, but it looks like Vitalii Basigisov (Басыгысов Виталий Николаевич) [18] represents the Sakha Republic in the Russian Duma. Sakha is more than 3 million square km -- bigger than the Division of Kalgoorlie. -- Mwalcoff 13:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

US firearms law[edit]

A while ago, I was reading about US firearms laws on some forum - from what I remember, somebody wanted to buy a gun, but only to use it to incapacitate (not kill) an intruder. Somebody else then replied that as a gun constitutes deadly force, merely using it to incapacitate someone shows that you don't believe deadly force to be necessary in the first place, and therefore that your use of deadly force was unjustified and illegal. Hmm, that sounds rather circuitous.

Anyway, my question is this: Is this right? And if it is, if somebody shoots and does not kill their target, are they obliged to shoot again and kill them? Finally, how would a court prove someone's intention to incapacitate a target?

Disclaimer: No, I'm not looking for professional legal advice. I live in the UK, and I find the US self-defence law is rather interesting. --Doug (talk) 09:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd say no it isn't right, just a bit of sophistry. In the U.S.A. they've got the right to bear arms & (state laws vary on the extent of this) defend their property/person from intruders so if you shoot someone whether you kill them or not is irrelevant. Of course if you shot them a second time once they no longer posed a threat that'd be a crime (I'm going by an episode of CSI for this part), basically the same as in the U.K. with the use of 'reasonable force'. AllanHainey 10:07, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The states have different definitions of what constitutes justified and unjustified use of a gun. The ability to purchase one isn't contingent on why you want it. Most states consider it murder if you shoot a fleeing person, but some don't. All of them, I think, fail to distinguish between your motive and your act. If you use a gun, it is using deadly force, whether you meant to miss or meant to shoot the gun out of his hand (a la movie cowboys) or meant to maim or meant to kill, and the crime you are or are not guilty of depends upon the circumstances of the shooting rather than the desire (as, if it's criminal, you will always say that you meant to merely scare the victim). I should think firing a gun is automatically use of deadly force, even though it may be justified use. (A gun filled with blanks would be a startle device. If you have live ammunition, though, the force itself is deadly.) Geogre 10:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
At least 5 years ago, it became legal in South Carolina to kill an intruder. However, the legality of injuring an intruder isn't clear. This became big news when a young woman shot and killed an ex-boyfriend that they she said broke into her apartment (even though there were no signs of forced entry). From the local DA to the state capital, everyone said they were not going to tear up the new law with exclusions for ex-boyfriends. They added, since she killed him, only her word is what they have to go on. If she just injured him, he could say he was invited in. So, in South Carolina, if you shoot, you better kill. --Kainaw (talk) 18:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh! Thanks very much guys, for indulging my curiosity! --Doug (talk) 19:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
There used to be one state, I think Texas, where you could only shoot to kill in self-defense if the intruder were already inside your house, so the common wisdom was, "if you shoot him outside, drag him inside before calling the police." User:Zoe|(talk) 23:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
That, I believe, is several states. In North Carolina, you could shoot if you were being invaded or menaced. A man found three kids stealing his stuff, and he shot them as they ran away. He was very properly prosecuted for manslaughter, as they were running away and clearly no longer a threat. It caused a huge furore. Georgia has passed in its assembly (but not had signed yet, thank goodness) a law making it legal to shoot anyone, anywhere, if you "feel threatened." I can imagine bill collectors, repo men, and boyfriends will be all buying a great deal of Kevlar in that state. Generally, one can shoot in self defense, but how much threat is necessary and how persistent the threat has to be is different per state. Generally, one may shoot if one's house is being invaded (not universally), but how significantly the invasion has to be and how much proof of violence is necessary will differ per state. (Personally, I think all of my possessions combined aren't as valuable as the life of even the worst human being, but I guess other people think their stuff is a lot better than mine.) Geogre 02:37, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The law makes it allowed to shoot someone if you "feel threatened"? Geez! Because feelings can't be proven or disproven, in effect this makes it allowed to shoot someone if you want to. JIP | Talk 04:50, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. This has "out of touch liberals" astonished and "Georgia values conservatives" determined. Again, the bill has not been signed into law, but it has passed the state legislature's two houses. Oh, and it's an election year for the governor. The Atlanta media has thundered against the bill, but that might only help it. Geogre 11:54, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Italian election system[edit]

When the Italian elections have been reported on the news recently they've generally made the point that they recently changed their electoral system back to a proportional representation system. I had thought that Italy had had proportional representation for years & years, did they change it to first past the post & then change it back? What did they change it from? Thanks AllanHainey 10:03, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

What I heard was that they have PR and have had for a while. However, last year Berlusconi, in order to prevent the gridlock of an almost-exact-balance situation (and presumably with an implicit assumption that he'd win again), got an amendment passed where the largest coalition gets at least 55% of the lower chamber no matter what the actual majority is -- ie it reintroduces a measure of disproportion to give the winner room for manoeuvre and increase poliical stability. Hence his unwillingness to concede defeat. --Bth 11:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Bah, I should have checked Wikipedia more thoroughly before replying. Parliament of Italy explains it all -- they used to work on Additional Member (which is PR but with two separate votes -- one to determine the makeup of the chamber, and one to decide your constituency MP), now it's PR with this winner-gets-at-least-340-seats thing (with various other thresholds for getting any seats at all). --Bth 11:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Latest Star Wars fanfic movie[edit]

I heard something on the radio tonight about a Star Wars fanfic movie that's going to be released in the next week or so; because it's set in the Star Wars universe and isn't satire or parody, they're not allowed to sell it, so they're going to make it downloadable from their website. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it. Has anyone else heard of it? Alphax τεχ 11:00, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know which movie specifically you're looking for, but have you checked I generally find them to be the best resource for Starwars fanfilms -- Ferkelparade π 11:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Tydirium was in the media recently. -- 01:37, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Largest ethnic group without a country[edit]

The most frequent reference one hears in this regard is that the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a state of their own. Brittanica repeats this, for instance[19].

What about the Tamils? At 74 million they're a group three times as large as Kurds and they also don't have a state. Tamil has official language status in Sri Lanka, but then Kurdish has official language status in Iraq. Am I missing anything as to why sources like Br'ca. would list the Kurds as largest? Marskell 12:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Britannica is a work of humans and is subject to error (some of which are documented here). But so is Wikipedia. I've made the point elsewhere that a list called "Errors in Wikipedia" would be a very long list. Mistakes are being corrected all the time, but other wrong info is being added all the time too. That's the nature of the beast. A mistake takes a far longer time to be corrected in Britannica than it does in Wikipedia. So we have to show forbearance to those less fortunate than ourselves. JackofOz 13:09, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I was aware Britannica is subject to errors. Is there any particular reason this error gets repeated often is my question. Marskell 13:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
If I had to make a wild guess, I would say that they considered the Tamils to be a consituent ethnic group of India, and so have "their own state", or perhaps counting Tamil Nadu as "their own state". Until just after the first Gulf War there was no place where the Kurds had any real self-government. Perhaps that explains the difference (or maybe it's just an error, a meme propagated ever since they failed to get the state they were promised at the end of WWI). Guettarda 13:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The Han Chinese don't have their own state, and there are a billion of them. (Most of them live in China, of course, but there's nothing necessarily Han about China, or Chinese about the Han). There's no Arab state, no Malay state, no German state... the whole idea of a state "belonging" to one ethnic group is bizarre. HenryFlower 15:09, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

You're really changing the metric on this one. "Nothing necessarily Chinese about the Han"? Our own page is called "Han Chinese". Obviously no ethnic group has every single member in one state, nor is there a state where every single citizen is of one ethnic group. But obviously in a very commensensical way China is Han, Malaysia is Malaysian, Germany is German, and Saudi Arabia is Arab. Marskell 17:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Most Malays don't live in Malaysia, most Arabs don't live in Saudi Arabia. HenryFlower 18:02, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And the vast majority of Tamils don't live in Sri Lanka, but if the country is ever split, Tamils will "have a state", just as Kurds would have a state if northern Iraq ever becomes independent (though a majority of Kurds live in Turkey). As noted, no ethnic group has every single member in one state (except, I suppose, some micronations in the Pacific). Saudi Arabia is an Arab state, as is the U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain etc. etc. When the U.A.E. was established the following statement was released: "The United Arab Emirates has been established as an independent state, possessing sovereignty. It is part of the greater Arab nation." Later: "Among its give assistance and support to Arab causes and interests." Ethnicity is absolutely explicit here. Marskell 18:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Certainly 'no ethnic group has every single member in one state', which is why the whole ein Reich ein Volk idea is a little out of date. The fact that the UAE may have been set up to promote Arab causes means nothing to Arabs in Morocco- it's not their state. HenryFlower 20:08, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, this is silly. You're essentially abrogating the notion of an ethnic state, period. It may be 'a little out-of-date' in your mind and perhaps one day we'll reach the post-ethnic utopia. As it stands, ethnic nationalism is still capable of ripping countries apart and more mundanely ethno-linguistic identity remains foundational for a vast majority of the world's states. No mental gymanistics can change that fact. Marskell 08:49, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, the idea of states being based on one ethno-linguistic group is almost entirely restricted to western Europe. The 'vast majority of the world's states' in both Americas, Africa,the subcontinent and Oceania have no ethnic basis at all. HenryFlower 09:23, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Huh? Vietnam, Viet. Laos, Lao. China, Han. Japan, Japanese. Malaysia, Malay. Russia, Russian. Somalia, Somali. Kazakhstan, Kazakh.
There are broadly two categories of countries that do not follow the typical ethno-linguistic model. The (mainly former British) settler societies such as the United States and Canada which were not founded on an explicitly ethnic basis, and countries (particularly African) which had their borders determined for them and thus do not conform to tribal/ethnic boundaries. But note in the latter case ethnic identity remains a principal cause of conflict, i.e., if Africa were properly divided into tribal/ethnic based principalities as Europe is, it would be more stable. To use a European example, the problem with Yugoslavia was that it lacked an obvious ethnic base. Thus it imploded and what do we have now? A series of smaller ethnic-based states. Marskell 09:37, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that only one of your examples is in the areas I mention, you appear to be placing rather too much emphasis on a country's name, and very little emphasis on the relationship between the actual ethnic groups and the countries. HenryFlower 10:59, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
For accuracy's sake, I had the Factbook upon and running as I wrote the last post. All of the countries mentioned have an obvious majority of one ethnic group (i.e., the name is a proximate representation of the ultimate ethnic fact). To hit your examples: Brazil, Portugese. Pakistan, Punjap/Pushtan. Austalia, Anglo-White. Of course, we can debate the margins of this (is it accurate to call Brazil Porugese?) but I don't see the point as you seem to think ethnic states don't exist. Marskell 21:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
You've been through so many attempted definitions of an 'ethnic state' that it's hard to keep up, but to equate it with a majority of the population being of one ethnic group reduces it to triviality. Most Canadians are heterosexual, but that doesn't make Canada a 'heterosexual state'. HenryFlower 09:58, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
The English don't have their own state either, if we want to be like that. DJ Clayworth 15:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I would call Canada a heterosexual state. Perhaps a "passive" heterosexual state, given that it's de facto demographically rather than de jure. If Bush had gotten away with that silly amendment defining marriage in the U.S., we might call it an "active" heterosexual state (i.e., actively discriminating on behalf of the majority). Anyhow, this thread is enormous. I don't think I've shifted defs; again, you don't seem to think that any def works. Marskell 10:14, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Which highlights how difficult and political it can be to try and establish who is or isn't an "ethnic group" in the first place. One way to interpret this would be to say Kurds are the largest group of people who are calling themselves a coherent nation and are complaining that they do not have a state. --Fastfission 15:56, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Kurds are often mentioned in this context probably because they are politically oppressed. So it would likely have to be "the largest ethnic group that would very much like to have its own country and doesn't". The reason that they would like to have their own country is not so much that every ethnicity needs one, but that they are (or until recently were) an oppressed minority both in Turkey and in Iraq. --Chl 18:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

who wrote romeo and juliet[edit]

Bill Frist.

And by Frist we mean Dobson. --Bth 14:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Usually its attributed to William Shakespeare though. AllanHainey 15:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course, Shakespeare just ripped the story from West Side Story. --Kainaw (talk) 16:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, West Side Story was just a remake of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Chapuisat 18:51, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Shakespeare wrote it, basing it on an earlier story.

I thought it was Mark Knopfler. -- Slumgum | yap | stalk | 23:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, he wrote it when he was an Indigo Girl. -LambaJan 21:27, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


second person to solo the alantic

  • Amelia Earhart. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:41, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
    Actually, I'm not finding any evidence for (or directly against) this. Earhart's first solo flight of the Atlantic (see transatlantic flight) was 5 years after Lindberg's; it seems unlikely that none occurred in the interim. Of course, there is rarely as much interest in who is the second person to do something. — Lomn Talk 16:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Here is what looks like a reliable source claiming that Earhart was in fact only the second, despite that. (Presumably people were so uninterested in the second that no one bothered until they'd get to be the first [member of some category]?) --Bth 17:39, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Looks correct; on further searching, I also found this site noting Earhart's attempt was the first successful one after Lindbergh. — Lomn Talk 19:33, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
What was the first successful east to west crossing? User:Zoe|(talk) 23:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm tempted to tell you to read transatlantic flight ;-) but as I try always to be respectful, especially towards those who preceded me at the site, the answer is Dieudonne Costes and Joseph le Brix in either 1927 or 1930, depending on whether you accept a flight from West Africa to South America, or whether you want to wait for a European mainland to North American mainland flight. Jwrosenzweig 05:16, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

waitstaff edicate[edit]

I want to know when serving customers do you serve the food on thier right or left. when clearing a plate from the table do you clear from the left or right.

Thank you 15:36, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Serve on the left; clear from the right --LarryMac 15:47, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
It's etiquette by the way. Check out [20] for all your etiquette needs. Chapuisat 16:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I would think it would be more polite and practical to serve and clear from whichever position disturbed the patrons the least. For example, if two adjacent diners are talking, serve and clear from the outside of the pair, so as not to interrupt them. StuRat 09:21, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
That may work if you have a small group of diners with whom you are familiar and for whom you can clearly assess what is, indeed, convenient for them at the moment. Most etiquette systems attempt to avoid the need to make routine decisions based on what are often ambiguous criteria. By standardizing the serving and removal routine, service staff can act more efficiently and quickly while diners can know what to expect from the service. The fact that almost no-one continues to be familiar with formal rules of etiquette may cause curious responses by some diners but the routine remains quite valuable for those who tend to large numbers of people. Ande B 03:16, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Was Karl Marx part of the Enlightenment?[edit]

I've been reading the Wedge Document, which conflates Darwin, Marx and Freud. Darwin is one of the big names of the Enlightenment, but Marx? He was certainoly nontraditional and rebelled against old things, old ways, but there's something about Marxism that feels un-Englightenmenty to me. Is Marxism (and its descendants) just as much a product of the Enlightenment as American democracy? grendel|khan 17:36, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

"Enlightenment" is a very imprecise term to begin with. Historians of the 18th century don't generally like it anymore, and people who do the History of Philosophy seem to be the last ones still using it, and they do so more as a handle than as an actual classification of substance. However, I wouldn't have considered any of those figures part of the Enlightenment, which I have always heard of as being strictly the rationalist 18th century movement and empiricism. They were anti-metaphysical, generally, and anti-essential. However, by the 19th century, we're generally over into positivism and scientism. I.e. empiricism and rationalism have ossified into the assumed approach by then, and so they're no longer actively reactive and defining. Once a movement becomes the founding assumption of an age, it's not really a movement anymore -- it's not ideologically active. Freud, of course, is anti-empiricist, in the end, despite coming from medicine and blending in vague anthropology (of the Golden Bough sort), and Marx is an anti-rationalist reaction against Hegel, as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were. Darwin is strictly scientific. (I'm pretty sure I'm not helping, so I'll stop now.) Geogre 19:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, depends on how you use the term "enlightenment". I'd say that Marx was very much in the enlightenment tradition. Marx was pro-science, anti-tradition, pro equality, anti-colonialism, anti-slavery and so on. Certainly Marx had a lot of sympathy for the American Revolution. In light of what's been done in Marx' name, and given that the basic tenents of classical liberalism are taken for granted, it's easy to forget how many controversial issues (in that day) Marx was on the right side of the fence about. Bertrand Russell characterized Marx as a liberal who merely had a different position regarding property rights. Popper did make a good argument that Marxism is totalitarian by nature though, since it's what he calls "historicist". I wouldn't say it's totalitarian by design, though. --BluePlatypus 22:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Marx is in the Enlightenment tradition, I agree. All three are. My point was that "the Enlightenment" is a term that is now not favored, as it implies that there was darkness before and that there is a superiority otherwise to its thought. Additionally, what seems to have been meant by the term was an endeavor across the board to rely on empiricism over introspection, induction over deduction, and to be sure that all reasoning is checked by appeals to nature. It is anti-revelatory and anti-essential. That was fairly revolutionary and controversial in the 18th century, but by the 19th century it's the normal modus operandi. By the time of the earliest of these figures, Kant and Locke are assumed, and they've moved on to other systems that are now no longer attempting to "enlighten" but rather are using a system as an assumed position. Positivism, utilitarianism, and scientism are all well beyond the claims of Enlightenment thinkers. (Remember that Locke still has a soul or inner essence for apprehension. Kant does, too. Scientism says that any thing like that is speculative and non-germane.) Because "enlightenment" succeeds, it is succeeded by other movements, movements that are in the tradition of the Enlightenment but which are developments on it and new positions that the classic Enlightenment thinkers would not have accepted. David Hume leads to utilitarianism, but he isn't a utilitarian. Geogre 15:04, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I would argue that neither Darwin, Freud, nor Marx were Enlightenment figures -- each of them came over 100 years after the heyday of the Enlightenment, for one thing (notice that neither are mentioned in our article on the Enlightenment, for another). They are generally taken as the hallmark figures of Modernity, which is itself semi-derived from the Enlightenment but also is quite a bit different. I don't agree with the assessment of Freud as anti-empiricist (it is fairly clear from his work that he aspired to empiricism but simply did not think knowledge of psychology had reached a point at which it could achieved). Marx is certainly not an Enlightenment figure (Hegel is an Enlightenment figure, and though Marx obviously took a lot from Hegel, the elements which he changes make him "modern" in my view -- exchanging the conditions of production for the Geist is the ultimate "modern" move). Darwin is more ambiguous, though if I were pressed I would say that his efforts to take what was previously conceived as a divine plan and turn it into a set of irrational and chance occurances, where success comes only with massive casualties, is something one would not generally characterize as Enlightenment thought.
One of the dangers here is that exactly what constitutes the "Enlightenment tradition" is almost as arbitrary as what constitutes "Modernity". So clearly I'm using one set of definitions for what is "modern" and what is "Enlightenment," but hopefully the criteria I find compelling will be somewhat obvious from the above description. But I think that most works put all three of these characters firmly in the tradition of "Modernity" (if not major figures leading into it), and not among Enlightenment figures (like Hegel, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, etc.). --Fastfission 00:15, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

term lengths[edit]

hey guys

a few friends and i were just shooting the breeze the other day, about politics and such, when one suggested a two-term limit not just for the [US] president and vp, but for senators and house representatives as well. this intrigued me. what are the pros and cons of such a suggestion? other than, of course, that legislation like that would never be passed in any conceivable congress. thanks.

Term limits were part of the 1994 Contract with America, but politicians have a habit of weaseling out of these things. grendel|khan 17:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
See term limit for information about pro/con arguments. --Kainaw (talk) 17:51, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The state of Washington attempted on its own to put term limits on its Congressional representatives, but I think it was overturned as an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of Congress to control its own membership rules. User:Zoe|(talk) 23:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
  • It wasn't about Congress controlling its own membership rules. It was that the Constitution establishes the qualifications for congressional candidates: age, citizenship, and residency in the state. "A state may not diminish its voters' constitutional freedom of choice by making would-be candidates for Congress ineligible on the basis of incumbency or history of congressional service". --jpgordon∇∆∇∆

I'd much rather see them match their incomes to the mode income of the country. -LambaJan 21:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

un monde sans danger (code lyoko)[edit]

what are the words to the song?

I found them here -- third item on Googling the title. --Halcatalyst 20:50, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Quitting from the United Nations[edit]

Is it possible for the United States to quit the United Nations? I mean, the UN is so integrated into the US... Just wondering. --Kasimov 23:26, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Sure it's possible. They could move the UN HQ somewhere else if they wanted to, I imagine. --Fastfission 00:17, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The location of the UN headquarters is not the issue. The building has to be somewhere. The USA disregards the UN whenever it suits them, so they may as well not be members anyway. JackofOz 00:58, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Clarification: That wasn't meant to sound malicious and I apologise if that's what came through. But really, how many billions of $$ do they still owe the UN? And how was the invasion of Iraq (in which my country is shamefully involved) in accordance with any UN resolution? It's undeniable the USA has consistently breached them. They're not the only country, but the USA has a greater influence within the UN than other countries.[citation needed] So, when the leading UN member country takes a war-like and belligerent position towards another UN member country, and proceeds to attack that country and kill thousands of its citizens, and lies to justify its action, what happens is that this is profoundly offensive to the central, core value and purpose of the organisation - peace. All people and all nations have competing desires. If your desire for war is greater than your desire for peace, grievously wounding the peace organisation you founded will not be too high a price to pay. But if you truly desired peace, you would always practise peace, not its opposite. When you said "There is always a better way than war", you would mean "always". (Oops. Time to chill out, Jack. Must be full moon.). Safe weekend, everyone. :-) JackofOz 14:05, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Where do you get the idea that "the USA has a greater influence within the UN than other countries"??? AnonMoos 20:12, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Err... I hold this truth to be self-evident. :-) JackofOz 03:02, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind, JackofOz, but I've substed your "citation needed" there; having the Ref Desk in Category:Articles with unsourced statements seemed a bit strange. --Bth 08:25, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I just supplied the comment. Others have been adding and removing things. JackofOz 10:15, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
If you meant "greater interest than *most* other countries", that's certainly true. The USA enjoys a permanent veto in the Security Council. However this is shared by four other countries. Jon.baldwin 22:33, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. How about "the USA is one of the most influential/powerful UN member countries"? My argument still holds. JackofOz 03:04, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I saw a sign by the road on a farm that said 'get the US out of the UN! -The John Birch Society'. My views are more similar to Jackof Oz's. It's amazing the things going on today... -LambaJan 21:20, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

April 13[edit]

Mansa Musa[edit]

Mansa Musa went on hajj because he accidentally killed his mother. How did he kill his mother? I have already looked at the Mansa Musa article.. --aznshorty67 00:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm having trouble finding anything about this anywhere online. What's your original source for the fact that he killed his mother? I'll have a look in some offline sources when I can. --Bth 10:59, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Looking at Talk:Mansa Musa, a sentence about it being because he dropped a knife on her leg has been removed as unverified. Getting a source for this is going on my to do list now. --Bth 08:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

2 questions that only USA citisens can answer(and please answer).[edit]

1.If im on vacation in USA and my girl give a birth to a baby(even tho we are both foreigns),then that baby is automaticly American,is that right?

2.I have to call my friend in Brooklyn,and I have this number 1917 4980 5..(i left out 2 numbers and put .. 2 dots so no one can call it).So I have that number,is that cell or house number,and how do I call it from Serbia,what the area call for Brooklyn in New York?

If you could please help me,it would be of GREAT help to me,so please answer me if anyones know the answers.Thank you very muchDzoni 02:52, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

  • just a minor point, 917 is a manhattan area code, but it's the default for cells, so you can have it pretty much anywhere in the city, trust me, I get wrong numbers from virtually every borough, and I'm a 917. Now supposing you're in ny, and you're using a payphone, you'll need to dial 1-917-etc... of course the payphones don't work here for the most part, so good luck with that. also, assuming you're flying into an international airport you'll need someway to get to brooklyn, assuming you're going to be staying there, so finding the number of a car service that can take you from JFK/La Guardia/Newark, whatever.. to wherever you're going. A lot of people don't realize that outside of manhattan you can't just walk out and hail a city cab, unless you're really lucky-- 21:52, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Anyone born in the United States or its territories is a U.S. citizen, regardless of his or her parents' nationality. For more information, see Wikipedia's article on U.S. citizenship. I can't answer your second question because I don't ever make international calls. Sorry. --TantalumTelluride 03:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
except that the children of foreign diplomats credentialed to the U.S., or of foreign heads of state are generally not U.S. citizens even though born in U.S. territory...[21] as for #2: "917" is one of the area codes for New York City, and it's already included in the number. If your friend's number (as given out to Americans is 1-(917)-498-5000: the "1" is the National Direct Dialing prefix (though most American's don't know that), and "917" is the area code. To dial it from Siberia you dial: a) the international direct dialing number for Siberia (I think this is "8", waith for the long tone, then dial "10") b) dial the country code for the U.S. ("+1"), then b) "9174985000". (You may want to check with a Siberian operator to be sure). There is no way you can tell for certain from the telephone number whether the phone is a cell phone or a house number, but New York City's 917's tend to be cell phones and pagers (but some Manhattan home lines are 917). - Nunh-huh 03:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
According to this site, the prefix 498 in area code 917 belongs to a PCS carrier somewhere in lower Manhattan, i.e. a mobile phone of some type. --LarryMac 22:54, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Following up on my own response, it occurred to me while driving the other day (don't ask why), that with Number portability, it is probably no longer possible to determine what company owns a given number. So I'll amend my previous response and say: the prefix 498 was assigned to a mobile phone company, but it can not be stated for sure if any particular number in that exchange still belongs to them. --LarryMac 15:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, first you need an IDD (International Direct Dialling) Prefix, which is a code to dial out of the country you are in. For Serbia and Montenegro it's 99. Then you need to dial the country code of the country you want to call. For the USA this is 1. I'm pretty sure the number you have is a mobile number, so you don't need an area code, but you do have to take the "1" off the beginning as this is the NDD prefix which you don't need because you're calling from overseas. So, the number you need to dial is: 99 1 917 4980 5** (where * are the numbers you missed out). By the way, I'm not a US citizen, but I know how international dialling works. --Canley 03:39, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh yes, it would be nice if I had read more carefully. "Serbia" not "Siberia". My bad. - Nunh-huh 03:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
as for the phone number, in the USA, mobile and home telephone numbers are not distinguished as far as the calling party is concerned (with a few exceptions, such as many US mobile companies offer free calling to other customers of the same company). --WhiteDragon 21:31, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you all very much,its been very helpfull,I will try to call him later today and I will then come over here and tell you how it went,if I get it.

p.s.ITs good to know that all i have to do is o take my woman on a vacation to USA and if she give a birth there ,then my son will be an American citizen,thats a great policy.Thank you one more time,and I will tell you if that thing Canley said was right,because I cant call him now,because it a night now in America,so I will call him later.Dzoni 06:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

How do you know it's going to be a son? Just remember that the (1) the people at the airport don't have to let you in, and might not, if they suspect the reason for the visit (2) American medical care is very expensive and don't assume travel insurance would cover a deliberate act (3)it is not recommended to fly in the late stages of pregnancy and airlines may refuse to carry a woman more than 35 weeks pregnant [22]. Notinasnaid 09:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I actually have the precise answer to your question. But I'm not a USA citizen so I guess I'm not allowed to answer. Loomis51 01:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

skeptics and debunkers[edit]

To the enlightened answerers, skeptics are very good at proving paranormal claimants to be fakes and charlatans but do you know of any guru, healer, psychic,or even conspiracy theory to have passed a serious scientific/skeptic test? thanx

Take a look at James Randi Educational Foundation. —Keenan Pepper 07:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the Buddhist monks claim to be able to control their own pain with their minds is fairly well established. This is similar, but more dramatic, than biofeedback. When they set themselves on fire and burn to death as a form of protest, while sitting in a meditative position, that's fairly dramatic evidence that it works. I suppose they could have taken some serious pain killer beforehand, but I doubt that they do. StuRat 09:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the problem here is that once something has passed scientific testing, it is no longer part of the paranormal domain but considered scientific even though it may have initially been considered "paranormal", nonsense, heretical or whatever - which means that there are certainly such events as you describe, but we don't view them as such because we don't see "a paranormal healer being successfully tested by scientists" but "a scientific theory that was considered nonsense 100 years ago". Not too long ago, serious scientists considered the belief in meteors an absurd superstition because the sky is endless and it is imposible that rocks can suddenly come falling from nowhere which goes to show that superstitions or "paranormal" beliefs can very well become part of accepted scientific theory (I don't know of any such events in the last couple of decades, however, which you were probably mainly interested in).
The same holds true, incidentally, for conspiracy theories: while there is an abundance of strange theories about the Illuminati, the Templars etc. which are not taken seriously by anyone, the history of the Mafia is in certain respects very similar to what is generally told about the Illuminati conspiracy; however, since everybody accepts the existence of the Mafia as a fact, it is not viewed as a "conspiracy theory" but as something factual and historical. -- Ferkelparade π 09:47, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Good Friday and Easter[edit]

Is there a difference between Good Friday and Easter? If so, could you Explain?

Good Friday is one day in the series of feast days that make up Easter. Traditionally, Easter is a remembrance of the last days of Jesus, starting with Jesus's coming to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (the sunday before Easter) and continuing with his betrayal and capture on Maundy Thursday, his crucifixion and death on Good Friday, his three days of being buried, and his rise from the dead on Easter Monday -- Ferkelparade π 10:41, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
(After edit conflict) Oh good, you've had a sensible answer, now I can give my flippant one: Good Friday is when you eat hot cross buns and Easter is when you eat chocolate eggs. --Bth 10:46, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. Good Friday is in rememberance of the crucifixion of Christ, while Easter is a celebration of his resurrection. Easter is often used as a wider term for the season, see Eastertide. --Eivindt@c 10:49, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
He is believed to have risen on the Sunday, not the Monday. It was the linguistic tradition to count the starting point as the first day. Saturday was counted as the second day after his crucifixion, and Sunday as the third day.
In religious terms Easter is Easter Sunday only (despite the previous day being called Easter Saturday). In popular usage, Easter means the whole long weekend Friday-Monday. And if hot cross buns are any guide, to the commercial world Easter starts in late December!. JackofOz 12:11, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
In the Bible book of Matthew, it tells us that Jesus had his last meal on the night of Passover which this year occured on April 12th. The date on the corresponds to the Jewish Calender date Nisan 14 and therefore falls on a different day every year (usually). The celebration of Jesus' resurrection is celebrated (in most Christian religions) on Sunday because that's is when everyone goes to church. Some however find it more pleasing to God to remember and/or celebrate on the actual day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses). schyler 12:45, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
What Schyler wrote above is very much a minority view. The majority view (a huge majority) is that Jesus rose on the Sunday. And Schyler has it the wrong way round - most people go to church on Sunday because Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the dead. DJ Clayworth 13:41, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Keeping the 7th day as the Sabbath comes from the Ten Commandments, which were handed down to Moses on Mt Sinai thousands of years before Jesus. The text goes: "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. You can work during the six weekdays and do all your tasks. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God your Lord. Do not do anything that constitutes work. [This includes] you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maid, your animal, and the foreigner in your gates. It was during the six weekdays that God made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. God therefore blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." While the Jewish Sabbath was Saturday, the Christian Sabbath has always been Sunday (probably for the reason DJ Clayworth mentioned). Which means the Christian week starts on Monday. Which is funny since they also traditionally regarded Sunday as the most important day and Sunday was generally used as the start of the week in month-by-month calendars. No wonder we're all confused. JackofOz 15:19, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Who says that the Christian week starts on Monday? The week always starts on Sunday here, the work week may start on Monday though. Rmhermen 15:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Not quite - it's a little more complex. Early Christians (Jewish Christians) kept the sabbath on Saturday, as did the Jews. At some point, early Christians began to worship on the Sunday as well, and about 365 made a decision to keep Sunday as the Sabbath, probably to distinguish themselves from Jews. Sabbath has more on this. For great justice. 15:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Unless "sabbath" has acquired a looser meaning than that given to Moses by God Himself, the sabbath is the 7th and last day of the week. If Christians say that Sunday is the sabbath, the direct consequence is that the week cannot continue to start on Sunday. It must now start on Monday. If you want the week to start on Sunday, your sabbath must be Saturday. Christianity has a bet each way. JackofOz 02:15, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm just telling what it says in the Bible. I think it's the 25 chapter (of mathew as I said before but is most likely in any of the 4 gospels) or around there. It is also recorded history that Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14. The jewish calender is still in use to this day, so we do know the exact date. Although DJ is correct as it being a minority view, it is the cold hard truth: most Christians celebrate Jesus' crucifixtion and resurrection a little late. Sorry. schyler 21:05, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The references you are looking for are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20. All of which say "the first day of the week". Why would that be anything other than Sunday? DJ Clayworth 23:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Another difference with noting is that Good Friday is an entirely Christian celebration - Easter takes many of its "Christian" traditions from pagan spring festivals dedicated to the goddess Eostre. Which is why Good Friday is celebrated with things related to the cross (such as hot cross buns), whereas Easter is celebrated with those good old fertility symbols, the rabbit and the egg. Grutness...wha? 01:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


There is a site I can not locate that describes "today's college freshman" in terms of what technologies they were born into. It draws the contrast of the rest of us against these current 18 year-old kids and what they have experienced versus we old folks.

It is a funny bit that is updated each year but I have lost the site reference.

Many thanks.

Mac Wall

You might be thinking of the Beloit College Mindset List. --Halcatalyst 15:02, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Virginia flag[edit]

Can you help me find out who designed the Virginia flag and why this design was adopted? thanks

Sounds like homework to me, but the Flag of Virginia consists of the state seal on a blue background. Seal of Virginia should go into detail on who designed the seal. schyler 20:58, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
this is another good place to check. Grutness...wha? 01:58, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

miss world 96 nude music question[edit]

what is the name of the remix (or the name or author) of the Michael Zeguer band "Lets all chant" that are on this game?? I found 2 remixes of this music but those remix didn't are the remix tha are on the game.

April 14[edit]

Chinese Chicken God[edit]

A story that traces the origins of General Tso's chicken to the divine intervention of a Chinese chicken god has found its way into that article. I'm pretty certain that's completely bogus, but I'd appreciate it if others would look in and see if they agree (and if so, edit accordingly!) - Nunh-huh 00:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

You are correct. General Tso (Zuo Zongtang) did not fight the Mongol Hordes a the Great Wall, as the story suggests. He put down three major rebellions: the Taiping, the Nian, and the Muslims. Also, there is no Chicken God in popular Chinese Culture. The closest you could get is what some refer to as Land Gods (the spirits of beings who died on an area of ground and stay to protect it). For the past thousand years or so, Land Gods have been considered about as real as Americans consider Santa Claus. I would suggest deleting the thing all together. Every study on the dish goes back to New York in the 1970's, not ancient China. --Kainaw (talk) 01:45, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah I've always thought that this was just an example of the differences (or rather what I've heard of the differences) between Chinese food in China and stylized Chinese food in the US. -Snpoj 01:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Real Chinese food is very different from American-Chinese food. When in China, I found it very hard to stomach the food - not just because it looked weird. It was difficult to chew and everything had a greasy taste to me. I ate a lot of noodles (especially the peanut noodles) and luckily found a place that sold ginger steak. Contrary to popular American belief, there was almost no rice. There is some in Beijing, but it is mainly a southern China thing. Now, I have trouble finding ginger steak with peanut noodles in the US. --Kainaw (talk) 12:42, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Black Pirates[edit]

Where their any famouse African American Pirates

A quick googling brings up a National Geographic article on [23] John Julien as the first result. I'm sure there were many, many more. GeeJo (t) (c)  02:23, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
It's also a question of whether you mean "formerly enslaved Africans" or "dark skinned people" or "Africans." If the last two, then the answer is an emphatic yes. The Barbary pirates, the Corsairs, and various North African pirates were huge up to the 18th century. In the Roman era, pirates and North Africa were synonymous. There were West African pirates, as well. Piracy was a thing that nearly every coastal country has engaged in at one point or another. Geogre 03:05, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
And piracy hasn't disappeared off the African coasts, to be sure. Marskell 10:16, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, Blackbeard indicates that Teach had about half his crew comprised of negroes, so even in the "golden age of piracy," there were formerly enslaved Africans who were pirates, even if they weren't pirate captains. Geogre 14:25, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Jute Mill[edit]

I am writing a book on Jute Industry. As record goes first jute mill was established by George Auckland in 1986 at Calcutta , India and notMagaret Donnelly I. Please correct it. Subimal Palit

Magaret Donnelly I, was a jute mill landowner in Dundee in the 1800's. She set up the first jute mills in India. In the 50's and 60's when nylon and polythene were rarely used; The United Pakistan (then the world leader in Jute products) was earning money through Jute of East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh. It was called The Golden Fibre of Bangladesh, when it used to bring major portion of the foreign currency reserve for Bangladesh.

Everyone is welcome to edit Wikipedia. You can go ahead and make whatever desired changes that are necessary. Be bold! Isopropyl 04:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

russian revolution[edit]


i want some info about the results of the russian revolution of 1917on the world and on russia. in ur article on the revolution of 1917 the results on the world subheading was rather un informative and kind of irrelavent i hope 2 hear from u soon

Mostly I suggest you try the individual history articles for the various nations, for example History of Germany will lead you to Weimar_Republic#Controlled_revolution:_the_establishment_of_the_Republic_(1918–1919). You might also find History of socialism helpful.-gadfium 05:46, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
but i was lookin 4 somethin a mbit direct like an answer or a link to a webpage??

but thankx gadfium--Mi2n 05:57, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


I want to compare 2 countries (Vietnam and Indonesia), economic, and socio-political background using harvard referencing, but i cannot rephrase the material, also I cannot find enough material on the topic. help please

Harvard Referencing is a kind of source referencing system, not a comparative tool - There are quite litterally boat loads of information on Vietnam and Indonesia, I'm not sure what you mean by not being able to re-phrase. If this is an assignment, post the whole thing here, and, while we won't do it for you, we can help point you in the right direction. Your local library (depending on where you live, of course) may also be able to help. For great justice. 16:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Largest ethnic group who is not a majority in any country[edit]

What is the largest (most population) ethnic group who is not a majority in any country? Ohanian 15:22, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

This was actually just brought up two days ago. It appears to be the Tamils. Marskell 15:28, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
It depends very much on your definition of an ethnic group. Our list of ethnic groups includes not only Tamils (70-odd million), but also the much broader Dravidian people, of whom there are about 300 million. HenryFlower 15:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
IMO the Dravidians as a group would be of the same class as Indo-Europeans. An ethnic "family", rather than a specific ethnic group per se. But the point does hold--if you expand the ethnic def you get orders of magnititude greater numbers. Marskell 20:56, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Males. There's almost three billion of us but we still aren't the majority in any country that I know of. Loomis51 05:26, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The Vatican City is almost certainly a male majority. — Lomn Talk 15:23, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

True. I hadn't thought of that. I stand corrected. Loomis51 01:40, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Discovery of America[edit]

Why is Christopher Columbus still often credited with the discovery of the Americas? Everyone knows that the natives discovered America more than ten thousand years before Columbus visited it. Columbus wasn't even the first European to visit America--that was the Vikings in 1000. --Bowlhover 18:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The Europeans don't consider the Vikings to be Europeaners. Also, if you aren't European, you don't count in European history. So, by ruling everyone else out, Columbus is the first to discover America. --Kainaw (talk) 18:55, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually the Europeans do consider Vikings to be Europeans, but there's no concrete verifiable evidence that the Norse had any kind of settlement south of Newfoundland in America, and their only long-term settlement near the area was in Greenland. So while the Norse did visit parts of North America, they didn't really capitalize on this discovery themselves, nor did they communicate the discovery to other Europeans in a way that would have made its significance clear. Columbus inaugurated the era of intensive New World / Old World contact, not really the Norse. AnonMoos 20:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
What? Of course Scandinavians are European and always have been. And AnonMoos is wrong too, there's both written sources and archeological evidence (e.g. L'Anse aux Meadows) of Nordic presence on Newfoundland. It was not a lack of communication of the fact either. It was simply that the other Europeans didn't care much for it; Neither Iceland nor Greenland were visited much by other Europeans either, although noone claims they didn't know about those places. The Scandinavians didn't 'forget' about it either, although like other Europeans, they didn't care much about it until Columbus came along. But after Columbus, Christian II of Denmark considered recolonizing Vinland, which shows that they hadn't forgot about it. Nothing came of those plans though. --BluePlatypus 21:35, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I said south of Newfoundland. And some non-Scandinavians were aware of Norse voyages -- but they didn't really meaningfully understand their potential significance, because the Norse themselves hadn't. AnonMoos 22:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Columbus did discover America. The fact that someone else had discovered it earlier is neither here nor there. I have in my time discovered many pleasures, facts and ideas, but I don't claim to have been the first to do so. HenryFlower 19:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but if you say "A discovered America", you usually mean that A was the first to discover America. You don't pick any random person who happened to discover something, and say "this person discovered X". --Bowlhover 22:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
That, sir, is nonsense. "Discover" can mean "discover first", but since no-one believes that Columbus was the first to discover America, no-one who says that Columbus discovered America is using the word in that sense. HenryFlower 00:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Out of the many people who discovered America, why do some people specifically credit Christopher Columbus? --Bowlhover 02:52, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
See Anonmoos's answer below. HenryFlower 10:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
The other problem with this statement is that Columbus might be said to be the European discoverer of the Americas, but he never set foot on or even saw any land that is now the United States of America. He was in Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and lots of other places, but never in the USA as such. JackofOz 00:15, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Kainaw: You can't rule everybody but Columbus out. Whoever (first) discovered America should receive the credit for it, and Columbus definitely wasn't the first to discover America. That was the natives. --Bowlhover 22:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
So far as I am aware, no-one in the history of human existence has ever claimed that Columbus was the first to discover America. HenryFlower 00:53, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Then, with respect, your awareness is about to be increased. It's not a claim that is generally made these days because it is patently false (just like Captain Cook being the "discoverer" of Australia), but within my memory it certainly used to be the "received wisdom". JackofOz 01:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe that for a moment. Are you seriously saying that people did not know of the existence of native Americans? I'd need a very good source to be persuaded of that. HenryFlower 10:03, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course they did. And there's the paradox. We were taught that Columbus discovered America and Cook discovered Australia and Tasman discovered New Zealand, while also being taught that these and other explorers discovered native peoples already there. The unspoken text was that anonymous natives and indeed anybody who wasn't European didn't count because they weren't really considered human beings. This attitude was quite consistent, in Australia's case, with terra nullius and with aborigines not even being counted in the National Census until after 1967 (!!). JackofOz 02:58, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Rather than quibbling about the exact semantics of the word "discovered", it might be more useful to focus on the fact pointed out by me above and Gadfium below: That Columbus' voyage was the one which inaugurated the era of intensive New World / Old World contact. AnonMoos 03:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The difference between Columbus and the Vikings is that after the Vikings discovered America, Europeans forgot about it, whereas Columbus started a wave of explorers and settlers that didn't stop.-gadfium 20:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

The first, rather sardonic, answer seems to me the right one: "if you aren't European, you don't count in European history." Or at least you didn't for a number of centuries. That Colombus was credited with being the first to discover America is as obvious as the nose on my face (or else virtually every source talking about it now wouldn't be going to great lengths to disprove the shibboleth) but this was based on a rationale in which to be non-European was, in a sense, to lack humanity. A similar example is terra nullius--the British defining Australia as "empty land" when it was nothing of the sort. Finally, bear in mind that comparative linguistics and evolutionary theory arrived three or four centuries after Colombus. Europeans of the time wouldn't have had any way of verifying whether or not Natives dropped from the sky or appeared out of the mud one day, let alone that they crossed the Bering Strait to discover America. The theory then was everybody scattered after the Tower of Wikipedia, excuse me, Tower of Babel, fell... Marskell 16:28, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Nixon impeachment vote[edit]

As the story goes, the Judiciary Committee recommended three articles of impeachment to the full House. Nixon saw that he would lose the House and Senate votes, so he resigned from office before the ax fell. Question: was there anything like a whip count for the House vote, or is there any other reasonably accurate count available? Same question for the Senate vote. Phr 18:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't think it ever got that far. has a good chronology. After the Judiciary Committee voted the three articles of impeachment, the Smoking Gun transcripts were released, and the Republican committee members who'd voted against the impeachment articles said they would change their votes; this made it clear that Nixon didn't have a chance before neither the full House nor the Senate, and he resigned three days later. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 19:08, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Daniel Webster address to a jury[edit]

Can you locate a speech by d. Webster beginning, "There is a creature in the world that has stalked man since the time he was born. Sometimes it ears a voice of gladness and a smile..."

A minute of Googling doesn't find any phrases from that due to Webster. "Gladness and a smile" is from William Cullens Bryant's poem "Thanatopsys". Phr 21:28, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
There are some Daniel Webster speeches on Wikisource at S:Author:Daniel Webster, I don't know if we've got that one though. AllanHainey 11:50, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Jury Address by Daniel Webster[edit]

Can you help me locate a speech given by Daniel Webster beginning, "There is a creature in the world that has stalked man since the time he was born. Sometimes it wears a voice of gladness and a smile...."

The serpent that drips venom on Loki[edit]

In Norse mythology, Loki was chained to a rock with a serpent dripping venom on him for the murder of the god Balder and his following actions; his wife Sigyn would catch the venom in a bowl. Does that serpent have a name anywhere? --Aquillion 23:55, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't seem like it. Here is the relevant section of the Lokasenna: "Skaði tók eitrorm ok festi upp yfir annlit Loka. Draup þar ór eitr. Sigyn, kona Loka, sat þar ok helt munnlaug undir eitrið. En er munnlaugin var full, bar hon út eitrið, en meðan draup eitrit á Loka. Þá kippðist hann svá hart við, at þaðan af skalf jörð öll. Þat eru nú kallaðir landsskjálftar". In WH Auden's translation, this comes out as: "Skadi took a poisonous snake and hung it up over the face of Loki; the poison dropped down. Sigyn, Loki's wife, sat there and held a bowl under the poison, and when the bowl was full she carried it off; but, meanwhile, the poison dropped on Loki. Then he struggled so hard that all the earth trembled. We call that now an earthquake". All of the proper nouns in the original Norse passage are accounted for - Skadi, Loki and Sigyn. None of the results for a search on skadi serpent give the serpent a name. Natgoo 10:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Per the above, it depends on your interpretation of the word "eitrorm". "Orm" means snake, but eitr has quite a few meanings (see the article). Although "poisonous snake" is probably the best translation, but you could probably use "adder" if you wanted to be more poetic. "atter" (poison) is also a (now archaic) cognate. --BluePlatypus 19:43, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
One has to wonder why Sigyn didn't just move the snake out of the way. :) User:Zoe|(talk) 20:49, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

April 15[edit]

Population Projections[edit]

Is there anywhere I can find population projections for the next 50 years in the United States for each state? I seem to remember seeing something in USA Today several months ago on this, but I'm not sure. Can anyone help?


--Shadarian 03:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The US Census Bureau publishes projections up to 2025 - not quite 50 years, but they also advertise publication no. P25-1130 which projects demographic data to 2050 (the link to the pdf is broken, but you can order a copy). Natgoo 11:40, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
    • There are some way cool demographic charts on that site! Thanks. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:52, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I have recently found online a PDF document projecting the population of the Earth, in detail, up to the year 2300... a lot of reading, but most of it can be summed up with the words 'we do not have any idea' --Ouro 16:03, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Andy Warhol's Blow Job[edit]

Who is the subject of Andy Warhol's film Blow Job? Andy Warhol (the article) says that it is someone named David Pelman; Blow Job (film) and IMDb say that it is someone named Tom Baker. Which is true? zafiroblue05 | Talk 05:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I would venture that you've stumbled upon a piece of hooey. My guess is that David Pelman and all references to it are schoolboy pranks. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Yep, it was someone called Tom Baker. I've fixed the Warhol article. DJ Clayworth 18:28, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, it was American actor Tom Baker, not Britsh actor Tom "Dr. Who" Baker. Another Tom Baker who died in the 80s. Then, when it hit the news that "actor Tom Baker died", everyone said, "Oh my god! Dr. Who is dead!" Then, some reporter decided it would be a good idea to call the British Tom Baker and ask him if he died of a drug overdose. His replied that he didn't know and the reporter asked about the details and he replied in a rather Dr. Who-like way: "You'll have to excuse me, but I was rather drunk at the time." --Kainaw (talk) 01:13, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
As a piece of basically useless trivia, the American Tom Baker was a friend of Kinky Friedman and Baker (as a character) bobs up in Kinky's books every now and again. --Roisterer 06:00, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Thottekat family of kerala[edit]

Hi, could you help me to trace the history of the Thottekat family of Kerala.It is an old Nair family who settled in Ernakulam about approx 8-9 generations back.

  • It is very unlikely that someone here would know about it. You may post a message at Talk:Nair and see if any visitors to that page responds. Tintin (talk) 15:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Vietnam and Indonesia[edit]

I have to "Compare & contrast Vietnam and Indonesia on their economic, and socio-political background;legal frameworks;national cultures and strategies to manage the diversity in their workforces" and use harvard referencing, but i need complete info to properly reference it in my assignment. e.g., author, date etc

See Wikipedia, Citing Wikipedia, (as of April 15, 2006, 13:04 GMT).
David Sneek 13:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Bear in mind, however, that anything you find in Wikipedia may have been made up. Since this seems to be a proper academic assignment, you would do much better to find some dead tree sources. If you are lucky, our articles will cite their own sources, which you should then consult directly. HenryFlower 13:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


Two disparate questions relating to our Sinophobia page, which I'd like to expand.

First, can anyone source the following quote from Samuel Gompers: "...[t]he superior whites had to exclude the inferior Asiatics, by law, or, if necessary, by force of arms." It's repeated in at least three places but isn't sourced in any of them.

The second question is a little more general. One difficult question on the page is deciding whether Taiwanese independence movements/protests should be called Sinophobic. We have this on the independence movement page:

"...Taiwan independence as a nationalist movement. This is the opinion, historically, put forward...which argue that the ROC under Kuomintang has been in the past a "foreign regime" forcibly imposed on Taiwan. Since the 1990s, supporters of Taiwan independence no longer actively make this argument. Instead, the argument has been that in order to survive against the growing power of the PRC, Taiwan must view itself as a separate and distinct entity from "China". This involves removing the name of China from official and unofficial items in Taiwan, rewriting history books to focus exclusively on Taiwan as a central entity, promoting the use of the Taiwanese language, reducing economic links with the PRC, and in general thinking of Taiwan as a separate entity from any notion of China.

Can anyone point me to sources (ideally free, on-line, scholarly ones ;) supporting these statements. Marskell 16:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I would think that calling Taiwanese independence movements/protests Sinophobic would be a bit silly. To me, the word "Sinophobic" should apply to those who are anti-Chinese in the broad ethnic sense of the term, not in the narrow PROC sense. For example I would even call a person Sinophobic if they were prejudiced against American-born Chinese-Americans. Sinophobia is a form of ethnic discrimination, not political. The closest parallel I can think of would be if in the 1980's a West-German would be called anti-German for his or her involvement in movements/protests against the totalitarian communist East-German regime, or if a South-Korean would be called anti-Korean for similar attitudes towards North-Korea. Granted, the analogy is not perfect as Taiwan is tiny in comparison to the PROC as well as the fact that Taiwan is not universally recognized as an independent state, but that's the best I can think of at the moment.
Another problem is that calling Taiwanese nationalists Sinophobic would lead to very odd results. As is mentioned on the Sinophobia page, ethnic Chinese live in a variety of countries, and those who hold racist views towards the Chinese make no ethnic distinction between people originating from PROC or ROC. So let's say, a Taiwanese national who advocates the independence of Taiwan immigrates to the United States. If that person were the target of anti-Chinese bigotry, he or she would be simultaneously considered a Sinophobe AND the target of Sinophobia. This is absurd.
One last thing. I must say I take issue with the relabelling of bigots and racists as "phobics" (as in Sinophobia, Homophobia). These people are ignorant, inhuman and hateful people. Referring to them as "phobics" implies that they "fear" the target of their bigotry and racism, phobia being a clinical, involuntary and blameless reaction to a certain object, person or circumstance. This is an unwarranted euphemism. These people are anti-Chinese bigots plain and simple. Loomis51 22:48, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
If you dig deeper, usually fear lies at the root of anger and hatred and bigotry. JackofOz 02:42, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Loomis, your concerns are noted on the page and its talk. In fact I wrote most of it. However, we still need to tackle Taiwan if only to properly point out why it's not Sinophobia and what it is exactly when Taiwanese place scarves over their mouth with China scrawled on it. American settlers considered themselves British for a century-and-a-half, but that changed eventually...
Regarding the use of -phobic: it does indeed imply fear, but when affixed to ethnic labels it readily implies a bigotry. Having read 250 year-old primary sources on Francophobia, I can tell you its not a new pattern. And yes "fear lies at the root of anger and hatred and bigotry" to quote Yoda, er, JackofOz ;).
Anyhow, any refs anybody? Marskell 05:12, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

African-American names[edit]

Why do African-American people give their children (girls in particular) statistically unlikely names? 18:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Perhaps you should clarify what you mean by "statistically unlikely"? Do you mean, "different from traditional names white Americans usually pick?" --Fastfission 18:22, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Actually, from what I can tell, different from the traditional names anyone anywhere uses. A casual observer could surmise that inventive spellings and unusual pronunciations and downright unique names are more common among African-Americans than among Americans at large. How long has this been the case? Has this been going on since slavery ended and they actually had the freedom to choose their own children's names? Or is it a 20th century phenomenon? I've never seen any studies or articles about the phenomenon, but I've never looked too hard either. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:43, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
    What jpgordon said. African-American names seem to be unique more often. Giving your child a unique name occurs everywhere, of course, as does giving your child a "standard" name, but African-American names appear to show far more individual variation. I wondered why this is so and/or for how long this has been the case. 19:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if we have any solid basis for the names being statistically more variant than other ethnic groups (anecdotal evidence in something like this is highly unreliable, especially when we are talking about people perceiving things which are different than their own culture). Beyond that observation I don't have anything solid about name-formation in African-American communities. --Fastfission 19:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
It's a statement of difference, of identity, starting in the early 70s with the radicalisation of the civil rights movement. This paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research is the most comprehensive research into the topic I've found (although Steven Levitt has done some more work on the topic, as User:Henry Flower has found below). The only other group with such distinctive names (for similar reasons) are Mormons (as this site shows). Some funny examples of both may be found here, which also demonstrates how such names are becoming more widely accepted in the general community. Natgoo 19:26, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

We seem to lack an African-American name article. :( Freakonomics has some discussion of this, however; it is,

"a remnant, it seems, of the Black Power movement. The typical baby girl born in a black neighborhood in 1970 was given a name that was twice as common among blacks than whites. By 1980, she received a name that was 20 times more common among blacks. (Boys' names moved in the same direction but less aggressively—likely because parents of all races are less adventurous with boys' names than girls'.) Today, more than 40 percent of the black girls born in California in a given year receive a name that not one of the roughly 100,000 baby white girls received that year. Even more remarkably, nearly 30 percent of the black girls are given a name that is unique among every baby, white and black, born that year in California. (There were also 228 babies named Unique during the 1990s alone, and one each of Uneek, Uneque, and Uneqqee; virtually all of them were black.)... Giving a child a super-black name would seem to be a black parent's signal of solidarity with her community" [24]

HenryFlower 18:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

For all of that, baby names among whites are getting very distinctive as well. They may be English words (common nouns) or regularly formed onomastics, but they are, nevertheless, nearly unique. Such names as Carlton, Hunter, and Ashley for girls may sound "normal," but they are not common girl's names at all. Add to that the Ardens, Bethanys, Lizettes, etc., and you're looking at fully as unusual a set of names, and these seem to be increasing as well. It used to be funny that Frank Zappa named his daughter Moon Unit Zappa, but now it's "interesting" that Gweneth Paltrow named her son Moses. As these celebrities go, so go masses of less famous mothers. Geogre 20:32, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention Gweneth's daughter Apple. But don't forget Jason Lee who named his son Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee, and Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, whose kids are Scout, Talullah and Rumer. And Julia Roberts's twins Phinnaeus and Hazel. User:Zoe|(talk) 20:57, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Don't know what's so odd about those last two -- Hazel is #138 on the 1990 census (in between Rhonda and Amber, just after Juanita and Anita). And Phinnaeus? Well, the "p" in Jpgordon is Phineas. So I think it's perfectly normal. (It's also not in the top 1200 names. But those things eventually change...) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the parents of Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 were white, too. :) --BluePlatypus 01:26, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
You know, I see that name pop up everywhere on do people even remember how to spell that name? --HappyCamper 02:44, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, let's see. The Brfxxccxxmnpcccclll is pronounced "Al", as in "Broccoli". The mmnprxvclmnckssqlb is pronounced "bin", as in "/usr/bin". The b11116 is silent, as in swimming. So it's pretty easy. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:50, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
You asked for studies or articles on this 'phenomenon' I know the book Freakonomics (can't remember the authors) had a chapter dealing with naming trends & there was a fair bit on American black's names. AllanHainey 11:58, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The authors are Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. — QuantumEleven | (talk) 09:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Was Jesus really a decendant of King David?[edit]

According to the Old Testament, the Messiah would be a direct decendant of King David.

The first Gospel, Matthew, begins with King David, and generation by generation finally links him to Joseph, husband of Mary. Therefore any son of Joseph would be a decendant of King David.

But wasn't Jesus supposed to be the son of God, not Joseph? Doesn't the idea of the Virgin Birth necessarily imply that Jesus was totally unrelated to Joseph? How then is Jesus a decendant of King David? Why does the Gospel of Matthew list all the generations decended from King David only to arrive at a dead end? I hope I'm not offending anyone's religious beliefs here, and if i do, I apologize. I'm just a bit confused about this aspect of Christianity. Loomis51 21:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree, it seems that Jesus was not biologically descended from David, going on what the Bible says. I look at it this way -- Jesus may not have been biologically related to Joseph, but Joseph was at least his adoptive father. Erik the Rude 21:48, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

From the point of view of text analysis, what likely happened is that the author of Matthew had two different sources that contradicted each other, and he couldn't think of any resolution. Source A said Jesus was descended from David, source B said he was the son of the Holy Ghost. Going further with the speculation, source A was likely Jewish -- since it linked Jesus to prophecy from the Old Testament. Source B was likely non-Jewish, since the idea of a half-human, half-divine figure is taken from religions where Gods are more human-like, such as the Greek religion. Chl 22:13, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

He was born in "the city of David", Bethlehem, so does that count? User:Zoe|(talk) 22:14, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

How is Bethlehem "the city of David"? Bethlehem is merely Hebrew for "House of Bread". But I may be missing some aspect of Bethlehem that you are aware of. Loomis51 22:51, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Because Bethlehem was David's home town. It's in (mumble -- Luke?) -- "born to us in the city of David is a savior, which is Christ the Lord") User:Zoe|(talk) 23:13, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
See Luke, chapter 2 Micah also supposedly prophecied that the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem -- -- But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. User:Zoe|(talk) 23:17, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Jesus was not descendent from David on his motherside. His mothers father was a Hebrew priest. This fact might explain his apparent ease at acting as a religious leader.

Land ownership distribution in the U.S.[edit]

I'm looking for statistics describing percent of U.S. land owned by percentile of the population.

Something a long the lines of: "the wealthiest 5% of the population own 75% of privately held land" (preferably by land value, not by land area).

That example is actually something I've read somewhere but have been unable to find a reliable source backing it up. So I'm looking for numbers with a source.

--OverZealousFan 21:46, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Don't know if you've seen it, but this seems to be a popular citation on the net: "At best, a generous interpretation would suggest that about 3% of the population owns 95% of the privately held land in the USA (Peter Meyer, " Land Rush - A Survey of America's Land - Who Owns It, Who Controls It, How much is Left" in Harpers Magazine, Jan. 1979).. Personally I'd check the original article before using it for anything serious though. --BluePlatypus 01:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
This could be misleading, however, if taken to mean that wealth is so unevenly distributed. Much of the US is publicly held land and those with huge tracts of land are typically ranchers or farmers. The fact that only a small portion of the economy is agricultural explains this uneven distribution of land, then. Homeowners don't need much land for just a house and yard. I could afford to buy several acres of land, for example, but why would I want to (since I'm not a farmer or rancher) ? StuRat 10:25, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

U.S. tax burden by percentile of population[edit]

I'm looking for statistics indicating how much of total government tax revenue is paid by each percentile of the population.

I have an intuition that the lower and middle classes pay the vast majority of taxes while the wealthy pay a much smaller amount (given that they are a much smaller portion of the population).

I've looked around on the internet for these numbers, and I couldn't find anything from a reliable source, though I know it must be out there somewhere. If someone could point me in the right dirrection that would be great. --OverZealousFan 21:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

CNN just broadcast a report that stated 1% of taxpayers pay 33% of taxes. Erik the Rude 22:31, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I've just found a good resource for this ( which basically confirmed my intuition. People who earn less than 117,709 pay over 55% of federal taxes. According to this report the top one percent pay 28% of federal taxes (similar to the CNN report referenced above). All groups pay pretty close to the same proportion of their income in taxes (so the top 1% is paying such a large share of taxes because they recieve such a large share of total national income). Anyway, I still haven't found any good references for the previous question about land ownership, so if anybody can help that would be great. Thanks. --OverZealousFan 22:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
The Congressional Budget Office is the one that compiles that. See here for quite a number of good links, and specifically Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979 to 2003, and look at table 2. Incidentally, our tax article has links to this in the Who pays section. The short answer is your intuition is wrong, it's actually the opposite, but I get the idea most people probably think the same thing as you did. There are various ways of breaking it down, but the top 10% of income earners pay 50% of all federal taxes and over 67% of income taxes. The bottom half of income earners pay less than 15% of all federal taxes and the bottom 40% pays on average no federal income tax (actually negative). - Taxman Talk 19:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

April 16[edit]

Political climate when Bill Clinton entered office[edit]

What was the political climate when Bill Clinton was running for president? What events were happening at the time that would affect voters' opinions on his ideals and proposed policies? -- Unregistered Wikipedia User - 23:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Aassuming you are talking about his running for President and not some earlier position, see United States presidential election, 1992. The early paragraphs there may be just what you're after. For world events of the time, see 1992. You've probably already looked at Bill Clinton.-gadfium 00:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

What is the name of this melody?[edit]

This is accually a very familiar tune. It seems to be a flute concert accompanied by a piano, but it is not KV. 570 as it is stated.

I would appreciate it very highly if anyone could find out the opus or possibly the name of the tune.

Sincerely -- Funper 00:37, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

File sharing network arrests[edit]

Does anyone know where I can find the number of file sharing arrests sorted by the file sharing network? The majority of my friends use Limewire for file sharing, and I constantly inform them that "networks" like BitTorrent are much safer (albeit that I don't even use file sharing). Does anyone know where I can find statistics for file sharing arrests for each network? -- Unregistered Wikipedia User - April 15, 2006

Actual arrests for file sharing are very uncommon: copyright infringement is generally a part of civil law, not criminal law. What you're probably looking for is a breakdown of copyright infringment lawsuits by network.
I don't have any hard information on this, but my expectations are as follows: Most lawsuits are from Kazaa, because that was the most popular network when the RIAA began filing lawsuits. Other peer-to-peer networks will have smaller numbers of lawsuits, both because fewer people use them, and because the RIAA doesn't look as hard at them. Lawsuits from BitTorrent activity are uncommon now, since it's usually used for large files such as movies, rather than small files such as music. However, I expect the number of lawsuits to start going up, as the MPAA begins cracking down on movie piracy. --Serie 22:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Labour/Conservatives and N.I.[edit]

Why dont any of the main parties run in Northern Ireland nationwide elections? 03:19, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Because Northern Ireland is such a complicated situation that they want to keep it at arm's length? (Less cynically, having no MPs from the province in the ruling party makes it easier to act impartially -- having said which, one of the best things John Major ever did IMO was push on with the peace process despite being dependent on the votes of Ulster Unionist MPs in the Commons.) Labour and the Lib Dems both have "sister" parties (the SDLP and Alliance, respectively); the Conservatives used to be partnered with the UUP, but they now put up candidates in NI themselves (they just never get anywhere). --Bth 09:08, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
And then theres Andrew Hunter, until recently the MP for Basingstoke in southern England who bizarrely defected from the Conservatives to the DUP (Northern Irish party). Jameswilson 23:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Enoch Powell did the same in 1974, though he went to the Ulster Unionist Party. AllanHainey 12:02, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Until 1974, when they stopped taking the Conservative whip, the UUP essentially were the NI branch of the Tory party. HenryFlower 20:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

A pharaoh Question[edit]

I am wondering if the Pharaoh Rameses II had more sons who could ascend to the throne other than merneptah. He had to have more than one.

Pharohs where known to be very prolfic with many children, from many wives. Therefore he almost certainly had more than one son.

Yes it appears he had one son and two daughters.

According to Nicholas Grimal, Rameses Setepenre had by tradition about a hundred children, Crown Prince in his 19th year(I assume they mean Ramese's)Sethirkhephesef,namesake son Rameses in the 25th year, Khaemwaset Chief Priest of Ptah dying in year 55 leaving Mernptah who I thought was child or son 13 but I am unable to reference this. Itwas the custom to raise the sons of subject Kings in the Royal House both to Egyptianise them and as hostages.

The philosopher shaped by his father[edit]

A while ago, I read an article about a famous philosopher, whose father believed that by educating and directing a person in a particular direction from a very early age, exposing him/her to advanced topics in the field very early, that person would excel extraordinarily in the field. He thus chose not to send his son to school and rigorously educated him personally in philosophy as soon as the child was able to speak. The son then showed his father's hypothesis to be valid by growing up to become a renown philosopher. My question is, who was he (there's a possibility the father and son were psychologists, not philospohers, I don't quite recall)? I've looked through all the names that sounded familiar in the lists of philosophers we have at Wikipedia and still can't find him. --Aramգուտանգ 06:28, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps you are thinking of John Stuart Mill, whom your summary fits relatively accurately? Another supreme intellect schooled in a similarly experimental fashion by his parents was William James Sidis. Joe 06:36, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
After reading about Mill, his upbringing seems to correspond pretty much exactly to what I remember from the article, so in all likelyhood, it was him, although it seems strange that his name doesn't sound familiar to me at all. In any case, thank you Joe, finding the name of a person who was raised the way the article described was more important to me than finding the exact person the article was talking about. --Aramգուտանգ 08:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

opinions on the Iran[edit]

I would like to collect different opinions on the policy of the Iran and its President Mahmūd Ahmadī-Nežād. Please write only one comment for each country, which should represent the general sight of the people and its government. I am not intersted in your own opinion. It does not matter whether it is a a positve or negative statement, but I expect a true answer.

The Wikipedia has a policy called WP:NPOV. I don't think this is the right place. Computerjoe's talk 15:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Virtually every country has at least one english language newspaper available online, and they generally aren't shy with national opinions. -LambaJan 17:31, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

You must be a truly brainwashed citizen of an extremely totalitarian regime to not understand that in free countries, opinions on such things as world politics are way too varied to be summed up with a single "position". You ask for a response from each country? Well I'm a Canadian and we have a population of about 30 million. Shall I list all 30 million opinions? You say you're only interested in my country's opinion and not my own, well things don't work that way here. I have an opinion and I have the right to express it: The president of Iran is a genocidal madman and must be stopped at whatever cost. Loomis51 01:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Further to this, sometimes governments in their infinite wisdom (joke) take positions that are contrary to the collective views of the populace they represent. To take a very well-known example , in both the UK and Australia a substantial majority of people were against committing troops to the invasion of Iraq; both governments sent troops anyway, for various reasons. In any case, throughout most of the west Iran's current president comes across as being a dangerous demagogue who whips up a particularly offensive brand of religious bigotry to play to a certain segment of his population. What is debated in the West (and where I would strongly disagree with Loomis51) is to a) whether he really is a madman or just plays one on TV, b) whether this really matters anyway because the key decisions on the military and foriegn policy seem to be taken by unelected clerics and the Supreme Leader, c) what stage Iran are at in their nuclear program and what they would do with a bomb if and when they got one, and d) given all that, what is the best way to deal with him and Iran more generally. --Robert Merkel 02:57, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

You say you strongly disagree with me. All I said is that a genocidal madman must be stopped. Do you disagree with that proposition? It seems that you are inferring by my statement that I was advocating full scale war against Iran. You seem to assume that I am somehow pro-war. Is that true? Because if you are, I'm afraid that you have gravely misunderstood my point. I am in fact anti-war. Once again, all I said is that a genocidal madman must be stopped. The sooner the better.

Had the British government, some 70 years ago, stopped another genocidal madman (who, by the way, was merely Chancellor, not president of Germany at the time, and therefore was legally subordinate to Hindenberg who was legally the ultimate authority...sound familiar?) the operation would have been virtually bloodless (with one obvious exception!). In doing so, there would have been no WWII, and some 50 million lives would have been saved. Of course the operation would be against international law, so I suppose that means it would have been wrong.

I am strongly anti-war, not in the wishy-washy sense where I disaprove any and all military operations, but in the solid sense that I believe that potentially devastating wars, involving the deaths of millions, must be avoided at all costs, even if it involves the breaking of so called "international law".

Fortunately the US and/or Israel, in their infinite wisdom (not a joke), will prevent the unimaginable human tragedy that would likely result should a misfit state such as Iran attain nuclear capabilities.

So let me ask you a question. Devoted as you are to "international law", in hindsight, had you been PM of Britain in the early 30's, would you or would you not order the British Secret Service, illegal as it may be, to assassinate Adolf Hitler? Loomis51 02:36, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

  • In Iran, all Iranians know that the true head of state is the Supreme Leader Khamenei. Without his permission and that of the Council of Guardians no one becomes a president. Patchouli 22:36, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed. This means the current President is more a reflection of the desires of the ruling clerics who allowed him to run and be "elected". In any case, it shows Iran is a dangerous, terrorism supporting (Hezbollah), genocidal (against Israel), and hell bent on getting nuclear weapons. They will only negotiate as a way to postpone military action against them (until they can get the bomb). StuRat 09:58, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, StuRat, for a supportive voice of sanity in this growingly insane situation. I can predict the response though, the old hindsight is 20/20 argument, that no one really knew how potentially dangerous Hitler was until it was to late. Well apparently Churchill knew quite early on. He was aware of Hitler's authorship of Mein Kampf and the ideas contained within it, he witnessed the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, he saw how the SA used violence and thuggery to promote the openly racist and fanatical views of their leader. Churchill knew this years and years before the beginning of WWII and had he not been heckled, harrassed, booed and labelled a warmonger for over and over pleading with his fellow members of parliament to take a more confrontational stance against Hitler, the unprecedented tragedy of the second world war could have easily been avoided. So heckle me, harrass me, boo me and label me whatever you want, I will not change my view nor cease urging others to change theirs on this matter. The president of Iran is a genocidal madman and must be stopped. Loomis51 10:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, I should point out, that I don't necessarily advocate the assassination of the president of Iran, as that may not be the wisest method of defusing what may become a potentially catastrophic situation. I leave it to the strategists and tacticians and diplomats to figure out exactly what must be done. In fact, I think they're doing a rather good job so far, beginning with diplomacy and only gradually escalating their confrontational stance. But whatever must be done must be done. Loomis51 10:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Theory of falsified Middle Ages timeline[edit]

There is a theory that a part of the Middle Ages never actually happened, and that several centuries were actually "added in" later. Does Wikipedia have an article on this theory, does anyone know? --Ashenai 12:43, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, we do; is New Chronology (Fomenko) what you're looking for? Shimgray | talk | 12:49, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes! Thank you :) --Ashenai 12:51, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
See also: Heribert Illig and phantom time hypothesis. David Sneek 14:25, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

converso families that founded in Guaranda, Ecuador[edit]


Could you please provide the sources for the converso families that founded in Guaranda, Ecuador?

Thank you.

M.T. Cevallos

How rich is the Sultan of Brunei anyway?[edit]

Bill Gates is often named as the richest person in the world, worth upwards of $50 Billion, but then there's always someone that points out that the "Sultan of Brunei" is in fact the richest. The debate goes on as to whether heads of state should be included.

In any case, I checked out the article, and nowhere does it mention how much this "Sultan of Brunei" is worth. Anybody out there have any idea? Loomis51 17:51, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

The article on the current Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah states that he "was at one time the richest man in the world" and Forbes gives him a net worth of $38b as of 1997, $12b less than Bill Gates.
Grumpy Troll (talk) 18:01, 16 April 2006 (UTC).
I don't think it's an answerable question because there isn't a clear distinction between the Sultan's property and state property. --BluePlatypus 08:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

That's an interesting point, Platypus. But now, if you consider property in its most technical, legalistic sense, then the Queen of England would clearly be the richest person on the planet. Loomis51 03:19, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The people who point out the Sultan of Brunei is richer then Bill Gates are the people who use or have read an out of date Guiness Book of Records. They used to list the Sultan as the richest & for a time I thought he still was but Bill Gates has been the richest for some time. Loomis51, the Queen of the United Kingdom (She's not Queen of England) wouldn't be the richest person because she doesn't own England, only the Crown Estate (income of which she gives to the State in exchange for the Civil List payments). AllanHainey 12:11, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Sixteen Candles Music Question[edit]

I'm having difficulty finding a song on the Sixteen Candles DVD edition of the film (that came out in 1998). In the scene where Sam approcahes Jake at the coat check a song plays in the background and I believe the lyrics go as follows...

"How could you walk out the door on me? I thought your love was mine and mine for keeps But I see that I was very wrong"

I've been to numorous websites already, including to no avail. The website claims it may be by Robert Plant but I've searched basically all of his songs and found nothing that matched up. So if you could help me find the Artist and/or the title of the track in question it would be highly appreciated.

Thanks, - Heather

Maya Angelou/Civil Rights Movment[edit]

How does Maya Angelous's book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" correlate with the Civil Rights Movement?

Please do your own homework, here (Maya Angelou) and here (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings). --Eivindt@c 22:40, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

City/Village inquiry[edit]

Was there such a village called Commerce Illinois back in the 1800's. From what I hear it was only a couple of houses.

If you were to get all wild and crazy, you could type "Commerce, Illinois" in the search box at the top of this page and click the "go" button. Then, you'd see that it did indeed exist and is now called Nauvoo, Illinois. --Kainaw (talk) 22:44, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

It appears you are correct i do know cities change their names but in that search box when looking for old cities i never enter the state.

April 17[edit]

Question on subjectivism[edit]

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" Just want to hear your opinions.

Sound is vibrations, so yes. --Eivindt@c 01:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Mu. —Keenan Pepper 01:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

It depends on how you define sound. Is it the creation of waves in the atmosphere, or is their reception? If the answer is the former then yes, if it's the latter then no. Just curious, why do you call this a question of subjectivism? Loomis51 01:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

(edit conflict) It depends on how you define sound. According to the first couple definitions Merriam-Webster provides for the noun sense of "sound", no it does not make a sound. In particular, following the second definition, "the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing", the answer is no. Air vibration patterns exist, but no sound; according to this definition, sound is something that exists in our minds only. This is also consistent with Wiktionary's definition, "A sensation perceived by the ear caused by the vibration of air or some other medium" (although I don't think the ear can perceive air vibration. MW's third definition, "mechanical radiant energy that is transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves in a material medium (as air) and is the objective cause of hearing", is closer to Wikipedia's definition; using that definition, sounds are the vibration patterns themselves and exist regardless of who or what might perceive them. My personal inclination is to use the first definition of sound, that it exists only in our heads, like color; and therefore the falling tree makes no sound. The question cannot be properly answered without clearly defining your terms. — Knowledge Seeker 01:52, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Does Merriam-Webster have the Buddha nature? —Keenan Pepper 03:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Not only does it not make a sound, but there is no tree there in the first place, at least according to my friend George Berkeley. I'm inclined to agree with him somewhat. Both "sound" and "tree" require a thinking being evaluating and assessing them. Where there is no creature capable of recognition, there is nothing. If no one can speak or think the thing, the objective existence is ... impossible, for even saying "it is" or "is not" requires that subjective assessment. (I know this isn't what Berkeley meant, quite, but Berkeley meets Wittgenstein.) Geogre 02:22, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, cultural insensitivity rears it head again to flaw your logic. :) You assumed that the absence of a hearing individual meant the absence of an observer. But a very nice summary of Schrödinger's cat. —WAvegetarianCONTRIBUTIONSTALKEMAIL 02:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I meant metaphysical subjectivism.

The tree only makes a sound if it is there. The only way of checking that it is there is to visit the forest at the time it fell. To put it another way - if you believe the tree to be there then you must also believe the sound occurred, since they are both physical items. If, however, the tree is a subjective phenomenon, then so is the sound likely to be. Given that you posit that the tree exists in the forest in your original question ("if a tree falls in a forest" assumes the premise "there is a tree in a forest"), then so must the sound. But if you mean your question as a true koan, my answer would be "Only if the sun exists when it is night time". Grutness...wha? 10:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
By the way, this is a good example of the reason I didn't major in philosophy. Loomis51 03:15, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

What is love but a second hand emotion?[edit]

What does Tina Turna mean when she says love is a 'second hand emotion'? -Username132 (talk) 02:09, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Tina Turner was trying to downplay the role of love in her song. The idea might be that because love involves two people, it is somehow less primary than an emotion such as fear. Perhaps she was saying that lust is primary and love secondary to that, although lust is not normally considered an emotion. At any rate, I wouldn't take it too seriously.-gadfium 02:29, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
And we have an article on the song at What's Love Got to Do with It? (song), which suggests "The song was written to express how love is usually not a motive for someone to find a relationship."-gadfium 02:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thanks :) --Username132 (talk) 04:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I've often thought it would have made more sense had it said "2nd rate emotion". Perhaps it did say that originally, but they thought "2nd hand" sounded better. StuRat 04:25, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

"Secondhand" generally does not mean "second-rate" (i.e., not all that good, lower in quality to whatever is first rate), but passed on, received from another person. So I'm going to say from the context that "received from another person" is what it means here... though maybe Tina Turner really does have such a cynical view of love as others above suggest...
I realize they don't mean the same thing, hence the problem. Songwriters and singers often substitute words which don't quite have the right meaning, if they flow better in the song. Don't you agree that "2nd rate" would make more sense in this song ? Saying love is "received from another person" is so obvious it's silly to say. The song is clearly down on love, so "2nd rate" would go along with that. I expect that her cynical attitude towards love is due to her abuse by Ike Turner. StuRat 09:33, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Epic of Gilgamesh suggestion?[edit]

I am interested in reading the Epic of Gilgamesh. There are many versions; does anyone have any recommendations which I should read? I am strictly an amateur who has some interest in ancient civilizations and mythologies, but little formal education in these areas. At least for now, I don't require rigor and detailed explanation, I would like something more accessible that can serve as an introduction. I realize that there are versions available online, but in this case I would prefer a hard copy. I was considering Stephen Mitchell's version: ISBN 0743261690. Any thoughts? — Knowledge Seeker 02:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

As an amateur, I would think you would more desire an annotated edition with a strong critical apparatus than less. In that case, a library copy of a strong academic press edition might be the way to go, but I don't have a recommendation. Geogre 02:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I like my Penguin Classics edition. ISBN 0-140-44919-1Keenan Pepper 03:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd recommend the Stephen Mitchell edition. It's quite readable. -- 15:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Getting Laid[edit]

What is the best way, in the opinion of the answerer, to get laid (legally)? Here7ic 06:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The answer to that question would depend on your definition of "best way", is it the way requiring least effort, the way requiring least money, the safest way, the most physically pleasing, the most emotionally pleasing, the most beneficial in the long term, the way that best conforms to the principles of a particular religion, the best sexual position, the way that will generate the most approval/respect from peers/relatives, etc... Each definition will warrant a different answer. --Aramգուտանգ 08:25, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

It also depends on what country/jurisdiction you are in. I could argue that the simplest, quickest and possibly even the cheapest way in the long term is to go and obtain the services of a prostitute, but that's not legal in all countries.-gadfium 08:56, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Let's just void the question. Was drunk. Now sober. Here7ic 10:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

"It is with love as with procreation: the pleasure momentary, the expense damnable, and the posture ridiculous." -- Evelyn Waugh Geogre 13:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Not by posting on here,dude.Go out ,get a life,it's really useful.hotclaws**==( 17:13, 17 April 2006 (UTC))

  • Except Las Vegas and somewhere in Rhode Island, prostitution is illegal in the United States. If you want to sleep with someone just once and not pay that person - at least not for the sex - go to Patchouli 20:29, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, not in Las Vegas, but in most other parts of Nevada -- see our article Prostitution in Nevada. No idea about the Rhode Island thing. I wish I'd known that when I was growing up in Connecticut! --LarryMac 20:38, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't know anything specifically about, but sites like that apparently have and almost entirely male membership, so getting laid on sites like that isn't easy (unless you're gay). I think the answer to this question is that if you have to ask, you probably won't be very successful at it (or getting it) in the first place. ;) zafiroblue05 | Talk 21:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

What, no your mom jokes? I'm disappointed. Melchoir 22:08, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • You must have made a mistake when choosing the options from "I am" and "Seeking" boxes. Try again, I easily get only male or only female by choosing the right options.Patchouli 22:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I checked just now. If you're a man seeking a woman, the choose Women Seeking Men. I admit that it is a little confusing because of order reversal.Patchouli 22:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
The fastest way is to look good and be interesting in a single's bar.

If you want to get laid in the worst way ... Try it standing up in a hammock. Justfranc 02:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

That joke actually shrunk my brain :-/ Gardar Rurak 06:00, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Seduction Community Enjoy. Black Carrot 02:07, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


Hello!! Excuse me for my English!! Could somebody inform me? I seek information on a dramatic event (XV-XVII centuries) having led to the exile of innocent. When this one returned to the castle, the light could be made on this drama. Thank you in advance, [Néfertari] (French Wikipedia)

Are you referring to the novel (roman) The Count of Monte Cristo? Geogre 10:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I readed it, but I'm not referring to it !! Néfertari (French Wikipedia)
I left a reply on the French Wikipedia as well, where this user had also asked the same question. Anyway, could the answer possibly be Martin Guerre (article en anglais) or if you prefer l'article en français? --Tachikoma 19:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


Please tell me the name of this writer.


This question deserves a rather Thoreau answer. StuRat
Horrible. Just horrible. ;) zafiroblue05 | Talk 02:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Henry David Thoreau. -- 13:16, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Strange Symbol[edit]

Any Ideas on what this is Wiki People?

Im know it`s associated with a Historical Figure if that Helps. Anyone? Even a lead I can work on? -- unsigned by IP

It's a Charlemagne monogram ("Karolus"). Look in Rudolf Koch's Book of signs to see plenty more examples like it. AnonMoos 17:29, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Nice Painting[edit]

Got a really nice painting here. Was just wondering if anyone knew of the artist. I have a hunch it is Poussin but I am unsure.

Yup. --BluePlatypus 13:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Museum Piece[edit]

I need information of two museum pieces. One from the Classical Greek or Hellenistic civilization and the second piece from the Etruscan civilization, Republican Rome, or the Roman Empire. The information I need is a total description of the pieces. What type of art form it is, what aspects of the civilization and its cultural development does the piece represent. I need references

Why do you ask? Notinasnaid 17:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

You need to include photos of the pieces, or at least thorough descriptions, if we are to identify them. But just for fun, I will that the first piece is an amphora and the second is a brooch, LOL. StuRat 01:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh, now I think I know what you want. You don't have any specific pieces in mind, but want us to do your homework for you and find two such pieces. Try going to a museum or at least try some web searches, like a "Image" search on "Greek art" and another on "Etruscan art". StuRat 01:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Lincoln assassination[edit]

In July 1865 four conspirators in the Lincoln assassination were hanged. Where exactly in present-day Washington D.C. is the site of those gallows? Is there a present-day photograph of that exact location?

They were executed at Fort McNair. Which was located... where Fort McNair is today. :) According to this the gallows were where these tennis courts are now. Not terribly exciting.. --BluePlatypus 17:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Where's Detective Steve Crosetti when we need him? He'd have full chapter and verse... Grutness...wha? 01:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Kennedy assassination[edit]

Jay Skaggs took several color photographs of President Kennedy at the corner of Main and Houston, and several after the shooting. Where on the Web is a complete collection of his photographs?

Lincoln memorial ? --DLL 20:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Searching For A Customized Music Box Maker ...[edit]

I want to make a Christmas project and it requires that I find a music box manufacturer who can create a music box with a specific Christmas tune. I have no idea where to go. If someone could help me to locate a customized music box maker, I would very much appreciate it. Judith Gonzales

Do you mean a traditional music box with chimes and bells and moving parts ? That would be quite expensive to be custom designed, I'm thinking thousands of dollars. On the other hand, one of those disposable chips that makes music when you open a greeting card can probably be programmed more cheaply, but I don't know of any company that offers this service. StuRat 01:01, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Another option might be to buy a user programmable music box. I found a mention of the CALKIT MC-1 programmable music box, but couldn't find where to buy it. Some might use some fairly old technology, like punched paper tape, to specify the notes to be played. StuRat 01:15, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

RE: President Carter Article[edit]

"In 1979, Carter out of humanitarian concerns allowed the deposed Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi into the United States for political asylum and medical treatment."

Please provide sources or exact events to support this such as the date and the location of his landing in the United States. I have heard from Iranians that President Carter did not allow Shah's plane to land in the United States. So Shah went to Mexico and then Egypt. Patchouli 16:47, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • The [American] article says "On Monday, 22 October, the shah arrived in New York on Rockefeller’s private Gulfstream jet" on page 2. It also, says that Carter feared repercussion against embassy personnel after the Hostage Crisis, but this was on 4 November 1979. The article is not chronological.

I want to know the date of entry and departure of Shah himself into the US and where he was in the US. I still think that he never actually came to US after 11 February 1979.Patchouli 20:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • It says quite explicitly he arrived in NYC (from Mexico) on 22 October; that was 1979. Here's a New York Times article that verifies that date. He departed the US for Panama on December 15th of that year. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 00:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you. I have updated the James Carter article.Patchouli 15:04, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

afircan tribes[edit]

My child is doing a report on African mask. She has chosen the "Duma" mask. What I need to know now is what tribe this comes from? I know this comes from Gabon, Africa. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance. Amy

Religious Artefact[edit]

I believe I posted this Question in the wrong place last time.

This artefact resides in a Monastery at the foot of a mountain please tell me which monastery or if you know of the artefact?

Why do you ask? Are you doing a quiz? Notinasnaid 19:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I was until one of your guys gave me the answer the help is much appreciated.


Hi there fellow Wiki users! Hopefully somebody can help me. I have a picture of a river, on the river there is a rock which is apparently related somehow to folklore. Would anybody be able to kindly recognise either the rock or the river? Thanks

The Lorelei, even the same picture in the article. - 20:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Closing credits[edit]

Why did movies from the 1970s and forward start to have long closing credits / end credits that go on for 4-5 minutes? Although there may be a point in listing the names of every actor, why is it necessary to list make-up artists, gaffers or technical crew who had an infinitesimal influence on the final movie? Thuresson 19:30, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

According to this article; "Almost all end credits, and the order in which they appear, have been settled for years by union contract and general industry convention. [...] people in the business need to claim proper credit for whatever they did on a film, and end credits are the only thing they have to point to as an acknowledgment of their work. " An artist or a model can carry around a portfolio, showing representations of his or her work, a Gaffer or Dolly Grip doesn't have anything so tangible, but they've at least been mentioned in the closing credits. --LarryMac 20:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

They seem to have changed the purpose of the credits from giving the audience info they want to being for the egos of those who worked on the movie. Note that most employees don't have their names on what they produce. Does the steering wheel on your car have the names of everyone who worked to build it written on it ? It is a problem. In the theaters, people regularly leave in the middle of the credits. On TV, they frequently cut them short or squeeze them down into a corner so small you can't read them. I suggest they give a web site with the names of the gaffer's manicurists, if they feel the need to inflict this useless info on the public. StuRat 00:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Steering wheels don't actually have any credits at all written on them, so that's not a very useful comparison.
  • There might be a lot number, model number, serial number, etc., on it somewhere. But my point is that they don't feel the need to have any credits at all for most products. If you want another example, a photo is typically only credited to the photographer, not the camera manufacturer, film maker, developer, etc. StuRat 09:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • True, but we're discussing collaborative efforts here. The camera manufacturer etc have nothing to do with the photo except in the most indirect sense. They can't really claim to have been "involved" in the making of the photo, whereas even the caterers on a movie set can so claim - just. ("They also serve who only stand and cater"). JackofOz 10:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The person who developed the film has far more to do with the quality of the finished photo than the caterer does with the finished movie. If you insist on an even more direct comparison, say the photographer has his photo sessions catered. Would you ever expect to see the name of the caterer there listed in the photo credits ? StuRat 19:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Movie credits have never been just for "giving the audience info they want". They have always gone way beyond that. Not as far as they go these days, admittedly, but still a lot more than just the actors, director, music and the few others that audiences are typically interested in.
  • I disagree. While the info was probably not of interest to all viewers, it was at least of some interest to a portion of the audience. Now, however, they are including info of no use to anyone but the people listed, their friends, and relatives. StuRat 09:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • What's of no use to one person is interesting information to another. It's at worst benign, and you're not forced to watch it. JackofOz 10:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • No, it's not benign, due to the way TV stations are forced to minimize excessive credits in order to remain profitable, and how this makes ALL the credits unreadable, not just the excessive portion. StuRat 19:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • A film is a collaborative project involving often thousands of people. Some have more impact on the final outcome than others, but all have played some part. If you're going to be having any credits at all, which is about acknowledging everyone's contribution to the outcome, why would you stop at only the highest profile people? It is a normal human need to be acknowledged for one's work (however marginal it may be to any particular finished product). To them, and to the many other people who take an interest in this kind of detail, this is most definitely not "useless information".
  • I would only credit those with creative input. A caterer does not have creative input, for example. Would the movie have been noticeably different with another caterer ? "This is a great movie, you can always tell a movie that's been catered by ARA Mark." LOL StuRat 09:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • See my comment above. But I agree there is a limit, and this is pretty much it. JackofOz 10:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • What the TV stations do is abominable. Since it's impossible to read the credits, what purpose is served by showing them at all? I think the answer is a legal requirement, to which they pay the barest lip service.
  • I agree with you here. Specifically, I often wonder about the year the movie was made. But, being at the end, jammed down in the corner, accelerated to warp speed, and in Roman numerals (for some inexplicable reason), I have almost no chance of being able to make it out. The TV stations feel the need to do so because the endless credits would bore most of their audience into changing the channel, otherwise. If film makers would just include the info the audience actually has an interest in, then the credits would be short enough that the TV stations could show them in their entirety, without losing the audience. StuRat 09:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is a difficult problem of balance. I think film makers make their movies for their cinema audience and for their DVD audience, not really for any TV audience. What the TV stations do with movies is their concern (within limits). Of course, one could argue that having 20 commercial breaks during a movie does not exactly enhance one's sense of continuous action, but that's a given before you sit down so one can hardly complain.
  • I don't have any inherent objection to ads, but do object to ads where some obnoxious salesman is yelling at me, or when they splice them into the movie in the middle of a sentence, instead of at natural breaks (like the end of a day in the movie). I also think that TV stations would evaluate ads on entertainment value. Some ads get me to stop and watch the ad when changing channels, while others make me change the channel. It would definitely be in the TV stations' interest to have only the entertaining ads on their station. StuRat 19:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The other thing that really bugs me (not that I watch very much TV - I'm far too busy writing Wikipedia) is when they plug some forthcoming new show for weeks, and when it finally gets aired, they then start showing plugs for the next upcoming show at the bottom of the screen while we're desparately trying to focus on the show that's on right now that they've just spent weeks plugging. What sort of mixed message is that? JackofOz 10:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Those plugs at the bottom of the screen have gotten a great deal more annoying now that they have movement. It doesn't even seem to be for any purpose other than to grab your attention, like the one with Malcolm/Frankie Muniz (of Malcolm in the Middle) jumping up and down. StuRat 19:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Exactly. Just what is it that they want you to watch? JackofOz 23:40, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • At the cinema, if people are not interested in sitting through all the credits, they are free to leave early. And they do, so I can't see a problem. What annoys me is that they start having loud conversations as soon as they stand up, totally ignoring the people who are still seated and still reading the credits and listening to the closing music. What arrogance! Just because the movie is over for them, does not mean it is over for everybody else. JackofOz 02:12, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • And a few movies actually have a little bonus scene after the credits, too. They could also make the credits more interesting by showing out-takes and bloopers while they run. StuRat 09:13, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Again, some people are already more interested in credits than others, and don't need anything else to make them interesting. Besides, in many cases out-takes would totally ruin the feel that the movie has just spent 2-odd hours creating in the audience. I like to leave the theatre quietly and reflectively, preferably with tears streaming down my face, not laughing insanely loudly as people tend to do in public these days.
  • Of course, they should adjust the scenes shown during the closing credits to fit the movie. For example, after Hotel Rwanda they could have someone from Amnesty International talk about what the audience can do to help prevent genocide. StuRat 20:03, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • While we're on screen credits, on TV we often used to be told that, eg. "Chuck Gleamworthy chooses to stay at Excelsior Hotels and chooses to fly Air Uganda", when clearly he did no such thing. This was just a shameless plug for a hotel chain and an airline, and Chuck was told by the station where to stay and what airline to use (if he did at all). JackofOz 10:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Jay Leno once commented how Jerry Springer had murderers and rapists on one week and then gave a plug "All guests of the Jerry Springer Show stayed at the Airport Marriot." Then he added "Now why exactly would I want to stay at the hotel they have filled with murderers and rapists ?" LOL StuRat 19:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

PS. Here are some beauties I’ve come across:

Acknowledgments to Crazy Quilt by John Train. JackofOz 02:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


Is Besontenn a real thing? Google, Google Scholar, Google Books, and turn up nothing, nothing on Wikipedia links to it, the article was started by someone who had no other Wikipedia contribution... zafiroblue05 | Talk 21:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Orwell's 1984 a theocracy[edit]

I am writing a paper on how the party in 1984 is in fact a strong representation of a theocracy. for example, big brother would represent a god. he is never seen in person but his presence is always felt. i need some help finding a theocracy though that closely mimics this. any other help or ideas would greatly be appreciated.

Here at Minitrue, we have an article about Nineteen Eighty-Four. Additionally, are you familiar with the Eastasian territory of North Korea? However, citizen -- not doing your own homework is double-plus ungood. --ByeByeBaby 22:49, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

For theocracies, try Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vatican City, and Texas. For great justice. 00:02, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Also, you might take a look at the concept of a cult of personality, which might be a more useful way to think about this than as strictly "theocracies". As for a good analog "theocratic head of state", the best I can think of is Ruhollah Khomeini, though he was not very much like Big Brother. Personally I think you'd be better to argue not that 1984 is a theocracy, but rather more specifically that Big Brother was supposed to be a manifestation of an all-watching God, and leave it at that. Theocracies as forms of government do not, I don't think, look much like 1984 (they have usually be relatively low-tech and decentralized, rather than high-tech and centralized). Another little concept you might find useful is the Panopticon. --Fastfission 02:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm going out on a limb here, but I think it might be possible to do a comparison of 1984 and the culture of ancient Egypt - you'd have the theocracy angle covered, and you'd get a highly authoritarian, centralized society with lots of rules that are literally set in stone and with a fantastic propaganda machinery -- Ferkelparade π 09:26, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I think that's an interesting idea, but I disagree that 1984's dystopia was theocratic at all. If you look at the Soviet Union, a government which labeled itself Marxist and communist/socialist, was not at all really communist or socialist. The Soviet Union is considered by many to be a degenerated workers' state at best, and state-capitalist at worst.

It's actually very typical in authoritarian, centralized governments to replace theoism with an infallible leader. The reason for this is most likely that a higher being would draw loyalty away from the state.

Hope that helps. Pckeffer 19:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)Paul

If it helps the theocracy angle, a fun little twist in the book is that Big Brother probably doesn't even exist anymore, if he ever did, so he's both everywhere and nowhere, alive and not alive, etc. They're worshipping a bunch of posters. Not that it's really in any way a theocracy, but what matters is that you can support whatever claim you make with lots and lots of evidence, not that the claim itself be valid. Who's going to have the chance to rebut you? I don't know of any society that actually mimics the setup in 1984, but it was based on a plausible extrapolation of Communist ideals and the dynamics of an effective totalitarian regime, so something similar must exist. Maybe the suggestions above. (except Texas) Black Carrot 01:59, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
There were no "Communist" ideals in the book. If you recall when O'Brien was teaching Winston about the Party's values, they are nothing like "USSR style Communism", and especially unlike true communism, a classless and stateless society. He stated that they did it "for power."

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever." -O'Brien


The use of mirrors for communicating during the Civil War?

Please phrase your question in the form of a question. (apologies to Alex Trebek!) Loomis51 03:08, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, heliographs were pretty efective for communication in Ringworld :-) --WhiteDragon 20:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Hitchhiker's Guide and Elvis[edit]

I remember reading a part in one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books that alluded to the fact that Elvis was alive and well, living on another planet and singing in a restaurant when Arthur saw him. Any help?

Minor_characters_from_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Elvis_Presley For great justice. 22:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

tutoring english in romania[edit]

is it possible (in other words, legal) for a non-degreed person to tutor english in romania? if it is possible, what would be a standard fee? thanks! michael

You'll need a work visa to do it legally (if you charge for your services, that is). For great justice. 22:47, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
It will be very difficult to get a job tutoring English without a TEFL. The TEFL article has information about getting the degree and what jobs you can expect with it. Without the TEFL, you will likely be given less money and less job security. --Kainaw (talk) 22:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

This person might be able find a job as private tutor, or if this person is a woman, as governess.

Correct. My wife worked for 3 months in Italy as a private tutor to a 4-year old and babysitter for a 1-year old. Her job was to be an American-English influence on the children. There is a rather high demand for American-English tutors as opposed to British-English. --Kainaw (talk) 01:21, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Note that Romania is a poor country, so very few people there could actually afford to pay for a tutor. StuRat 02:54, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The gig for people with a Master's but no doctorate is in South Korea or Japan. With a BA or less, there isn't much demand (as the supply of ABD and MA candidates is pretty high). The economies in those nations are strong, and the need is great for English and American tutors. The People's Republic of China is emerging as well. Geogre 23:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Jewish Holidays[edit]

I did a search on the main page for Jewish Holidays and was redirected to Jewish Holiday. It doesn't have any discussion page, edit , history etc.. It has a table of contents but the subjects in it don't exist on the page. You can click on the links in the table of contents but they don't go anywhere. What is up? Johnor 22:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

It's working now. -- Mwalcoff 00:29, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Gay bars[edit]

Are most gaybar owners Gay?

Sexual orientation is not a question on a business license and nobody knows most gay bar owners well enough to know the answer. You can only assume that a bar owner likes to hang out with the people who come to his or her bar. --Kainaw (talk) 22:54, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Gay bar cost[edit]

How much would it cost to buy, or set up a gay bar in a medium size city?

Define "medium". Also, what country? What state/province/county? What is the land value? How strict are codes? Is there a board of architectural review? Does the owner have his own money or is this on credit? Is the loan 3, 5, 10 years? Does the building exist already or will it need to be built? When a question is too general, it is impossible to answer. You may as well ask, "How much will stuff cost at the store?" --Kainaw (talk) 22:57, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
One major cost for any bar is a liquor license. In many US states, they can be quite expensive. StuRat 00:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I fully agree with Kainaw, but would just like add that I have no idea why the fact that the bar is a gay bar would have any effect on its cost. The cost of a gay bar would seem to me to be no different than the cost of an ordinary bar. I'm curious as to why you would assume that a gay bar's cost is any different than any other bar. Is there something I'm missing? Loomis51 03:00, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Insurance (against, say, malicious vandalism)? --zenohockey 02:09, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
In some areas the ammount of customers might be very low. Especially so in religious communties. --Magicmasta 08:08, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
In religious communities they can always count on the priests for business. Then again, they don't generally go for adult gay sex, do they ? StuRat 21:51, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Gay bar restrooms[edit]

Are their any good gay bars in Springfield massachussetts? Mind you I am not gay, as a bussiness man I am just curious!

Are you willing to head to Providence? I hear that the gay night-scene there is among the best in New England. Sorry I don't know about Springfield, but I imagine they have a few. If you ask me, the entire city is a bit sketchy, though. — orioneight (talk) 23:16, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
This is the sort of thing that searches are helpful for. For example, a Google search for gay bar springfield MA yields many results, showing there at least four of them. In general, it's good to search first, ask questions later. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:56, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Why is the title to the question about gay bar restrooms? Loomis51 03:01, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Good Gay bars[edit]

Are their any good gay bars in Springfield massachussetts? Mind you I am not gay, as a bussiness man I am just curious!

Bicurious ? StuRat 00:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Best name for a gay bar ? The "Bottom's Up Club". StuRat 01:45, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

What, only one bottom ???? JackofOz 06:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, perhaps the "Bottoms Up Club" would be better ? StuRat 08:47, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Now you're talking, StuRat. Your prize is free entry (oops). :--) JackofOz 09:25, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
And I suppose the entrance is in the rear ? StuRat 06:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

When did "colonizing" become "invading"?[edit]

Having a discussion with my parents after dinner, and talk turned to "colonial" Britain. I wondered when it stopped being "colonizing" and started just being "invading" to take a small army and a batch of people down to a less-developed nation and set up shop. Obviously, there's a bit of grey area here, but none of us could think of any new "colonies" after World War One. These days, you couldn't just shlep a platoon of soldiers and set up a village in Rwanda and say "we're colonizing" -- that'd be crazy talk. So when did "colonizing" stop being acceptable in the public mind? As a bonus question, what was the last "colony" established by the colonial powers? --MattShepherd 23:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Some "colonies" were created as a result of WW2, like the US "colony" of Northern Mariana Islands. Although that word isn't actually used for it now, due to it's negative historical implications. StuRat 23:52, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
(reads) Thanks for that, but they didn't "colonize" Guam after WWII exactly... just won it back from the Japanese and hung onto it. Guam was "colonized" quite some time before. I'd still like some help on when "colonizing" per se stopped. --MattShepherd 00:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Right, you will see I corrected my example. I confused Guam, which is in the Mariana Islands, with the Northern Mariana Islands. As for the time frame, there were quite a few new colonies right after WW1, due to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire mainly into British and French colonies. I would say after WW2 is when the period of colonization ended. StuRat 00:19, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, it's wrong to think of colonization as strictly being done by Western nations. Japan's genocidal colonization of most of Asia in WW2 and China's rather brutal colonization of Tibet in the 1950's are good counter-examples. StuRat 00:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Keep in mind that China's position is not that it took over Tibet. China never renounced ownership of Tibet. The British claimed Tibet to be a separate government around 1900, but China opposed such a distinction. Then, when China stepped in and removed the British-loyal politicians, it was seen by Europe and the U.S. as an invasion of a separate country. Going back to the negative view of colonies, nobody wanted to discuss that China owned Tibet until British armies invaded Lhasa and turned it into a "a colony that we don't want to call a colony but was in every way set up and run as a colony". --Kainaw (talk) 00:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's no surprise that China refuses to admit they are occupying a foreign country. I would pose the question to Tibetans (excluding Chinese immigrants after the invasion), and ask whether they want independence from China or not. StuRat 01:42, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I have trouble feeling China is inherently evil when it comes to Tibet because I've spent a lot of time in Hawaii. There are many Hawaiians that want independence from the United States. Is that different than Tibetans wanting independence from China? --Kainaw (talk) 02:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
That spurious example is not the same at all. According to our article on the Hawaiian Independence Movement:
Hawaii was granted statehood on August 21, 1959, 
the fiftieth state to enter the union. This was  
approved by a referendum by an overwhelming 96% 
majority. Some of the voters were U.S. military 
personnel, many of whom still maintained residence 
in the continental United States, and were otherwise 
ineligible to vote in Hawaiian elections. Had their 
votes been excluded Hawaii would still have become 
a state, but the vote would not have been as 
overwhelming. The United Nations certified this 
vote by removing Hawaii from the list of 
non-self-governing territories.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico may eventually vote for independence from the US, which will then be granted. StuRat 08:34, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
There are elections in Tibet too. They vote for the Chinese. You happened to leave out the military invasion of Hawaii and overthrow of the Queen. This was reinforced by a high concentration of military bases. So, you put a lot of guys with guns on the island and then ask the natives if they want to vote against you. That isn't much different to me than China putting a lot of guys with guns in Tibet and telling them that they either choose to be Chinese or go to India. The real difference is that Hawaii was never part of the United States until it was forced to become a province and coerced into becoming a state. Tibet was part of China until the British took it away to make it easier to channel Indian opium to China. China took it back when the British left. I am not claiming that the Chinese treat Tibetans better or equal to the way Americans treat the Hawaiians. I am only claiming that the military takeover of Tibet is similar in time and method to the military takeover of Hawaii. --Kainaw (talk) 12:57, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
One party elections aren't elections at all, so they don't count. Has there been a referendum on Tibet being annexed by China in the same way as there was on Hawaii being granted statehood in the US ? I seriously doubt it. And your statements that the old kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by the US military is just plain wrong. According to our article there was a coup by Americans and Europeans living in Hawaii at the time, not by the US army. This coup is in no way comparable to the massive invasion by the Chinese military and subsequent genocide against Tibetans. The UN agrees on this point, do you think they are biased, too ? Your assertion that military bases in Hawaii are there to control the native population is absurd, they are there because it's the only US state in the Pacific, so provides a good staging location for any military operations in the Pacific or Asia. I don't know of any military operations against native Hawaiians anytime recently, do you ? StuRat 20:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
If you believe the USS Boston and the U.S. military were just standing around with rifles singing songs during the overthrow of the Hawaiian government, then there is an impass. I feel that the Presidential investigation that found the U.S. military acted illegally by supporting and participating in the overthrow to be more correct than the Congressional investigation, paid for by the companies that benefitted from the overthrow, that claimed the U.S. military was just "protecting American interests". Also, if you feel that China never owned Tibet before the British sent an envoy with extensive military backing, then we are at an impass. I am not claiming China still holds ownership. I am claiming that China never ceded ownership. It was taken by the British and the U.N. did not give it back. But, China never ever said Tibet was a separate nation. --Kainaw (talk) 01:55, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not up to China to decide if Tibet is a separate country, that's up to the Tibetans. Similarly, it's up to the Hawaiians to decide if they want to be an independent country, and they seem to have voted against that when they voted for US statehood. StuRat 06:43, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The reason that colonization isn't really thought of as occurring in the early 20th century is that everywhere had already been colonized. By around 1900, everywhere on the map was colored in by someone that was recognised as a government by the West. When the UK made Uganda a protectorate in 1888, they were taking over from the assorted indigenous peoples, who (in the perspective of the British) didn't really matter. When they occupied Egypt in 1882, they were taking over from the Ottoman Empire, so it wasn't really colonization. The Berlin Conference drew the lines and mostly finished coloring in Africa in 1895. There's a gigantic list of colonies, protectorates, dependencies, mandates and what-have-you.
Excluding claims made in Antarctica, the most recent clear colonial case I can come up with is the Treaty of Berlin, 1899 which split the islands of Samoa between the US and Germany.
By the post WW2 period, the imperial powers were starting to decolonize, so that point is when "colonization" as such stopped being generally acceptable. Of course, the forces behind decolonization were part altruistic and part the recognition that it was probably more trouble than it was worth. But for my money, "colonization" wasn't really over until the world consensus was that it wasn't acceptable. We just ran out of places to colonize 60 years before that; if someone had found a previously unknown island with vast mineral resources and a weak indigenous population in 1935, someone would have damn sure colonized it.
If you want a specific date, how about December 14, 1960, when UN Resolution 1514 - Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was passed? --ByeByeBaby 01:20, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for all the thoughtful and informative answers. Lots there to read up on and think about! I thank you and my folks thank you! --MattShepherd 02:11, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

If we think of colonies as places intended for settlement by people from the colonizing country, perhaps we could say that colonization ended with the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, with a brief reprise during the brutal expansionism of the Axis Powers of WWII. Up to the Berlin Conference, there had always been blank spots -- terra nullis -- on the world map in the eyes of Europeans. With the colonization of Africa, the entire habitable world had either been organized into "civilized" nation-states or their colonies. The only thing left to do was to take colonies away from other powers.
In the eras of colonization in the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa, the intention was to exploit the natural resources of the colony site, with a secondary object of spreading Christianity to the natives. Today, free trade takes care of the resources issue. Instead of colonizing Nigeria to get its oil, we expect the Nigerians to sell it to us. Certainly some Europeans and Americans are over there to work in the resource industries, but they are expected to live under the laws of the host country.
There may be one last frontier for colonization. Argentina built Base Esperanza in Antarctica in 1975. Unlike other Antarctic bases, Esperanza has a "permanent" population that includes six families. It has its own school for the kids.
Perhaps in the future, the lack of completely free trade in oil will lead to a new age of colonization, if a desperate U.S. or Western World invades oil-rich countries to ensure a steady supply. I don't think we'll be seeing any large-scale colonization like that of the Americas or Australia; the climate of Saudi Arabia, like that of Central Africa, tends not to agree with those of European ancestry. -- Mwalcoff 04:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
However, China may well begin to colonize it's neighbors as it's economic and military power increase. Specifically, I expect them to conquer Taiwan, Nepal, and possibly North Korea (which might not be a bad thing). StuRat 08:43, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

To actually answer the question, I'd date it to Mussolini invading Abyssinia in the 30s. And while "we" were not quite perfect colonialists, the Fascists were a whole lot nastier. HenryFlower 21:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

April 18[edit]

Rush Tour?[edit]

When will the Canadian band Rush tour again? 00:47, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Never, I hope. That lady that sings for Rush needs some nasal decongestant. Erik the Rude 01:20, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I think contacting the band's official website is your best bet here. If they don't say, it's unlikely Wikipedians know the answer. - 10:49, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Kendo - Bogu Components - Is there a shoulder covering?[edit]

I have what I believed to be a vintage (circa 1928) Kendo bogu. In trying to describe it to sell on eBay, I ran into an impasse. I read all the wiki articles and looked at as many pictures as I could on the net in general, concerning the components of the bogu. Missing from all this information is a description, or the name of, an article I have which looks like a shoulder protector.

My questions: Is there a shoulder covering of any kind in Kendo? If so, what does it look like?

I have pictures of this item but this is my first time using Wikipedia so I don't know how to upload an image with this question. If someone knows, i'd appreciate their informing me of the procedure. Although I read the help on this I was confused. I've never even logged onto commons once so it seemed difficult.

I hope this is in keeping with the scope and mission of Wikipedia. I think it's a wonderful return to humanity after the web went commercial. Thank you for your help and participation.

Justfranc 02:15, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Washington post[edit]

Have anyone have Wasington post? In their website, I saw that the print area is 12 inches. But they have not given the width of the page. Can anyone measure the width and tell me? I want the width of the paper and not the print area in inches. help.

Hesy-ra's mastaba[edit]

I've been having trouble finding out about the current condition of Hesy-ra's mastaba. I read that there were murals found when it was first excavated and I'm curious if they are still there. I know this is a weird question but does any body have any more information? KeeganB where is it located is it 3rd Dynasty (Hatch)

The first ever statistician[edit]

Dear Wikipedia,

I am compiling a report on worldwide statistics and would like to start with a preamble on the history of statistics. I am having problems finding answers to a couple of questions on the net and would like to ask you if you know:

1. Who was the first ever statistician? 2. Who was the first ever statistician to compile statistics on a worldwide basis?

I would be really grateful if you could help me here. Best mona

  • It sounds to me like you are not asking about the history of statistics but the history of demographics or vital statistics or something like that (the "history of statistics" is a history of a scientific discipline; the "history of vital statistics" is a history of data collection). If I recall, the use of vital statistics goes back at least to the 18th century, and were seen as key indicators about a nation's health and population. Ted Porter's The Rise of Statistical Thinking might be a good book to find, it has a lot about the early days of the use of statistics (the original "science of the state"). If you look at our article on Statistics it has a very short historical section though I don't think it is very good, in my opinion. But it might be enough for your purposes. --Fastfission 13:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Eh, both of those examples strike me as "going to early, finding something unrelated but aesthetically similar to the later function and labeling it as that". Statistics in the "science of the state" sense doesn't really take its meaning until the 18th century, from what I understand. --Fastfission 02:02, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The first use of statistics I'm aware of was an investigation into the correlation between incidences of disease (I believe TB though I may be wrong) and types of water source in a town in England. I think it was in the 18th c. Sorry I don't have any more info. AllanHainey 15:00, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd have to say that the first statistician ever was Adam. He took a look around and saw nobody else and must have concluded that the population of the world was 1.

Donald Rumsfeld - Education[edit]

Can you answer the following questions regarding U.S.A Secretary of Defense?

Your entry on Mr. Rumsfeld mentions the following: "attended Princeton University on academic and NROTC scholarships (BA, 1954) where he was an accomplished amateur wrestler. While at Princeton, he was roommates with Frank Carlucci. In 1957, after a stint in the Navy, he attended and subsequently dropped out of Georgetown University Law Center (1957)."

However, there is no mention of him recieving any degrees from the aforementioned institutions.

Do you have further information pertaining to degrees he holds? 12:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

"(BA, 1954)" means he received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton in 1954. He apparently did not receive a degree from Georgetown (hence the "dropped out"). --Fastfission 12:58, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Origin of "If a tree falls..."?[edit]

What is the origin behind the expression, "If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?" Thank you.

You mean "If a tree falls in the woods, and there is noone there to hear it, does it make a sound?". That's George Berkeley, in one way or another. I've seen it attributed to him, although I'm not so sure about the truth of that. It does, however, echo his thoughts. I'd be a little surprized if it predated him. I've also seen it credited as a Zen koan, although I'm equally doubtful about that too. --BluePlatypus 13:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought it was: "If a tree falls in the woods, and if there is no one to hear it, do the other trees laugh?" Jonathan talk Flag of Canada.svg 06:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
If a tree falls in the forest, and it hits a mime, does anyone care? Black Carrot 01:44, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Martha Bernays' letters to S. Freud[edit]

Hi, I would be most grateful if you could tell if and where Martha Bernays' letters to Freud are published. I realise that Freud's are widely available, but it is the responses that I am interested in.

Thanks Very much

Kennedy assassination[edit]

Robert Croft, standing on the south curb of Elm Street, took a photo of President Kennedy at Zapruder frame 160. The book Pictures of the Pain says he then took a photo of the President at the moment of the fatal shot. Where is that latter photo?

Same question, same Lincoln memorial ? --DLL 20:06, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Art and architecture[edit]

Sir/Madam I have to make a term paper on the topic Art and Architecture.I have been on the look out for articles regarding the questions raised in this topic.I wanted some questions which deeply concern the topic like what comes first in architecture,form or function?and many more.. Please if could help me out on this topic as i have been searching and reading for many days and still couldn't find a satisfying question,something which really compels us to think on the topic. Thank you Sumanyu Talwar

That seems like a perfectly decent question to me. Of course, any answer will be opinion, not factual, but that's true of pretty much any question on this subject. StuRat 20:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  1. To what degree do the anti-decorative movements in art have analogs in anti-decorative movements in architecture?
  2. Art has "mimesis" as one of its goals, according to Aristotle. What is architecture's equivalent of mimesis?
  3. Pick any historical movement in architecture and discuss how contemporaneous art movements reflect the same or different goals?
  4. Modernism is a reaction, in Europe and America, to the miseries of World War I. How did movements reflect the terrors of World War II?
There are others. Just think historically. Geogre 23:37, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Burial Location[edit]

Is there any idea where Zimbabwe's Canaan banana is buried. It appears he was in south africa at the time of his death.–––

  • According to this site he was in London at the time of his death, but the body was flown to Zimbabwe. this site says "full military honors would be according Banana at a ceremony at his birthplace, Esigodini, outside the western provincial capital of Bulawayo" DJ Clayworth 17:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Here's another reference to his burial at his family home. Googling "Canaan banana" burial brings up lots of references. --Halcatalyst 18:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


I asked this question on the science reference desk but no one answered. Maybe no one knows anything about the humanities atall there. It seemed like a Science question to me, but whatever. What I was wondering if there is actually a poison like that used by Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (i.e. made like dead for several hours: cold to the touch, pale, etc., then you wake up). Thanks. schyler 20:54, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The reason no one answered was because you stuck it on the end of another question. Most people probably didn't even see it. —Keenan Pepper 02:56, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

It could be opium. It wouldn't be belladonna, because belladonna is an anticholinergic, and anticholinergics cause body temperature to rise. Most likely, it was a poison created with the right characteristics to advance the plot properly. Erik the Rude 23:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Well if it says poison question in the heading then people would probably wonder why it was titled that when I only asked about a sotware program. It clearly stated in the title that there were two questions. schyler 03:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe the poison used in voodoo, which is extracted from the puffer fish, has such an effect. In the proper quantity, it can also cause the victim brain damage, but leave them alive and highly susceptible to suggestion, hence called zombies. StuRat 05:35, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Correction: the puffer fish extract isn't what causes the brain damage, that's another component of the potion. The puffer fish extract does cause the state that appears to be death, however. StuRat 21:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Ooooh, tetrodotoxin. Good answer. —Keenan Pepper 00:39, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Confirmation of Reverend Paisely's death.[edit]

Is the Wikipedia death notice Ian Paisley, Union Democratice leader, correct or a mistake or prank?

It appears to have been a prank; it was corrected within half an hour. Melchoir 22:06, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

April 19[edit]

Cambodia - UN Peacekeeping in the 1990s[edit]

I'm trying to find information about Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot, however it's hard to find anything dealing with a peacekeeping mission that I know the UN sent, but are not sure of any keywords, or where to start.

Basic questions that I'm trying to answer are as follows:

Why did soldiers go on a mission to this region? What country or countries participated?

Try starting here: List of UN peacekeeping missions? --Rhakith

Tonight's "American Idol"[edit]

At the end of her song (or after Ryan's comments; I can't remember now) Katherine McPhee leaned over, into the shot, and mouthed something. What was it? --zenohockey 02:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

It looked to me like she was asking Randy what he had said, because the response from the audience was so loud. User:Zoe|(talk) 01:22, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's correct, especially in view of her having said thereafter that she was having a difficult time hearing. The one time when one wants to hear the judges' comments is when he/she has done well, and, of course, that's the time the applause is often deafening and rather long. Joe 20:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Common-law Marriage in Guatemala[edit]

I have tried may other websites but have no luck. Anyone who lives in Guatemala would answer this question without any difficulty, and I really appreciate.

Does Guatemala recognize common-law marriage? Is it a common practice?

Thank you.

Actually, I don't think you should assume that just because people live in a country, that they will know this. For instance in England there is no such thing in law, but a great many people talk as if there is. In Scotland it still sort of exists (uniquely in Europe), and I doubt one US citizen in a thousand could correctly tell you that common law marriage is recognised only in the states of Alabama, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire (posthumously), Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. See common law marriage, which does not answer your question directly, but complicates it a good deal. Notinasnaid 08:08, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the answer. However, it just like you said; it complicates the matter or the question, and it does not help.

I know it won´t help you, but it is recognized in Brazil. In fact, here, common-law marriage grants the same rights than regular marriage.

source of quotation[edit]

Can anyone tell me the source of the quotation "If you love something set it free...if it comes back it is truly yours"? Richardrj 09:21, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

It's from a television show called Daria. See the excerpt at Wikiquote. --Halcatalyst 15:24, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, but are you sure that was the first time it was used? That sounds like a use of the phrase as a quotation to me. --Richardrj 15:35, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Considering it was the basis for a song by Sting 15 years before that show first aired, I seriously doubt it. Grutness...wha? 01:56, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I heard it long before that show was produced, but I can't remember where. DJ Clayworth 17:50, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Origin seems very unclear:

  • This says it’s by Alison Willcocks; but here Alison Willcocks herself says it’s an ancient Chinese proverb, and gives a complete version.
  • This provides 6 versions, depending on what/whom it is you’re setting free. JackofOz 01:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I think Americans and Brits and Irish got it from Jonathan Livingston Seagull. That's old enough, popular enough, and part of the whole "let's read Zen and the IChing and Khalil Gibran" thing that went on around 1971-1974. Geogre 11:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah yes, I remember it well. Not to mention sea-grass matting on every apartment floor, and Desiderata on every wall. JackofOz 14:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Ethinicity of Indians[edit]

hi there. Does anybody know what is the Ethinicity of Indians and Pakistanis like Hispanics, Caucasians etc

This is a complicated issue. The simple answer to your question is "Asian". But some people would argue that your question is really about race, not ethnicity. The two terms are not necessarily interchangeable. The concept of ethnicity is rooted in the idea of social groups, marked especially by shared nationality, tribal affiliation, religious faith, shared language, or cultural and traditional origins and backgrounds, whereas race is rooted in the idea of a biological classification of human beings according to certain traits. In this sense Hispanic is an ethnic grouping rather than a racial one. And the term Caucasian is falling into disuse, replaced by White or White European. Richardrj 09:43, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Racially, most Indians and Pakistanis are Caucasian/White (which only means that they look more like Europeans and North Africans than like East Asians), unless you count Indian as a race of its own. Their skin color varies from very dark to very light, so skin color doesn't really help to clarify the issue. Ethnically, Pakistanis and Indians are all kinds of things -- many different peoples live in these two countries. Some of the largest ethnicities are Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Tamil. Chl 00:49, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

memoir about life in Cold War Eastern Europe?[edit]

hello, I would love to read a non-fiction memoir about life in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union during the Cold War, perhaps describing how ordinary people lived under state repression and observation (1984-type stuff). Is there such a book? --Richardrj 15:41, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Cool, but which languages can you read? Biographies about non-notable people tend not to be translated to English. I can only recommend this autobiography by a Polish electrician, Thuresson 21:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
While not strictly non-fiction memoirs, some of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's works are brilliant, widely available, and at least semi-autobiographical. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is probably a good intro; it's shorter than some of his others, and is based on his time imprisoned in a work camp. The Cancer Ward is based on his subsequent battle with cancer. I'm sure you've guessed, but I should note that they aren't exactly pick-me-up books or "beach reading". --ByeByeBaby 23:17, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Who are these men?[edit]

Can somebody please help me, can anybody identify the 2 men in these pictures?

I know the images are somewhere here on wikipedia I just can't locate them.

The first one is Ken Lay. [25] David Sneek 17:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that Mr Sneek, need the other now.

Isn`t the second one to do with music?

Biblical Character[edit]

Which biblical character is depicted here. I know the guy made a prophecy or something but not sure.

That would almost certainly be Ezekiel, prophecying in the 'valley of the dry bones'. DJ Clayworth 17:44, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Does Iran Have Oil Refineries?[edit]

A few minutes ago, Rush Limbaugh said,"Iran has no oil refineries. Did you know that Iran has to export its oil to get refined even though they're nuking up?"

Is he right? Does this mean that even after 1951 when Iran nationalized oil with the help of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, it still has no refineries and it that technologically backwards?Patchouli 16:58, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

No, far from it. [26]. [27] [28]. That's at least nine, and I think Qeshm Island is open too. Iran also has a large petrochemicals and plastics industry.
The lesson here is "Don't believe Rush." (Rush is Reich) For more on his distortions and fabrications, there are numerous websites, with FAIR being the best of them. Geogre 17:38, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
They're not technologically backwards either. They've got universities and scientists just like most other countries. While not perhaps at the absolute global top level, they're certainly doing a lot better than most of their neighbors. (And it's a well-known fact there are a huge number of Iranian blogs) --BluePlatypus 17:58, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


My friend has challenged me to find the name of this building which he apparently has been to can you guys help .

What are you going to win by identifying all these pictures? --LarryMac 20:35, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

General Knowledge plus bragging rights. I thought you could ask any question you like here?

I didn't say you couldn't ask, I was just curious, and in turn I asked a question. --LarryMac 20:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
You don't have much bragging rights if you didn't find the answer yourself. --BluePlatypus 04:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

No problem Mate I think it`s a church if thats any help.

Dont regognise it but from its Style I,d say its probably in Spain Or some other meditranion Nation and dates fraom the 1700-1800

Thanks anyway mate I have 3 of 5 Questions I need to answer would still like even a thought on the pic of the guy I posted earlier the second one.

You might tag it "old church". Such search in googleimage shows Brussel's in the first row, and it looks quite the same. So : Spain, Flanders or South America ? -- 12:38, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

A Middle Ages mystery[edit]

I recently remembered something I once read in a book of unexplained events and strange happenings that I got out from the library many years ago when I was a child. It concerned a child or young teenager in the Middle Ages, possibly in Germany if I recall correctly, who was discovered well-dressed wandering the streets of a city one day, unable to speak or communicate in any way aside from being able to write his name. He was evidently taken in by the authorities and eventually taught and read and speak, and explained that for his entire life that he could remember he had been kept in confinement in a tiny box / cellar of some sort, until the day when he was taken out and left in the city. Does this ring any bells with anybody? I wanted to look it up again but cannot remember what the child's name was supposed to have been. I think he was eventually supposed to have been murdered, or something odd certainly became of him. Angmering 20:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Kaspar Hauser. --BluePlatypus 20:57, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Blimey, that was quick! Cheers! Angmering 21:03, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
It's a pretty famous case, but there were other wild children as well. I think the Kaspar Hauser article discusses it, but, if not, there are books on the wild children (most of whom were not wild, in truth, but abused). Geogre 22:15, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Need origin of Phrase[edit]

Does any one know where the phrase "Peace though superier firepower" comes from?

My friend thought that it might be a qote from General Patton, but I was unable to locate any information one way or the other.

--Kd7jit 22:18, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Peace Through Superior Firepower... quoted from nowhere? --Halcatalyst 00:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank You. idk. Where it apeared first would even be helpful. It seems to be a popular phrase, my grandparents have even used it to describe the Cold War. idk if it orginated there or was a later phase used to describe history.

--Kd7jit 02:06, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd suspect it derives from "if you want peace, prepare for war" (I'm paraphrasing) by Tacitus. AllanHainey 15:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I Think thats a Patton quote but I dont have any sources.

Patton said: "Superior firepower is an invaluable tool when entering negotiations", but apparently not the exact phrase you're after. It does seem amazingly elusive. Some websites credit Star Trek: The Next Generation. JackofOz 01:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
"Let him who desires peace, prepare for war" (Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum) was by Flavius Vegetius Renatus in Epitoma rei Militaris. This is sometimes rendered as "If you want peace, prepare for war", back-translated as "Si vis pacem, para bellum" and misattributed to Tacitus. JackofOz 01:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank You. What would I do with out Wikipedia? IMHO this wiki is a meeting place for inteligent people, those who are willing to share and those who are dilligently seeking. --Kd7jit

Where is Holbrach, Russia?[edit]

I have been attempting some genealogical research and found my grandparent's immigration info(date sailed, ship name. etc.) on the Ellis Island site which states that my grandmother left Europe in 1915 from Holbrach, Russia. I have tried to find Holbrach on old maps and through researching many sites but without luck. My grandmother spoke Polish and I was told that her family came from Eastern, Poland near Bialystok. Please let me know where Holbrach, Russia is located. Is there another name? Thanks, George Predko

"Holbrach" sounds like a German or Yiddish variant of a city name. I had no luck using the JewishGen ShtetlSeeker. I would try looking for answers on the BIALYGen mailing list, which specializes in Bialystok-area genealogy. Even if your family isn't Jewish, they may be able to help you out. -- Mwalcoff 23:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure "Holbrach" is Holowach/Holowacz/Golowach/Golovach (note the Polish "cz" is like the English and German "ch" sounds). It seems to be a small place just a little bit east (or east-south-east) of Grodno/Hrodna which is in current-day Belarus. It's given as "Holowaczyn" (another variant) on this map. Grodno is near the Polish border, about 50 miles from Białystok. In 1915 it would've been part of the Russian Empire, the part that was invaded by Germany in WWI. Unfortunately, I can't give you the present-day name because at the moment, I can't seem to find a good enough map of the Hrodna area. --BluePlatypus 00:37, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

northern ireland[edit]

What is the official flower of Northern Ireland?

You could take a look at our article on Northern Ireland, which includes this information in the infobox.-gadfium 23:45, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

What is the name of this fake tribe?[edit]

For a school project for my law class, I chose a subject that I thought would find easily, but I am drawing several blanks. For the life of me, I cannot remember anything that would be helpful for search terms on Wikipedia. Basically, I am looking for the name of a 'Stone Age' era tribe that was located in the southeastern part of Asia (I can't even remember the country) in the 70's. One politician invited journalists and scientists to their remote jungle home to study them. Even National Geographic had them on the cover of one of their issues. It turns out that all of the "cave men" were actually poor local natives payed to act as primitive people. The politician had used it as a way to make money. If anyone could give me just the name of the tribe, the politician, or even the country, I would be very grateful. Then I can research it myself. Thank you in advance.

Tasaday, and you can argue forever if they are fake or not, because there is no evidence either way. Chl 00:22, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for the quick response! That was exactly what I needed, although I'm not sure if this can qualify for a project since it seems to be disputed on whether it was a hoax or not. Oh dear, time to think of another topic.

April 20[edit]

National Fiscal Accounting and Increase in the Money Supply[edit]

Every year the government comes out with a budget. If the amount of revenue (taxes) is more than the amount of expenditures, there is a surplus. If the amount of revenue is less than expenditures, there is a deficit. If the two are equal, the budget is balanced. Seems simple enough.

But it also has to be remembered that the government "prints" and puts into circulation (i.e. spends) a certain amount of money each year to keep up with the expansion of the economy. How is this money accounted for on the country's books?

For example, if the government raises $99 billion in taxes, and prints an extra billion dollars, and then spends $100 billion, is it running a balanced budget or is it considered to have a $1 billion deficit? I'd especially appreciate an answer from an expert economist, but anyone else can weigh in as they see fit. Loomis51 01:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

You want to take a look at seigniorage (our article could be better). Seigniorage is the profit a country makes by printing money. Most countries make some seigniorage. I think the US profits about a billion dollars or so a year. Printing too much causes currency values to decline, inflation, and the mess of problems that come from bad monetary policy. Italy used to use seigniorage extensively. Some have attributed the fall of the Roman Empire to seigniorage. For the most part, a country paying small amounts of debt with extra currency won't have a major impact, so it's an oppurtunity for a little bit of free money.--Bkwillwm 01:45, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, BK. I wasn't aware of the term. However I understand that printing money must be done in a very diciplined way. I'm aware that many countries, for some reason, didn't understand this and simply printed money whenever they needed more to spend. Of course this leads, as you said, to a mess of problems, like hyperinflation. But thanks for the link, I wasn't aware there was an actual term for it! Loomis51 03:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Germans = Scandinavians?[edit]

Did the (what we know now as) German tribes come from from Scandinavia originally? (Norway and Sweden, mainly.) Thanks. -Bjornson

Mostly Denmark and Sweden, rather. (See: Proto-Germanic) Although northern Germany is also a candidate. The Goths in particular most likely originated in southern present-day Sweden (and Gotland), though. --BluePlatypus 02:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

So.. according to the map it was in modern day Norway/Sweden/Denmark that "Germans" came from- Sorry, but can I have a more direct answer to my question? A Yes or No- i'd heard Germans and Scandinavians were/are the same people, and "Germans" came from Scandinavia, but I was just making sure... again, a yes or no, please. - Bjornson.

There's no simple "Yes and no" answer to be had here. Ethnicity is not a strongly defined concept. But for most definitions of the word: No, Germans and Scandinavians are not the same people. Nor are Scandinavians all one people. Danes consider themselves to be Danes, Germans consider themselves to be Germans, and so on. They don't have the same language or culture either. You could say that they once were the same people, but that's just how we look at it. We have no clue as to whether they considered themselves to be one people or not. "Germanic" does not mean the same thing as "German". The Viking-Age people of Scandinavia never considered themselves to be one people, even when they did have largely the same language and culture. The "Swedes" were not one people back then either, they considered themselves to be either Geats (Götar) or Suiones (Svear). --BluePlatypus 05:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I was aware that the Danes consider themselves Danes, and Germans Germans, Norwegians Norwegians, and so on, but I believe "You could say that they once were the same people...-" was a yes to my question- thank you.

Parenthetical statements: I was aware also that different Germannic tribes made up the Swedes, same for Norwegians, Danes, and Germans, but what I was really asking is, did the tribes to become known as Germans in our day come from Scandinavia, but as I said I believe you've answered my question ^^^ - Bjornson

What happened to the "list of top selling female artists" page?[edit]

There used to be a page discussing the top selling female music artists - it's gone now. Does anyone know what happened to it? Thank you... PatrickJ83 04:33, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I think I saw it on AFD. Try the deletion log and see if it's listed there. Special:Log Do you have the exact title? - 08:01, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
It was a disgrace to the project, but Best-selling female singer had almost 700 edits before it was killed. :) HenryFlower 12:37, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. PatrickJ83 23:19, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Question Period viewing[edit]

Is there a place online to watch the Prime Minister's Question Period in Canada? Specifically the entirety of this and previous week's periods as is available for the UK Parliament at both C-SPAN and Number 10 Downing Street? All I can find is an audio only podcast on the CPAC site and some clips on CTV's site, but not the full period on video from the current or previous week. Thanks EdwinHJ | Talk 06:12, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Origin of Buddhism and Jainism[edit]

What led to the rise of the religions Buddhism and Jainism?

Have you read our articles on Buddhism and Jainism? If, after reading them, you still have specific questions, feel free to ask again! — QuantumEleven | (talk) 07:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism, the oldest religion.Patchouli 10:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is the Hindu view. Buddhists see it very differently! It's an old argument, which I don't want to prolong. Just wanted to note there is another side to all that. 18:37, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Changing parenting w.r.t. working parents . Effect on Advertising[edit]


This is in regards to some help that I need As i am studying the changing needs of childern and the changing aspects of parenting due to the change in parenting (as in when both the parents are working) .. What effect does this have on advertising. This is related to 0-12 years kids .. not for the teenagers.

I would really appreciate if you can send me some whitepapers on the same or maybe send me some links where i can read about the subject (related to India IF possible, Other studies are also welcome). I am doing my Management post graduation and this is one of my areas where i need to do a project on , But i need to know more anout the same and would really Appreciate any help possible .

Thanks and Regards Rahul Sharma

It's all good news for advertisers. Kids left alone means more objectionable TV ads can be shown without the parents turning off the TV. And more guilt and disposable income from two working parents means they are more likely to buy all the crap that's pushed on their kids. StuRat 20:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Why Is Exxon Seen as a Bad Guy by Americans?[edit]

Why is it that so many Americans have such adverse reactions regarding the success of their largest corporation, Exxon. Isn't is the main goal of a corporation to generate profits? Sure, if there is evidence of foolplay, procecute, otherwise, shouldn't people of a free nation be proud of their successful corporations? After all, BP, Shell, PetroCanada, to name a few, are regarded with admiration within their respective country. Why not the same with Exxon?--JLdesAlpins 10:56, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

First that comes to my mind is the oil spill in Alaska. Maybe a more recent reason is the gas prices soaring in the wake of Katrina. We were tolled the prices would go down after everything settled down, but personally I haven't seen a difference since after the hurricane season. schyler 12:29, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, naming your ships after your company if there's a chance they could cause the deaths of cute animals is a Bad Idea. There's also an awareness that Exxon is a major donor to the present administration, so there may be politics involved.
More generally, I think a lot of people's acceptance of capitalism is less whole-hearted than the rhetoric spouted by free-marketeers, particularly in the USA, would suggest. The system may be perceived as OK, even the "right" one, but a lot of people dislike any one individual or group doing too well (especially if there's a perception that this is at the expense of some obvious fluffy Good Thing, like the environment) -- it's one thing to think the rules are fair, it's another not to feel a bit resentful when the same team keeps winning every year. Or the converse: complaining about the "worst" examples of companies benefitting under capitalism provides a safety valve for people's more general feelings about the iniquities of a system that they're unwilling to actually see changed even if deep down they think it should be. (I certainly think that I fall into the latter category with my rather pointless participation in the boycott against Nestle, which boils down for me to refusing to eat Kit Kats and fruit pastilles.)
And finally, are you sure that BP, Shell, etc. are admired within their respective countries? The petrochemical industry in general is widely viewed as a big problem. (I live in Britain; BP are spending vast amounts on advertising to rebrand themselves as "beyond petroleum" in a "we're looking to the future" way and it's not doing them a vast amount of good.) --Bth 12:45, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
It is a bit of a stretch to assume the Bush administration has any responsibility for the public attitude toward any oil company. Oil companies donated to Clinton (and every administration before him) because they are huge and pay off everyone in government. Also, Arkansas has a strong oil industry. So, a governor from Arkansas could also be seen as an "oil-President". Of course, Americans could be dumb enough to think that the oil companies have been suffering for decades, waiting for some idiot from Texas to become President so they could pay him off. Personally, I think that most Americans are smart enough to realize that all of the Presidents have been corrupted by the oil companies (and the auto industry, and the medical industry, and the insurance industry...) --Kainaw (talk) 01:34, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
There are a variety of critiques. You might want to read up on them before deciding that it is all irrational or jealousy or whatever. There was recently a pretty detailed criticism of Exxon in the New York Times by Paul Krugman (a mirror of it is at His argument is that Exxon's profits in particular are based on the fact that it is one of the worst polluters on the planet, worse than other petrochemical companies. --Fastfission 13:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
As a dutchman i can tell you that Royal Dutch/Shell (In majority a dutch corp.) is not universally loved here, mostly on enviromental issues (like the current nigeria problems) and complaining about gas prices / profit (For reference, 1 liter of gas currently costs around E 1.40 here, with an exchange rate of E/$ of 1.2 and about 4l/gallon that makes about $5.7/gallon, yay for government taxes) SanderJK 14:00, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
As a Canadian, I wouldn't exactly say that PetroCanada is regarded with admiration, so much as acceptance. Okay, they were the 24th most respected company last year, but that's a survey of CEOs who are weighting their votes heavily towards financial and management matters, which the average citizen ignores. As far as Exxon goes, perhaps part of the issue is simply excess? Gas is considered a necessary expense by most Americans, rather than some sort of luxury product, so Exxon making more profit than any other company ever is viewed less like back when "what was good for General Motors was good for America" and more like discovering that your water utility company was making billions of dollars off of you. Another excess issue is the recent $400 million retirement package given to it's chairman; the largest ever, every penny coming from gas prices that are currently higher than ever. Despite the fact that socialism doesn't really sell as a political movement in America, I wonder if perhaps some of the discontent comes from the realization (on an internal level) that if Exxon's 36 billion in profits is equivalent to roughly 27 cents on every gallon sold (regardless of where it's bought) [29]. --ByeByeBaby 15:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Many people in the US feel that we should move away from a petroleum based economy, as it will lead to endless wars and supply disruptions and shortages. However, since Dick Cheney, in conjunction with companies like Exxon, seems to have adopted an energy policy in secret meetings which is pro-oil and anti-everything else, this leads to a great deal of resentment against Exxon (and Cheney and Bush). And, of course, Exxon making record profits off consumers who are hurting (due to the high prices) doesn't make them very popular, either. StuRat 08:35, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, nobody really know what economy should replace the oil-economy yet. Hydrogen is neither economic nor practical - ethanol would just make us reliant on other countries... If it is to change it will be the idealists who do it - the fat cats won't move on it untill it can turn a profit. But rest assured, then they most certainly will move on it. Gardar Rurak 05:24, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
The concept that we should rely primarily on any single source of energy is fundamentally flawed, leaving us vulnerable to supply disruptions. Using an as wide as possible spread among all the different sources of energy would be the safest way to go. If you combine all the other sources of energy (nuclear fission, hydroelectric, solar, tidal, wave, geothermal, natural gas, ethanol, methanol, coal, wood, wind, etc.), we have more than sufficient energy sources to make up for petroleum. Of course, some, such as coal and wood, are heavy polluters, so should probably be limited for that reason. Some of these energy sources aren't appropriate for cars (although some nuts actually built a nuclear powered car once), but they could be used in place of other petroleum uses, like replacing fuel oil for heating homes. StuRat 19:58, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, alot of the hate of "big oil" in the USA is misplaced genral anger at rising oil prices. Alot of people belive they are pricefixing and/or creating artifical scarcity. Some of this is spill over from the Enron disaster as well. Alot of distrust of energy supplyers was leftover from that. ---J.S (t|c) 23:51, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Gimp for sale?[edit]

I know it is illegal, but does anyone know where I can buy a gimp? Are most gimps well trained enough so that they do not have to be shackled all the time?

I don't understand, you want to buy a GNU Image Manipulation Program?-- 00:25, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Reference desk/Stupid questions. Marskell 16:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Is this question about human slavery?? —Keenan Pepper 16:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Wal-Mart. They do a pair for $39.95. 19:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, maybe that's a clever reference to a DiscWorld series by Terry Pratchet? If so, according to the book, you can get gimps on the Counterweight continent. As you can see, every question has its answer, however stupid. --Jinxs 19:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
"The only stupid question is the unasked one." God I hate that phrase... ---J.S (t|c) 23:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Where did all the Animorph books go?[edit]

I thought they stopped printing them a while ago so they're all disappearing. Does this mean that eventually there will be no more left? Jonathan talk Flag of Canada.svg 17:33, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

In general, yes: when a publisher decides not to print any more copies of a book, it goes "out of print" and can no longer be purchased new. The publisher (or sometimes the author) retains the rights, and can choose to do this: nobody else can publish copies (until at least 70 years have passed). Books can become very rare and expensive. However, for those who can afford it, books can be purchased second hand from many places. Mass-market books rarely become expensive or rare. lists over 5000 of them. Notinasnaid 22:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Where are all the Moonbeam movies?[edit]

And is the same thing happening to all these Moonbeam Entertainment movies? I saw previews of some of them and they looked pretty cool but I can't find them anywhere. Jonathan talk Flag of Canada.svg 17:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

The same thing applies, though you have to look elsewhere to find used DVD/VHS copies. If a film is released to the cinema and never makes it to DVD, you may have nothing but memories, however. Notinasnaid 22:11, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, that explains why I can't find any of these movies. They probably never got onto DVD. Jonathan talk Flag of Canada.svg 06:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Tax Deductions I didn't ask for[edit]

I live in the US. So a couple of days ago, I go to Jackson Hewitt to get my taxes done. My past experience with H&R Block and other Jackson Hewitt franchises is that they ask you a bunch of questions and they go through the whole process of filling in all those spaces in the computer and a half hour later, taxes done. This time, though, was completely different. I go in, and in less than five minutes the guy had my taxes done. He asked me the basic stuff essentially three questions (job, dependants, age) before blasting through everything very non-chalantly. When he was done, he informed me what my refund would be, and it ended up being more than twice what I usually get. He asked if it was more than usual, I said yes, and he chuckled and said, "I know" as the taxes were e-filed. Not thinking tooo much about it, I get home, grab some lunch, and start flipping through all the paperwork this guy gave me. I get to the itemized deduction page, and am wogboggled. Keep in mind, he never asked, and I never said, a single deduction. Listed on the paperwork are deductions including thousands of dollars in charity donations (I give to charity, but nowhere near as much listed), and thousands and thousands of dollars in business expenses, and although I did accrue some business expenses, I never really kept track of them, and they weren't near what this guy put down.

SO... if I am audited, am I responsible for all of this, or the tax preparer. The ethical obligations with which I am still wrestling aside, do I have a legal obligation to inform the government of this possible inpropriety?

-Signed, Irving Robert "Eiben Scrood" Schulmann

This is not the place for reliable legal advice, however ... you signed the return, you are responsible (e-filed or not, there is a signature somewhere). Jackson-Hewitt will probably say the return was prepared based on the information you provided (regardless of the truth of the matter). If I were you, I'd contact the manager of that office and get things straightened out immediately. Calling the IRS would not be incorrect. --LarryMac 20:00, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
It sounds like you've gotten lucky, keep the name of the guy & get him to do your taxes evey year. I'm not a lawyer but statistically the chances of being audited are low & if you have a good defence, such as that the Jackson Hewitt guy did your taxes (& presumably his methods will be verifiable as he'll be doing the same for everyone) & you just sent it in without checking it you're unlikely to be liable for anything more than the taxes you would've paid anyway. Of course this assumes that you have no moral problems with depriving your government of the money they decide that you owe them. AllanHainey 12:33, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Remember to send AllanHainey a postcard from jail. The obvious first thing to remember is that the man who made your return is clearly not averse to lying. If questioned he will say that you gave him the information that he entered on the form, which means that you will be under suspicion of defrauding the government. The best case scenario there is that your tax return will be flagged for a very detailed audit every year for a long time to come. If you really claimed things that are completely untrue (as opposed to just being vague about some numbers) then prosecution for fraud is certainly a possibility. DJ Clayworth 17:08, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Planet Orbits[edit]

On diagrams and pictures, all the planets seem to orbit on one level plane (with the exception of Pluto). Is this correct? Why do all the planets roughly orbit the sun on the same plane? I thought the effects of gravity worked on all planes.

  • Sorry, posted in the wrong section*
People are trying to understand why there is an orbital plane, why, generally, systems resolve into disks. At least that's what I read at Astronomy Picture of the Day. One of the things planetary scientists are investigating with Saturn is this tendency to move toward an equatorial plane. Geogre 21:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The unusual inclination of Pluto's orbit is noted in Pluto#Orbit. Gravity does indeed work on all planets, but the Sun is (virtually) a sphere, and extends its gravitational effects equally in all directions, not just along the ecliptic. If two different planets' orbits are inclined by 17 degrees relative to each other, I don't think gravity would tend to tilt the orbits to bring them into conformity. JamesMLane t c 01:29, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

You're right that there is no inherent reason why the planets couldn't all orbit in different planes; the reason probably has to do with the way the solar system was formed. Our solar system initially existed as the solar nebula, a large rotating cloud of gas (and dust). Then, around 4.6 billion years ago, it began to contract (there is some evidence this may be due to a nearby supernova). As it continued contracting, it flattened toward a disk due to inertia ("centrifugal force"), the same forces that cause the Earth to bulge at its equator. The disc broke into rings which condensed into the planets; that's why they're all in the same plane and orbit in the same direction. For the same reason, the moons of a planet tend to be in the same plane as well. For instance, most of Saturn's moons orbit roughly in the same plane (which is the same plane as that of the rings—a shame, really; you couldn't really appreciate the beauty of the rings even though Saturn would be right in your sky). Of course, moons acquired from other sources don't follow the same patterns. I discussed the briefly at History of Earth#Origin; you may also enjoy "Solar System Modeling", part of the excellent Cosmic Evolution from Tufts University. — Knowledge Seeker 02:00, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


Was Sadat black?

  • Well, to be precise, as the article says, he was half Egyptian and half Sudanese. Sudan is a big mix of black African and Arab people. I can't come to any conclusions from that; I'd guess, though, that he'd identify himself as an Egyptian above all else. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 22:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Sadat was indeed very dark, and some would call him "black". That doesn't necessarily make him negroid, but that wasn't the question. JackofOz 23:01, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

April 21[edit]

Starving Yorkshire terrier[edit]

Can we have an article on the animal tragedy, 204 Yorkshire terrier puppies and 37 cats found after the death of their owner. The name of the owner is in the news too, is the article name the name of the owner, or the name of the tragedy? (Here is a search for news articles [30]) Bib 00:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Although this is perhaps not the best place at which to discuss the issue, I am inclined to think that neither the event nor the owner is sufficiently notable; at the very least, on the disposition of the question of notability here would turn the disposition of sundry other prospective articles—in my home state (Wisconsin) alone, there have been two similar cases, each involving more than 200 "pets", in the past four months. If you think the event to be notable in view of the enumerated guidelines and not to be inconsistent with What Wikipedia is not, you might be best advised to create a stub about the event, after which it is likely a deletion debate (toward the eduction of a consensus view) would ensue. Joe 03:38, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If this happened recently, perhaps a Wikinews article would be more appropriate. StuRat 08:19, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

U. S. House of Representatives--New Term Starting Dates[edit]

Do all of the states have the same starting date (for a two year term of office) for newly elected candidates for the United States House of Representatives? What is the next exact term starting date or dates for the next elected Representatives from the state of California? Thank you in advance. ~~Bob W. 20 April 2006

Representatives elected in the regular elections (November of each even-numbered year) take office at the beginning of the following January, regardless of which state they're from. (I think the exact date is the first business day in January. If so, Representatives elected this fall will be sworn in on January 2, 2007.) Aside from the November election, a few Representatives are chosen in special elections to fill vacancies; they don't need to wait until the next January. JamesMLane t c 01:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick response, and your good answer, James. ~~Bob W. 21 April 2006

Missa Luba[edit]

What is the Missa Luba? (If... (film) says that the single piece of music that repeats in the film comes from the Missa Luba.) zafiroblue05 | Talk 03:31, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I can't give you chapter and verse, but it's a piece of religious choral music combining European classical and African traditional styles, written by Father Guido Haazen, who was an African missionary somewhere like Congo DR (or Belgian Congo as it was then). I've heard of two versions, one by a Congolese choir called something like the Roi Baudouin Choir, and another version performed by a choir from Kenya (Muunganu Choir, I think). It's only one part of the piece that's heard in the film (the Sanctus, I think), as the full Missa Luba is a long work wih several movements. Grutness...wha? 09:08, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Bible on Wealth[edit]

John Meacham said on 16 April 2006 that "they forget that the Bible also is calling every 50 years for a redistribution of wealth."

I am not knowledgeable about the Bible. So I would like to know whether he made this up or not? If he is correct, where in the Bible can this be found?Patchouli 04:06, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Vacation for US Legislators[edit]

Do US Representatives and Senators go on a formal vacation every year? Or can they go to vacations separately whenever they choose to? I don't think that they write laws 365 days/year. Also, is their office closed on weekends?Patchouli 04:15, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

They have set recess periods, during which they can go on vacation anywhere they want (except Cuba and a few other places) or just stay home. They could also take a vacation when not in recess, but voters tend to take a dim view of such behaviour, unless they pretend it's a "fact finding mission". Then again, I bet many wish they were on vacation when they voted to authorize the Iraq War. They can keep their offices open on the weekends if they want, it's up to each one. StuRat 08:14, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
They tend to use their "recesses" for fundraising. They tend to use their vacations for fundraising, too, and they generally use their fact finding missions for fundraising, too. This is when they're not in Washington and fundraising. According to numerous Congressmen, raising campaign funds takes more time than congressional business. Were there public financing of elections and a prohibition against using any private or donated wealth, that might end all of this, keep the congresscritters in town, and have them less likely to build in loopholes and ear marks, but, of course, such a thing would need the incumbents to vote for it, and incumbents are re-elected at a staggering rate and don't like giving up power, even if they hate the fundraising. Geogre 10:42, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

historical or mythical name translation from french/italian to english[edit]


Trying various search engines to locate a translation of historical and mythical names from French/Italian to English I have found no luck. So I came here, having heard of it before, but wow, I am overwhelmed by the info provided and unfortunately have no clue as to how I can solve such a problem here. One of the names is, Charès (French) or Carete (Italian) which I believe to be a Greek or Phoenician name. How (or where) can I find a name such as this in its English form?

Thank you

Prohibition of non-muslims in Mecca[edit]

Althought it is a well-known fact that non-muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca ,the penalty for this isn't.Is there any provision for this in the Saudi law-code or in local tradition?Is it considered a serious crime that deserves severe punishment(execution or lengthy impisonement) or a minor offence punished with let's say a fine?

Thank you Padem 08:46, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Someone asked this on Google Answers and got some excellent responses. It seems to be that the death penalty is a possibility, however there is no set punishment. The intruder is arrested and detained, and the case is reviewed by a Shari'a judge who decides the penalty. --Canley 09:31, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Richard Francis Burton managed to travel to Mecca in disguise and get out again, but he was lucky. User:Zoe|(talk) 02:53, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Nowadays it'd probably be easier to do than in Burtons day as there are more white Muslim converts so a white face wouldn't raise as much suspicion (though you'd have to know enough to pretend to be a believer to get away with it). AllanHainey 13:41, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, if the muzzies threaten you with the death penalty the US government won't lift a finger to save you because the Saudis will threaten to cut off oil. Just another beheaded victim of the "Religion of peace." KeeganB

Bill Koch/Frederick Koch[edit]

Despite researching the Net I have been unable to find an answer to the following question:

Is the American businesman and America's Cup winner Bill Koch related in any way to the late Pennsylvania art collector Frederick Koch?

Thank you

Unless you've got some reason other than the name, I wouldn't assume so. They come from different places and "Koch" is a very common German surname. (Meaning "Cook", also a common English surname) --BluePlatypus 12:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I suggest you ask former New York City mayor Ed Koch. StuRat 18:40, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Financial Centres, UK[edit]

i am having a (not very intesting) argument iwth a friend about which is the largest financial centre in the Uk outside london. He thinks its leeds, i think its edinburgh, Wikipedia seems to think its both - does any have a definitive answer or know where i might get one? thanks andrew

I suppose it comes down to how you measure the size of a financial centre, number of headquarters of financial organisations, number of offices of financial organisations, amount of business done through that city, etc. I can't give any definite answers to those but I'd be inclined to say Edinburgh as it would rank quite highly on the last 2 measures (& very highly on the first if you measured Scottish HQs & English HQs). Edinburgh has also been a financial centre for a long time with the professional sector & finance/insurance as its main industry while I believe Leeds until relatively recently was more a manufacturing centre. AllanHainey 12:41, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Edamame etiquette[edit]

What is the correct way to eat edamame (boiled soybeans)? They had some at the sushi bar today and I decided to try them, but I didn't know how to eat them. At first I just popped a whole pod in my mouth, but that was unpleasant. Are you supposed to squeeze the beans out with your fingers, or is there some way to do it with chopsticks? —Keenan Pepper 16:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

You just started an international incident with your question. I hope you're happy! I asked Dr. Ho (Chinese) and he said that he just eats the whole bean. He keeps them chilled in the fridge and eats them as a snack at night. Dr. Ito (Japanese) said that you are supposed to peel and eat the peas at room temperature with beer. I left while they were still arguing about it. --Kainaw (talk) 17:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
While they're arguing, I'll go have some raw fish for lunch. While I'm there, I'll eat my edamame with my fingers, sliding the beans out of the pod with my teeth, and then skinning the rest of the yummy part off the stringy part (also with my teeth) until I get bored with that, after which I ust eat the beans. They're sure better than boiled peanuts. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so basically I can eat them however I want. I was afraid there was some standard way to eat them and I was making a fool of myself. =P —Keenan Pepper 17:31, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I'm a Japanese food freak, I've always eaten edamame by holding the pod horizontally against my mouth and squeezing the opposite side, so that the 'seam' towards me splits and they pop into the mouth. PatrickJ83 18:00, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
That seems like a good way. —Keenan Pepper 20:04, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Just on the "raw fish" thing - it's not really raw of course. It has been treated with whatever sauces and spices, and is no longer in its raw state. It is definitely "cooked", just not with heat as one might expect in the west. JackofOz 00:38, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
It sounds like you think all sashimi/sushi is like ceviche, wherein the fish protein is denatured by being marinated in an acid substance like lime juice. Lots of sashimi is raw, though: really, quite sincerely, raw. - Nunh-huh 05:53, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, there u go then. I must berate my ex-wife, who was once a cook, for misinforming me. JackofOz 07:56, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, well, truth be told it's tastier cooked anyway <g>. - Nunh-huh 15:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Bills becoming Laws[edit]

Can a Bill become a Law without passing through either the House of Reprisentatives or the Senate?

If you really mean without passing through either, then no. If you meant without passing through both, then the answer is "sometimes". A regular bill must be approved by both, in the US. However, the Constitution reserves the right to declare war to the Senate. Unfortunately, after WW2, this has been frequently ignored. Nonbinding resolutions can be passed by either the Senate or House alone, since they really don't do anything. Votes on one chamber's procedural rules, like the cloture vote on a filibuster, don't require the other chamber's approval, either. StuRat 00:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

"I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill..." - Schoolhouse Rock StuRat 00:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes. A bill can become a law without passing through a Senate or a House of Representatives in the UK. There it must pass through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In Canada it must pass through the House of Commons and the Senate, but there is no necessity of it passing through a House of Representatives. Oh wait ... were you specifically referring to a US Bill? We're not all Americans here so maybe you should keep that in mind. Loomis51 02:11, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

In the United States, there is a lot of confusion about laws. The Schoolhouse Rock show has been long forgotten. Now, we have CNN, CNBC, FoxNews, USA Today, NY TImes... all saying the same thing: "Bush is making a law about..." "Bush is passing a law to..." "Bush's law for..." It wasn't that long ago that it was all about Clinton's laws. Then, come election year, the press goes into a feeding frenzy about the laws the President may make over the next 4 years. So, the American public believes that the President makes laws. The end result is that Americans spend all their time arguing about who should be President and the same criminals get re-elected into Congress over and over. --Kainaw (talk) 15:07, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like we need to bring back Schoolhouse Rock, to me. Also, in some cases, the US Congress does act as a virtual rubber stamp for whatever the President proposes. This happens when there is a particularly popular President, especially when both chambers of Congress are of the President's party. For example, the vote to go to war in Iraq was a virtual rubber stamp. You can be quite sure it would not have passed if Bush hadn't pushed it. Now, however, most of the things Bush introduces are dead on arrival, due to his low poll ratings and upcoming elections. StuRat 18:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

It's slightly more complicated than that. The President can and often does introduce laws to congress, and then he pulls whatever political strings he has at his disposal to try to ensure that it's passed. Although he's not strictly speaking a member of congress, he does have a good deal of influence in congress. It's not simply the media that refers to the "Bush's laws" or "Clinton's Laws". For example, if you listen to the President's annual State of the Union address, much of it is devoted to laws that he and the executive branch thought up would to be passed by Congress. He himself often states many many tims "I'm going to introduce into congress a law...". Therefore, to call a certain law "Bush's law" or "Clinton's law" is not entirely innacurate, as very often it is his administration that authored it. Loomis51 15:11, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by a "law." Under the Constitution, the president has authority over the Executive Branch; thus, he can issue executive orders on certain subjects. Rather than micromanage every detail of the government, Congress allows the Executive Branch to pass regulations to cover things not laid out specifically in statutes passed by Congress. Executive orders and regulations are as much a part of the law as anything else.
What the president cannot do without Congress is pass a statute. A statute, which is the type of law passed by Congress, "outranks" a regulation. -- Mwalcoff 02:01, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Endless knot in Celtic art?[edit]

The Endless knot is a symbol in Tibetan buddhism, according to that page. I don't deny that's true at all. I'm just's a really obvious knot, and one that I can easily see other cultures having, especially if they have ornamental knotwork at all. So, my question is: is there an example of that specific knot in Celtic knotwork somewhere? Thanks, Kickstart70-T-C 22:38, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't be at all surprised, but the Endless knot does have a feature not often found in Celtic designs - the lines double back on themselves almost like Boustrophedon (follow the longer lines in the endless knot and they zigzag full length - in Celtic knotwork this is quite rare, though it is found in Celtic key patterns). No pattern of exactly that form is described in George Bain's texts on how to create Celtic knotwork. One of Bain's texts does however show a comparison of knotwork patterns from different cutures, and interestingly has what looks very much like the endless knot listed as Chinese Ming dynasty work, and with the added comment that "all of the designs on this plate are to be found in Pictish art". If that's anything to go by,. then it does exist in Celtic art, though exactly where, I'm unable to say. I've uploaded an image of the page, which you can see to the right (the knot I'm referring to is in the right centre). Grutness...wha? 05:29, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, thank you. I note that the 'pictish' drawing just to the right of that has the right partial of the Endless knot, though that doesn't make any clearer the ultimate outcome as it's done in a way that it could be part of a border, etc. Still, thatsounds like a good enough answer for my purposes, although I was hoping someone would pop up with a photo of some artifact using exactly it :) --Kickstart70-T-C 16:53, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Happy Birthday to You[edit]

This is going to sound like a dumb question, but what is the meter of the song "Happy Birthday to You"? I know the most obvious answer is 3/4, but assuming the first two eighth notes are the anacrusis, the chords don't make any sense, because then if the first full measure were a I chord, the measure would start on a non-chord tone, which is unusual, or if it were a IV chord, it's not normal to start a song on anything but a I chord. (We discussed this in my Music Theory II class this afternoon; we had 6 votes for 6/8, 12 votes for 3/4, and 2 votes for 4/4, so I was just wondering who was right.) Hermione1980 22:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

It's in simple triple meter, so 3/4. The first downbeat has a I chord with the sixth in the melody, which is unusual, but not that unusual. —Keenan Pepper 00:21, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, you could notate it in 6/8 and it would still make sense, but the song would only be 4 full measures long instead of 8. It's definitely not in 4/4 though; feel free to laugh at those 2 people. =P —Keenan Pepper 00:27, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
That's kind of what I figured. However, my theory teacher does like to throw us some curveballs every now and then, so I thought I would ask. Thanks! Hermione1980 00:36, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

demographics united states[edit]

This is about the united states demographics in 2006. According to your information there are some 10-12 percent white hispanics in the u.s. . But I know for a fact that there only about1-3 percent WHITE hispanics !!!! You don't mention anything about eastern europeaners and a population estimate should be formulated for them!!!

Perhaps there is a diff in your defs. Does "white hispanic" mean 100% Caucasian, or 51%, or 1%, for example ? StuRat 23:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC) StuRat 23:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
"Hispanic" or "Latino" is considered an ethnic/linguistic category on the US Census, not a racial one. I think something like 80+% of Americans who check the "Hispanic" box also check the "white" box. There is no such special ethnic/liguistic category for people of Eastern European heritage, though there are ancestry counts for specific nationalities like Russian, Ukrainian etc.--Pharos 07:17, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't be too sure of that, Pharos. Most Latinos, particularly Mexican-Americans, seem to regard themselves as non-white; that is to say, they do not consider whiteness to be of relevance. They're often obligated to specify "Hispanic white", "Hispanic black", etc, in which case the great majority would decide to identify as white, simply because "black" is a more exclusive category. I think if they were given the opportunity, they would simply check "Hispanic" and nothing else. Bhumiya (said/done) 03:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

April 22[edit]


Is there a "title" for Albania? (Like Japan: Land of the Rising Sun or Peru: Land of the Incas.) Haven't had any luck searching.

thx ~gail

In Albanian at least, Land Of The Eagle. See The Tale of the Eagle. --ByeByeBaby 05:04, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks a bunch!---- (~gail) 08:43, 22 Apr 2006

Democracy in India[edit]

India is often described as the world's most populous democracy.

I realize this question will ultimately end up in a series of opposing statements but I'll ask it anyway. Seeing as how the "democratic" nature of a state is not a black or white issue, but an issue of shades grey, ranging from, on the one side, a democratic farce, that being, a country with "democratic" elections like, for example, Iran, or the Palestinian "election" of a terrorist organization, or a corrupt democracy such as Mexico etc... to a situation of a true dedication to democratic ideals such as in Canada, the US, the UK etc...where does India fit in?

First of all, cynics please don't respond. If you don't accept Canada, the US, the UK etc.. as countries truly dedicated to the democratice ideal, I'm not interested in your response.

I'd just like to know what the general concensus is on the level of democracy in India. Is there significant corruption? Is there any significant intimidation by certain forces to vote a certain way, or to not vote at all? In sum, should India be described as a "qualified" or a "full fledged" democracy? Loomis51 01:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

See Corruption Perceptions Index. This is not measuring quite the same thing, but may still be of interest to you. India doesn't do very well there, coming in 88th=. None of the countries you list are in the top ten. Mexico does slightly better than India.-gadfium 02:33, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm having a hard time with all of your qualifications. It seems you're looking for a value judgement as much as a factual one, yet you don't want "cynics" responding. Personally, I'd suggest that it's a little cynical to describe the recent Palestinian election as a farce and an "election" in scare quotes, just because a party that has supported terrorism won -- and then turn around and describe Canadian elections as truly democratic, even though sovereigntist parties are routinely elected, and elected out of proportion to their support. In the most recent Canadian federal election, the BQ got 1.6 million votes and 51 seats, where the NDP got a million more votes - 2.6 million total, and only 29 seats. You cite the UK as a good case, and I'd say they're about as good as Canada (which is pretty good, but not great), even though terrorists Sinn Féin have had seats since 1983.
Yeah, the Iranian election system has problems, in that candidates are approved by the Guardian Council, a group of unelected religious leaders. That's clearly a problem. Mexican elections are cleaning up, and aren't the one-party affairs of 20 years ago. They're still not perfect, but they're not that bad, either. On the other hand, American elections have serious democracy issues -- for instance, gerrymandering is a real problem, such as the bipartisan gerrymander of California where essentially every district is now a solid Republican or a solid Democratic district, and it would take massive shifts in public opinion to swing even one district. Elections Canada is much more neutral, and is one way Canadian elections are fairer than American ones.
The countries that are truly devoted to the democratic ideal, in my opinion, have moved to a proportional representation system, which does a much better job of matching voter preferences with the election outcome. The Netherlands use this system, and so does Ireland, New Zealand and Israel. The Swiss have a weird system where all major parties form a coalition government, but they're also rabid about direct democracy.
Now that you have some idea of how I view elections, in my opinion, Indian elections are pretty good. They're not as smooth as Canadian ones in terms of operations, but India has nowhere near the level of infrastructure that Canada enjoys. For instance, voting is done in stages over a month. Their computer voting system is much better and more tamper-resistant than those used in the United States, and they're a fraction of the price. Measured with the Gallagher Index, the elections are pretty good at matching the voter's preference to the outcome -- the most recent Indian elections got a score of 0.054 when I calculated it (lower is better), where recent Canadian and UK elections had scores of 0.10 and 0.18 respectively. Proportional representation elections, like the Dutch, score lower than the Indians, at 0.01. Money plays a big role in Indian politics; in a poor country, you have to be relatively rich to run for government -- but the American Presidential campaign has the same flaw.
The most recent election had a few isolated violent incidents; these mostly happened in the Kashmir area and in the states bordering Nepal, where, sad to say, there are isolated violent incidents from time to time. It's certainly a problem, but India's a big place with a lot of active rebel and terrorist groups -- it wasn't a broad hijacking of the election or organized voter suppression or state use of security forces for the intimidation of minority parties.
In short, Indian elections have their flaws, as do most other countries commonly thought of as democracies. If you can call Canada, the US and UK democratic (and, despite my grumbling, I do), you can call India democratic without qualification. In fact, as single-member constituency electoral systems, those four are actually very similar in terms of sharing the same strengths and weaknesses.
And an edit conflict note - the corruption perception index is a measure of the overall abuse of office. That certainly is a problem in India, from what I know. Crooked cops, baksheesh and so on. My impression is that the elections themselves are generally much fairer. --ByeByeBaby 02:55, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The Iran elections are dubious. (1) The voter turnout is inflated by letting 15-year-old kids vote. (2) The Supreme Leader is selected by the previous one or other mullahs. (3) The President gives speeches, goes to the UN, and so forth, but he is subordinate to the Supreme Leader. (4) There are many position is the government for which only mullahs are allowed to run. (5) Mullahs can nullify any legislation that contradicts Islam. ... (20) Torture of dissidents is frequent.Patchouli 05:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I believe the recent Palestinian elections were free and fair. Thus, one must conclude that the majority of Palestinians prefer to have terrorists lead them than the alternative party. I take this as a sign that not everyone is ready for democracy. StuRat 08:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • "terrorist" is difficult to differentiate from "freedom fighter." EamonnPKeane 14:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Since they intentionally murder as many civilians as possible, they aren't fighting for any "freedom" I want to be a part of. I also believe their goal (after killing all Jews) is to establish a non-democratic Islamic state. So, they are apparently fighting for the "freedom to do as we say, or die". StuRat 20:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the above opinions. I'd just like to say that what I meant when I said I didn't want cynical opinions, I meant that I wasn't interested in someone telling me something along the lines of "Well, the US/Canadian/UK systems aren't perfect (look at the whole 2000 Florida recount fiasco) and there does exist some corruption, therefore, the US/Canadian/UK systems aren't really all that better than the Iranian/Mexican/Russian, etc.. systems. Bullshit. The US/Canadian/UK systems indeed are not perfect, but they're light years away from these other backward regimes. StuRat is actually right, the Palestinian elections were free and fair (which doesn't say much for the Palestinian people to elect a terrorist organization as their representatives,) but I was refering more to the broader definition of democracy as embodying freedom of religion, speech, thought, assembly, devotion to pluralism which the Palestinian regime is by no means democratic. As for the argument that it's difficult to differentiate a terrorist from a freedom fighter, well, we can argue this point night and day, but all I feel like saying now is "Bullshit". The difference between a terrorist organization and the IDF is clear as day. I'm tired of arguing the obvious. If you can't tell the difference, well then, all i can say is God bless you in your ignorance.

To get back to my original question, where would you put India's democracy in the spectrum of democracies, with due regard to the foundational democratic principles outlined above? Is it a democracy only in the simplest sense or in the broader sense I outlined? Thanks. Loomis51 20:38, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I would say India is a fairly decent democracy, in the broader sense of the word. StuRat 20:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks StuRat, it seems like I always have you to rely on for a sane opinion. Loomis51 23:15, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, the way your question was phrased originally (talking about elections and voting) confused me into thinking you wanted to know if India was a Democracy, as in a country governed by the people. Which it is. A better way to phrase this question in the future, would be to ask if India was a Liberal democracy, as in a country with a democratic government, plus basic rights and freedoms. Which it is, as well. The area controlled by the Palestinian National Authority is an Illiberal democracy, and Iran is not a democracy in any sense of the word. --ByeByeBaby 07:19, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

You're right ByeBye, I didn't fully explain my definition of democracy, however, in my defence, I did mention "democratic ideals" and not just a democratic electoral process. Also, by putting the word "election" in quotes when referring to the Palestinian election, I thought I was making my question clearer, but you're right, I was referring to liberal democracy, not democracy alone. Finally, I should point out that in you're response you drifted somewhat from a simple assessment of the fairness of the electoral process, to a critique of the first-past-the-post system that exists in the US/Canada/UK. The critique is a valid one, and despite my reservations about proportional representation, I respect your opinion.
I'm very aware of the difference between a simple democratic electoral process and liberal/constitutional democracy, in fact I'm writing a rather lengthy thesis on the Canadian liberal/constitutional democratic system at this moment. However, although the narrow definition of democracy is indeed simple majority rule, its definition has apparently evolved to mean a broader liberal/constitutional democratic system. The argument is that, for example, without freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of religion etc...voters are unable to make truly informed decisions about who/what to vote for, and so despite a democratic electoral system, the system as a whole is not "fully" democratic, even in the simple electoral sense. A brainwashed society makes for a poor electorate. So basically we're in agreement. Thanks for your input and I apologize if my comments seemed to have been directed to you, as they weren't. I was merely incenced at that boring old ignorant and misguided statement by Eamonn that the terms "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" are difficult to differentiate. Perhaps some of my irritation spilled over onto you, and for that I apologize. Loomis51 14:35, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
The simplest def of terrorism is groups that seek to maximize civilian casualties, while a legitimate military seeks to minimize civilian casualties. StuRat 18:30, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Democracy is a great thing and men are not always so great. Let India go its own way. Without being cynical : there is also corruption in the greatest democraties and rare are the relatives of government people that do not see their affairs going better. As for Palestinians who had to choose between corruption and terrorism, they knew both and made their choice. --DLL 22:22, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
But the question comes up as to why the only parties in Palestine from which to choose are either highly corrupt or terrorists StuRat 22:38, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

US Civil War[edit]

Is it true that some textbooks in the south say that the Confederacy won the war?

Not that I'm aware of. A quick Google search brought me back here to American Civil War, but with nothing really conclusive. Further checking of links took me to Wikibooks (adding the phrase textbook), and a blog post (2) about a guy rejecting textbooks and such. Someone in your same predicament (you perhaps) asked a question at, which basically says that southern textbooks are more sympathetic, but still no definitive info that says that southern kids are being lied to. Sorry I couldn't be of more service. -Mysekurity [m!] 05:32, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm living where such books would be approved, if anywhere, and the answer is "no." There are plenty that say that the war was of Northern Aggression (not endorsed by states, but preps might use them) and that it was about state's rights, but none that I've ever even heard of, much less seen, that say that the South won. However, folks love to tell lies about the South and to claim for it every sin they would despise in themselves (e.g. Klan membership is highest in Ohio, the most violent school busing conflicts were in Boston, not Mississippi). Geogre 13:02, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

In the 1850's, there were a few wacky textbooks in the south, such as Daniel Harvey Hill's 1857 algebra book, which sought to use mathematics to inculcate hatred of northerners. A few sample problems:

A Yankee mixes a certain number of wooden nutmegs, which cost him 1/4 cent apiece, with a quantity of real nutmegs, worth 4 cents apiece, and sells the whole assortment for $44; and gains $3.75 by the fraud. How many wooden nutmegs were there?
In the year 1692, the people of Massachusetts executed, imprisoned, or privately persecuted 469 persons, of both sexes, and all ages, for alleged crime of witchcraft. Of these, twice as many were privately persecuted as were imprisoned, and 7 17/19 times as many more were imprisoned than were executed. Required the number of sufferers of each kind?
In the year 1637, all the Pequod Indians that survived the slaughter on the Mystic River were either banished from Connecticut, or sold into slavery. The square root of twice the number of survivors is equal to 1/10 that number. What was the number?

You get the idea... AnonMoos 07:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm in Texas and I can tell you that our textbooks definately do not say that. Closest to being sympathetic is saying that slavery was the biggest part of the South's economy. I'm sitting here with my Social Studies book and it says it was printed in Illinois though. schyler 14:21, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I went to school in the midwest (Missouri), moved to L.A., then Honolulu, then Boston, and now I am in Charleston, SC. I've seen the view of the Civil War change as I've moved. In the Midwest, it was just a thing that happened. No big deal. In L.A., it was overshadowed by the Mexican-American war - the President sent American troops to attack Mexico because he felt that Mexico was stockpiling arms in a threat of a future attack. (That would never happen in modern times, right?) In Hawaii, it was overshadowed by the conspiracy around the overthrow of the Queen of Hawaii by Americans. In Boston, it was all about slavery. The north had to beat up the stupid southerners to make them stop keeping slaves. In Charleston, it became the War of Secession. The southerners were paying a lot in Federal taxes, but all the taxes were spent building big cities in the north. So, the South seceded. The Northerners, who previously considered the South scum, suddenly decided they couldn't live without them and went to war to force them to remain part of the "Union of Willing States". None of those views are entirely accurate. I blame the difference in views on a very poor education system. --Kainaw (talk) 15:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I grew up in Michigan and was taught that slavery was one issue, but was part of a larger economic struggle. That is, the North and South were originally equal in wealth and power, but the North was taking the lead due to industrialization, and the South was unwilling to lose it's equal status. Is this accurate enough ? (I see how your Hawaii conspiracy theory made it back in again, too, LOL.) StuRat 21:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, you can't spend a year sitting on the beach with a bunch of Hawaiian Independence activists and not get a little influenced. What really got them upset was all the dumb tourists that thought the Phillipinos were the native Hawaiians. One would always ask, "How can those haoles (sp? - Hawaiian for 'stupid white person') confuse a 60 pound Flip stick of a man with a healthy 400 pound Samoan?" --Kainaw (talk) 23:54, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I had a very proactive teacher who talked about the 'Texas Standard' I looked around and appearently this term isn't in common circulation, but the practice it refers to is very real. It has to do with the volume of textbooks purchaced by the very large Texas school districts, the pressure on these school boards from lobbyists and how this causes textbooks that are distributed nationwide to bend toward certain ideologies that are common amongst certain vocal minorities in Texas. Here are some references: [31], [32], [33] and [34]. These are just a choice few. -LambaJan 16:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. One of my teachers told us that a few schools in Texas teach this. I think what he meant to say was that they are more sympathetic to the south.

I suppose one could argue that the South won, in that they were able to reestablish virtual economic slavery of blacks after Reconstruction by using the KKK to terrorize blacks and keep them from voting. This victory eroded with the Civil Rights movement, however. StuRat 21:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

  • The last three presidents have been from the old Confederacy, and the last president from north of the Mason-Dixon line to be elected was JFK in 1960. (Ford wasn't elected.)
  • In 1992, 1996 and 2000, all six major presidential candidates (Bush I, Clinton, Perot, Dole, Gore and Bush II) were from former slave-holding states.
  • The current president pro tem of the Senate, chosen in 2003, is the first from outside the old Confederacy since 1981. The last time we had a president pro tem from a Civil War Union state was in 1955; since then, seven have come from the Confederate states.
  • The speaker of the House is from outside Chicago, but he only got that position after Newt Gingrich of Georgia resigned and the man who was to replace him, Bob Livingston of Louisiana, also resigned.
  • The recently appointed House majority leader, from Ohio, follows four consecutive southerners: Gephardt (Mo.), Armey (Texas), DeLay (Texas) and Blunt (Mo.).
So who really did win the Civil War, anyway? -- Mwalcoff 01:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
And if you really want to irritate Republicans, remind them that well over half of their electoral support comes from former slave-holding states. Actually rather ironic, considering the history of the GOP. Bhumiya (said/done) 03:56, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Dole? Since when was Kansas a slave state? User:Zoe|(talk) 04:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

No doubt there are some textbooks that paint a revisionist picture of the Confederacy, downplaying slavery, overemphasizing the influence of the Copperheads, etc.

I live in a heavily Yankeefied suburb of Richmond, Virginia that nevertheless contains many direct descendants of CSA veterans. A disadvantaged bunch, mostly. Few would have any familial history of slave ownership. I had a history teacher two years ago who explicitly taught that Lincoln had no desire to free the slaves (which is ridiculous in light of Lincoln's well-documented messianic abolitionism, but eases the conscience of guys whose ancestors fought for the CSA). This teacher insisted that Emancipation was a purely military action, with the implication that the Union lacked the moral high ground, etc. Views like this can still be found throughout the South, and increasingly in the North. Although nobody argues against abolitionism, the argument is that abolitionism was a marginal force, employed by cynical Yankees bent on economic subjugation of the South. One of my teacher's favorite arguments was that the majority of Southerners were poor and didn't own slaves. Therefore, he reasoned, they would never have fought had the war been based on slavery. Since they did fight, they must have been motivated by something else. The implication is that they fought for their "freedom" or some such nonsense. He would actually bristle at the suggestion that his ancestors could have fought for slavery.

I've encountered countless people (many of them young and otherwise apparently intelligent) who maintain, among other things, that slavery was opposed by the majority of CSA citizens, that blacks regularly fought for the South, that the majority of northerners vehemently opposed the war, that the war was precipitated entirely by "economics" (few are able to elucidate any further), and that the issue of slavery was exploited by northern pro-war politicians as a means of discrediting the South and justifying "genocide" against Southerners, etc etc. Many of these same people wear Rebel flag shirts with ludicrous statements like

If this flag offends you,
study American history

Which is a bit like wearing a swastika to honor German history.

I think it's safe to say that Southern culture largely escaped any sort of Vergangenheitsbewältigung after the war. Obviously, white supremacists returned with a vengeance in the form of Jim Crow. The situation is vaguely reminiscent of the Japanese attitude to war attrocities. Although the issue is spoken of as though settled, many Southerners have yet to come to terms with the harsh reality of the Civil War.

So inasmuch as the CSA and its Lost Cause continues to find new defenders and apologists, yes, the South can be said to have "triumphed" in some small way. But I don't think anyone, at any point since the Civil War, has ever tried to argue that the South won in a military or cultural sense. Looking at the map, I see no CSA. The South was virtually obliterated by the war, and has only recently recovered economically. Even the drunkest KKK historiographer would be hard-pressed to argue that the Union had been vanquished.

In short, no, I doubt strongly that any textbook was ever published containing such a statement. It would have been laughed at. Bhumiya (said/done) 03:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

In reality, there is no such thing as the "winner" of a war, regardless of which side capitulates. Still talking of the "winning and losing" sides in a civil war 150-odd years down the track would tend to perpetuate the very divisions that were exemplified in the war in the first place. Wouldn't it be truer to say that, depending on your point of view, either the U.S. as a whole was ultimately "better off" as a result of this conflict (and therefore a "winner"), or the U.S. as a whole would have been better served if the Civil War had never happened. JackofOz 04:04, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know, the bell tolls for thee, but for all historical purposes, I think one can safely label the CSA the losing side. The war was fought mostly in the South, the casualties were much worse in the South, and (most importantly) the CSA was reincorporated! Obviously, the victor would not be assimilated by the loser.
One point I was feebly trying to make, which I seem not to have conveyed properly, is that although the war was originally a very polarizing affair, many people have attempted during the intervening years to find a "common ground", and many revisionist ideas have thereby migrated from the South into the mainstream American consciousness -- among these ideas, the most distressing is the notion (now widely accepted in many circles) that slavery and abolitionism were not the primary causes of the war, when in fact they were. It may be that in the pursuit of a "balanced" appraisal, Americans have given the secessionist movement far more credit than it deserves. In the effort to give the Rebs the benefit of the doubt, we fail to realize that the doubt is manufactured. Bhumiya (said/done) 04:46, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Ummm, no, they weren't. If you wish to say that slavery was the root cause of the war, you would be correct, but it was neither the proximal cause nor the popular cause. It is absolutely true that Abraham Lincoln did not wish to free the slaves, as a policy gesture. In fact, the Emancipation proclamation did not free the slaves throughout the nation. It freed only slaves in unconquered areas of the South. In other words, it was designed as a military gesture. Furthermore, the reaction of the north to the proclamation was rioting in New York City, resistance to the draft, etc. Slavery caused the civil war because a slave economy addicted the south to a particular form of agriculture, left the south with a workforce that it would not retrain, and meant that a very small class in the south got very wealthy and controlled southern politics. Therefore, the south's economy was unable to sustain the shock of northern tariffs. Indeed, slavery was such an expensive economy that southerners needed very high profits. Therefore, the south had to rebel. However, no one, and I do mean no one, in power in north or south was speaking of abolition as a war aim. Frederick Douglass, for one, regarded Lincoln as irrelevant. He said that the war had nothing to do with slaves, so he didn't care what happened. Lincoln may have been personally in favor of abolition, but he was not officially in favor of it until 1865. The more you read of primary records and actual historians of the war, the clearer it becomes that abolition was not the cause for the war. In fact, the moral high ground of saying the war was about abolition is revisionism and a way of glossing over the constitutional raw nerves exposed by the war. Geogre 15:00, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Geogre, I agree with you more than you realize! I concede that you are right on many points, and I don't want to seem like I'm savaging the South and extolling the North. My intention is simply to say that while abolition may not have been a central Northern aim from the start, it was both (1) viewed as such by the Southern elite (from the very beginning), and was later (2) adopted as such by many (perhaps most) Unionists. Without a doubt, the average northerner was fairly ambivalent to slavery, though he might have opposed its extension. But once the war got going, both sides used the issue extensively, albeit usually cynically. More to the point, slavery actually was the cause of the economic weakness of the south, in that it had allowed the south to grow beyond sustainability. Virtually every economic problem of the south was caused (directly or otherwise) by slavery. So I think it would be a mistake to say that slavery was not the root of the war. There were certainly other causes, but most of these causes grew out of the effects of slavery, or shared with it a common origin. In short, while abolitionism may not have been a cause of the war, slavery was a cause, in that it engendered Southern economic weakness and allowed the North to easily alienate the South. I never wished to imply that the Northern elite were any nobler in their true intentions than their Southern counterparts, but merely that Northerners happened, through accident, to be on the right side, much like the Allies in WWII. In a way, poor white Southerners paid for the bigotry of all white Americans, whose colonial ancestors almost universally approved of slavery. Northerners were luckier, not more valiant. What is my point in all this, you ask? Only that the Lost Cause was not noble, but tragic. The Civil War was traumatic for the entire country, but this shouldn't prevent us from seeing that all casualties being equal, Confederate success (or survival) would have been far worse than Union victory. No, the war was not a triumph, but as JackofOz noted, what war is? Like WWII, it was less of a failure than it might have been.
But this is a huge digression from the original question. I merely wished to illustrate how the Southern defeat was not truly comprehended by Southerners, which allowed it to be more easily denied. Unlike post-war Germans, who aknowledged without reservation that the Third Reich had been an abject tragedy, Reconstruction-era southerners somehow retained a strong faith in the nobility and validity of the "Cause". For them, the greatest tragedy was the Union victory. Northerners also failed by choosing to punish the South rather than aiding them in overcoming the economic byproducts of slavery which had caused the war in the first place. The Confederacy can be said to have "won" in that its old ideals survived long after the war and penetrated into mainstream American consciousness, preventing Americans from recognizing the CSA as what it was: a regime of slave-holders. The Confederacy was a failure. Its existence was a failure for the USA, and had it not been destroyed in the war, it would have been a double-failure. As for literal denials of Confederate defeat, I highly doubt that any such claims would have been made, even in the presence of strong, uncontested Confederate sympathy. Some might argue that "the war isn't over", or that "the South will rise again", but I don't think anyone would claim the CSA had achieved victory. If, hypothetically, the South had regained its independence at some later date, such denials would have been easy to make, though they would be believed only within its borders. Bhumiya (said/done) 04:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
We largely agree, although I'm not very enthusiastic about abolitionism being a popular banner in the north. In the south, abolition was presented as the unspeakable thing, the horror that must not be allowed. (In fact, more than one Southern general had felt that it was either inevitable or should be done consciously.) I think the parallel to Germany has more than difference in it, though. The South has been aware of race relations and has had to admit its problems for generations, and I actually think the "Forget Hell!" and "South Shall Rise Again" folks are like the neo-Nazis of Germany: they are a reaction against an imposed, focused guilt. Just as anti-semitism occurred throughout Europe (and England) but Germany became the anti-Semitic nation, so racism has been a universal sin in the US, but the South got to be the racist area. Some people react to this by turning it to political sublimation: they grab the antithetical concern, rage in it, and cover all their political powerlessness with it. Those who embrace the hateful cause are typically never those in power, but rather the powerless, who get to turn their displaced ideological losses into a cause. (There is a little trailer a few miles away from me with Confederate battle flags and the like being sold from it. There is no coincidence that the trailer is run by poor people and patronized by poor people.) Geogre 10:51, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I entirely agree with that. Poverty was a major source of the "unreconstructed rebel" syndrome, and continues to create racists and Neo-Nazis today. To address your earlier comment, I didn't mean to suggest that actual ideological abolitionism was a major force in mainstream Northern politics, but I think it did inform Northern attitudes about the South, and certainly took on a significance later, when it became a justification for Northern excesses; in other words, it became a very powerful means of asserting the moral superiority of the Union while refusing to aknowledge the common origin of the North and South (and hence the unenviable economic position of the South prior to secession). The war was retconned, in a manner of speaking, by both sides. And by the Nazi parallel, I didn't mean to give the impression that racism is still particularly prevalent in the South. In fact, from what I've seen, it's just about as prevalent as it is in the North, if not less so. There are some major racists in the Northern cities. But there remains among many Southerners a fierce sympathy, couched in the vague language of "heritage" and "history", not only with the people who fought for the CSA, but with the ideals it claimed to represent -- states' rights, "traditional" Christianity, rural populism, etc. Confederate flags are still viewed as dignified and worthy symbols, appropriate for tombs and cemeteries. At no memorial for German war dead, including private tombs, you will never see swastikas. The regime, and hence its symbols, no longer carry any honor. Not so for the Confederacy and its naval jack. Interestingly enough, while Confederate sympathists often claim to respect all the war casualties, they very rarely concern themselves with the Union. I suppose it all boils down to the fact that Reconstruction was bungled, and Confederate sympathy was allowed to regroup and recover strength; indeed, the Northerners fanned the flames. Although the issues of race have been largely settled in the South, the issue of the secession has not been. Moderate people still look upon the CSA with admiration, or are at least able to do so without being held to account for their beliefs. I wouldn't recommend "reeducation", of course, but I think people need to realize that by waving the Rebel Flag, they're honoring not those who died in the Civil War, but the racist folly for which they died. The longer it continues unchallenged, the more respectable it seems, inside and (increasingly) outside the South. Bhumiya (said/done) 13:27, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

In any case, Saddam still maintains from his cell in Baghdad that the '91 Gulf War was "The Mother of all Victories" light of that, any twisting of history is possible, no matter how absurd. Loomis51 02:02, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I found the comments by Baghdad Bob during the 2nd Gulf War to be hilarious. He was claiming victory even as US tanks were entering Baghdad. StuRat 13:45, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Prince Charles[edit]

I understand that Edward VIII had to abdicate the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson. Wiki explains that he had to abdicate because Simpson was a divorcée and her husband was still alive, contrary to the rules of the Church of England.

However, Prince Charles' wife, Cammilla, is a divorcée and her ex-husband is still alive, yet Charles remains the heir to the throne of England.

Have the rules changed? Why is Charles allowed to marry Camilla and still become King while his great-uncle Edward was forced to abdicate for basically the same reason? Loomis51 02:45, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Charles married Camilla in a civil service, so the rules of the Church of England did not apply.-gadfium 03:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, we'll never know now, but it has been said that if Edward had really wanted to marry Wallis Simpson in the Church of England while remaining king, the Church would have put up a good fight but ultimately would not have stood in his way. The real reason he abdicated was not because this was the only way he could have Wallis, but because Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin persuaded him that the people of the Commonwealth would never have accepted Wallis as Queen, not just because she was a divorcee, but because she was a non-British divorcee. But the real, real reason is that Baldwin wanted Edward out of the way because he knew of his sympathies with the Nazi regime and he didn't want an acquiescent monarch on the throne in the event of a German attempt at occupying Britain. Wallis just happened to come along at exactly the right time to let Baldwin make it virtually impossible for Edward to remain, by spinning him the (not entirely untrue) story about the Commonwealth, and Baldwin in this way helped save Britain from becoming part of the Third Reich. He proved to be a most prescient and patriotic Prime Minister in the face of a traitor king, and he is much underrated in my opinion. JackofOz 04:21, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
"Traitor king"? My understanding of the laws of England/Britain is that it is fundamentally impossible for the king to commit treason. --Serie 22:15, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
True, but we're not having a simple academic discussion about the niceties of British Constitutional law, we're having a discussion about real life.Loomis51 03:50, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. I'm of exactly the opposite opinion. It was a lucky chance for Baldwin that Edward VIII was both a Nazi sympathiser and had put himself in this position. baldwin had long disliked the Prince of Wales, who had made himself very popular with the general public for his strong support of striking workers in Wales during the 1926 general strike - many of whom just happened to work for firms which were owned by Baldwin's family. It was also this strike that helped to bring down the conservative government led by Baldwin. The Prime Minister simply found a perfect opportunity to rid himself of a troublesome king. Whether it was because of trouble to the country or trouble to Baldwin personally, though, is another matter. Grutness...wha? 05:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
To go back to the original question, yes the rules on marriage in the Church of England have changed since the 1930s. It is now permissible for divorced people to remarry, subject to a number of conditions. I'm not sure whether Charles and Camilla would have satisfied them. DJ Clayworth 17:09, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Two questions about Amor en custodia[edit]

1. Do you know of any Web sites that explain the meanings of such Spanish slang terms as equis and cañón, used by the character Barbie on the Mexican soap opera Amor en custodia, who's a caricature of a student at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico?

I believe equis means the letter X. StuRat 08:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
And I think cañón means cannon.schyler 14:16, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
UPDATE cañón can also mean barrel of a gun. schyler 14:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

2. (much more important!) Is there any way I can watch the show—whether on television, online, or even by purchasing videos/DVD's of back seasons—in the United States? I know it airs in both Mexico and Argentina.

Thanks in advance, anon.

Wigs & Breeches to Suits[edit]

What caused important men to transition from wigs and breeches to gentlemanly suits at about the outset of 1800? Also, was President John Adams the last president to wear a wig?Patchouli 07:30, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

It's difficult to explain why a new fashion catches on, but perhaps one reason was the need to differentiate themselves from the British, who continued to wear powdered wigs. I also suspect that wigs, which had a definite snob appeal to them, tended to lose votes against a more populist candidate. StuRat 08:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Very correct. The new country didn't want to appear British and it would be difficult to get Americans to vote for someone who looked like a British politician. As for the last to wear a wig, I am certain that I've seen paintings of Jefferson and Madison in wigs. Perhaps this was before they became President. Also, after wigs, it was popular to turn hair white through bleach, powder, or some other means. So, you'll see that Adams, Jefferson, and Madison didn't turn grey. They turned white. Quincy Adams didn't wear a wig. He was bald. I've often wondered, but haven't investigated, is there a relation between the wigs worn by British government and the Whig party? --Kainaw (talk) 16:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
We have an article 1795-1820 in fashion, from which you could determine that U.S. upper-class trends weren't really too far out of sync with British. Churchh 19:23, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
OK - quick research. The American Whig party is named after the British Whig party, which it named after a Scottish (offensive) nickname for the Kirk party. Whig was a slang term for a cattle thief. --Kainaw (talk) 16:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I suspect you are wigging out, LOL. I can't see why the Brits would name their party after a slang Scottish term for a cattle thief. StuRat 16:45, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
It could be vandalism, but I went to Whig Party (United States), which says the Whigs were named after the British Whig Party. The next article claims they were named after the Kirk Party, which says the term Whig was an offensive nickname for the Kirk Party that normally meant "cattle thief". If it isn't true, there's some cleaning up to be done. --Kainaw (talk) 23:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
The entymology of the name whig is accurate, I've read it before elsewhere. AllanHainey 13:03, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Faith in the Non-Human Animal Kingdom[edit]

Humans are notorious for 'evidenceless' beliefs. Is there any indication of faith by non-human animals?--JLdesAlpins 12:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Since there is still considerable debate about whether animals have a consciousness (made doubly difficult by the fact that we still have no idea why humans have a consciousness), asking if they have faith is a bit premature. Ask again in a hundred years, when we have perfected human-animal communication (if we ever do :)). — QuantumEleven 13:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, elephants go and visit the bones of their dead relatives. They seem to have an emotional reaction. It's difficult to say just what's going on in their minds, but it's pretty obvious something is going on. Similarly, many animal mothers will continue to carry a dead baby around for quite some time. Whether they are expecting it to rise from the dead or just can't admit that it's dead is open for debate. StuRat 16:51, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Richard Dawkins, in his essay Viruses of the Mind, compares human faith to the instinct within gnats that leads them to commit suicide by flying into bug-zappers. Essentially, he argues that faith comes about when instincts are removed from the evolutionary context in which they were acquired. Bug-zappers were not a part of gnats' evolutionary environment, so their instincts cannot account for them. Bhumiya (said/done) 04:09, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Because our mind is 0.001% "free" of instinct, we have, with the doubtful help of culture and civilisation, to discover and make our own opinion of subjects like beauty, faith, hope and death. We also believe that animals are immersed in this world and take it "as it", and so, we rarely try to see if there is something else for them ; but there are no or very few words for them to tell. --DLL 22:10, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I would say we have a lot more instinct than 0.001%. If we include physical abilities, like breathing, blinking, breast feeding, and swimming and all addictions and all sexual desires and food appetites, that's quite a bit right there. StuRat 05:28, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course, Dawkins didn't mean for the comparison to be taken literally, but as a metaphor for the process by which faith is acquired. He used the evolved instincts of the gnat as an analogy of the memetic (i.e. learned, non-instinctive) concepts within the human mind. A meme which evolves under certain circumstances and is retained under very different circumstances is, like the gnat's instinct, capable of wreaking havoc on its owner. Dawkins does not consider faith to be biological and genetic, but conceptual and memetic. A human may discard memes without altering his genetic makeup, but a gnat, of course, cannot alter its genes.
If the tendency of elephants to return to their relatives' bones is genetic in origin, like the gnat's suicidal light fetish, then it can be justifiably dismissed as different from human faith. If, however, it is acquired through the same mechanism as human faith (i.e. memetically, through learning rather than genes), then there is no basis for denying that the elephant possesses the same kind of faith as man. Naturally, those who reject Dawkins's conception of faith (including, no doubt, all self-described people of faith) are not likely to aknowledge the elephants' behavior as faith, but as something superficially resembling it.
Of course, I have no doubt that some liberal religions (Unitarianism, for instance) might not begrudge elephants the capacity for faith. Liberal theists tend to view faith not as a human birthright, but as a function of intelligence, so they might be more open to faith as an explanation for strange behaviors observed in intelligent animals, especially charismatic ones like elephants, chimps, and dolphins. I doubt Focus on the Family and Pat Robertson would feel this way, but as we all know, faith takes many forms. Bhumiya (said/done) 04:26, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

If you define human to mean only Homo sapiens, then yes, there is evidence of spirituality in Homo neanderthalensis. Specifically, they appear to be the first hominids to bury their dead, often with what appear to be tools and animal bones (suggesting they were buried with food), among other things. — Knowledge Seeker 04:36, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

For my own part, I have no doubt that as an animal becomes more intelligent, its capacity to misconstrue reality becomes greater. A more complex mind means more possibilities for error, and an enhanced ability to resist unpleasant realities. "Lower" organisms, like fish and lizards, have very little extra brain to set aside for these extravagances. They must devote their entire brain to survival, and are thus protected from fantasy. Of course, they're also "protected" from the sort of higher-level thinking that allows apes, elephants, and humans to thrive. It's undoubtedly a trade-off and a continuum. It wouldn't be wise to view the matter as a discontinuous case of "faith or no faith", but a gradual progression from immersion (to paraphrase DLL) to abstraction. Thus, at the risk of somewhat compromising my earlier assertion, it may be that elephants have a greater capacity for faith than voles, but less than humans. Apes fall somewhere in between. Of course, this raises the possibility that some elephants and apes might lose their faith. It serves to reason that an animal's capacity for superstition ought to match its ability to overcome that superstition (although this may not actually be the case). I wonder if elephants ever abandon their return to the graves, or if the willingness to do so could be spread memetically through a community of elephants. All very speculative, but interesting. Bhumiya (said/done) 15:21, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Burrhus Frederic Skinner did some work studying superstition in pigeons - maybe not faith, but evidenceless belief. Relevant, without doubt, but I'll leave the analysis to someone who doesn't mind a flame war. --Hughcharlesparker 11:33, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Controversy doesn't have to turn into a flame war if we all make a special effort to be respectful. The original questioner is evidently a skeptic on the matter, and it's mainly skeptics who have been responding, so I wouldn't really worry. If someone wishes to make an argument from the theist perspective, I see no reason why it should devolve into a shouting match. Bhumiya (said/done) 14:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Of course animals have faith. Why do you think dogs howl at the moon? They know that it is home to the Mother Of All Dogs, and they howl so that she knows there are still dogs alive to watch over down on Earth. It is the Mother Of All Dogs that makes the Moon shine brightly every month. The Father of All Dogs flies through the sky - you can sometimes see his long white tail (we call him "Comet"). It's important for dogs to let the Mother Of All Dogs know there are dogs here, because when dogs die their ghosts (called "Happythoughts" by dogs) go up to the moon to be with her. Sometimes, when the moon shines brightly at night, these happythoughts come to visit living dogs as dreams. One day, when all the dogs are gone from the earth, there will be none left to howl to the moon. Then the Mother Of All Dogs will know that her guarding duty is over, and she will stop making the moon shine bright. She will leave with the dog happythoughts to be with Comet, and they will all fly through space forever. Grutness...wha? 14:45, 24 April 2006 (UTC) (PS - this is a quick summary of the story "Ligion", one of my "Uncle Yuri" stories. But I have it on good authority that it's true. A labrador told me.)

Good Friday in Eastern Orthodox Church and Western Churches[edit]

Why does the Orthodox Church celebrate Good Friday and Easter at different times most years? Good Friday has to have a full moon on that night. (this is because there was a full moon on the first Good Friday, the night of the Crucifiction, or so I was always taught). This is why Easter is a "moveable feast".

This year 2006, there can be no full moon on the Eastern celebration of Good Friday, as there was last week, (April 14th, 2006) when the Catholic and Protestant churches celebrated Good Friday, and subsequently Easter. Is this perhaps jsut some kind of "dare to be different game" between the clergy of these two churches? Thankyou. J.A.Mathers.

It's a very old game. The difference in dates is largely attributable to the fact that the Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian to calculate the date of Easter. There's not much significance regarding an actual full moon (presumably over Jerusalem?): the full moon used in the calculation of Easter's date is a theoretical, "ecclesiastical full moon" rather than an actual physical, visible full moon. There can be one or two days difference between the ecclesiastical and the real full moons. It's just as well there's no link to a full moon on the first Good Friday, since there's no way of knowing that date with certainty, and therefore no way of knowing the moon's phase. - Nunh-huh 13:28, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Um. Yes there is. Good Friday was a Passover. Passover is defined as the first full moon after the vernal equinox. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Since we don't know what year it was, we don't know the date. And again, the full moon is a calculated one rather than an actual one, so there's no way of determining the actual phase of the moon (as observed). - Nunh-huh 15:22, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Hm. I'm a little unclear now, I guess. According to Hebrew calendar, during Second Temple times, the beginning of the lunar month was determined by observation. So if indeed Good Friday was a passover seder (I know some traditions disagree), it would have started on the 14th day following that observation (the 15th of the month, in other words), which would be an observed full moon. No? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps. The switch from observed to calculated had occurred by the time of Hillel II's calendar reforms in 359 AD, but I don't know precisely when. But my main point, I think, stands: we have to make a lot of assumptions before we can presume to know the phase of the moon on the first Good Friday, so we ought not be too sure about it, and I don't think that the date of Easter is predicated on what that phase was.- Nunh-huh 01:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Some Orthodox churches (e.g. the Syriac Orthodox) do use the Gregorian calendar for the date-dependent holidays (e.g. Christmas), but still use the Julian calendar for determining Easter. --BluePlatypus 19:26, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

See Easter#Date of Easter, Reform of the date of Easter. AnonMoos 21:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

There is no direct connection between the Jewish Passover and the various Christian Easters. Easter is not meant to be celebrating Passover, so why should there be any connection? Христос воскресе! JackofOz 01:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you think there shouldn't be, but there has been at various times -- even now, some Eastern Orthodox think that Easter shouldn't fall on or before Passover. AnonMoos 20:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Yep, that's why I said "no direct connection". The Christian Easter is meant to be celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ. His death just happened to occur on the Jewish Passover. Christians always commemorate his death on a Friday, so even if they were trying to somehow link it with the date of Passover, which changes from year to year and which can occur on any day of the week, there would only be a 1/7 chance of getting it right. Then, when you consider that the Roman Easter date does not usually coincide with Orthodox Easter, the link with Passover becomes even more tenuous. JackofOz 02:06, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Confess to racist and homophobic jokes?[edit]

I would like to know whether or not I should tell of jokes of racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic nature at confession. I'm neither racist nor homophobic — quite the contrary in fact — but have made racist and homophobic jokes which are in no way a reflection of my own opinion, just part of role-playing humour with a friend. Surely God cares about what I believe and not about what I may say in outrageous jokes cracked while imitating a neo-Nazi dimwit?

Thank you,

--anon 12:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC).

That would be a matter you would discuss with whomever-it-is that you confess to, rather than here. - Nunh-huh 13:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  • And you have to be very careful about attempting humor while imitating dimwits; observers might well not be able to tell the difference. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Each person crosses the moral/conscience line at different places, so nobody else can tell you whether this should be confessed or not. But if you're not entirely comfortable about these jokes, you've got nothing to lose by confessing, and possibly a lot to gain. Certainly a talk with your confessor would not go astray. JackofOz 01:29, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I once heard a priest suggesting to his congregation that the faithful should even confess such piddling legal infractions as overstaying the parking meter by a few minutes. I also heard a priest saying that many of the deeds of commission or omission we were all brought up to believe were sins, were not sins at all. As with most areas of life, spiritual experts often disagree. Thank God the WP ref desk is here to make Solomonic utterances. JackofOz 01:29, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

If you already regard your past actions as wrong, then simply endeavor not to repeat them. What can a priest tell you that you haven't already told yourself? Bhumiya (said/done) 04:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

If you harm another, or endorse harm by "repeating" harmful words, then you are, indeed, taking part in evil and endorsing it. The flowers don't make up for the poison of the bella donna, and so the humor doesn't compensate for the hurtfulness, so I'd say that it is something sinful, although not really on the same scale as a sin of will. Let your priest give you counsel on the matter. Geogre 13:09, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I have neither harmed another nor do I endorse harm — quite the contrary; I condemn it. That's why I'm wondering whether or not my words constituted sin, since they don't reflect my beliefs.
--anon 14:40, 23 April 2006 (UTC).
Well, my point is that racist jokes are harmful. Their harm is twofold. First, they can belittle and hurt a person hearing them who belongs to the targeted group. Second, though, they contribute to an atmosphere wherein others think of a group as less than human, less than virtuous. So, even if a Pole, for example, isn't standing there when you tell a Polish joke, the other persons hearing the joke are encouraged to see Poles as less than fully human. It is a harm, therefore, to all of us and to the hearers. However, it's best to talk to your priest and let him (or her) guide you, as participation in the cultural denigration of racist jokes may be a tiny no-no, but your priest can tell you more clearly what your co-religionists think of the matter and guide you to verses of scripture (e.g. Paul telling Christians not to associate with low and lewd company). There can be no harm in consulting an expert in your religion, as opposed to us. Geogre 15:07, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
And after confessing, should you try some jokes about yourself "me, anon, am a nun" or a donkey (un âne in french) ? --DLL 22:02, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
To throw in my two cents, if the true purpose of telling those jokes is actually to ridicule the ignorance of those who actually hold such racist or homophobic beliefs, then, in my opinion, you are not committing a sin, in fact you're doing the world a service by exposing the nonsensical nature of these backward beliefs. But your question is a good one, as my opinion is not shared by all. An interesting case is the British comedian known familiarly as Ali G. His entire act consists of impersonating and/or exposing the prejudices of others. One of his characters, "Borat" is an especially clever invention. "Borat" is an openly anti-semitic misogynist, who often tricks his interviewees into secretly revealing their ignorant beliefs. The comedian impersonating "Ali G", "Borat" and "Bruno" as well (a gay Austrian TV host) is in fact Jewish. His act is controversial, as many don't agree that his style and techniques are actually beneficial in exposing racism and homophobia. In any case, I suggest you check him out, because if anything, he's hilarious. Loomis51 21:28, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Shaduf/shadoof chant[edit]

I remember reading this was the world's oldest song in Guinness book of records. But nowhere can I find the words. The closest I got was "a three-note intonation". EamonnPKeane 14:19, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Gun chair artwork[edit]

I remember hearing about some artwork which was a chair, and a gun pointing at it, which was rigged to go off some time in the next 200 years (I think), and the idea was that people could sit in the chair for a few seconds. What was the piece and who was the artist? --Bonalaw 15:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

There's this [35], which isn't what you want, but is interesting...

US Civil War[edit]

Name of US Quartermaster New York at April 1861 ?

Chester A. Arthur, later 21st President of the United States. --Canley 14:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Falon Gong article ?[edit]

I can't believe Wikipedia lacks an article on this. Am I just searching under the wrong terms ? If so, we likely need a redirect or two, so others can find our article. StuRat 16:56, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

It's Falun Gong, and the redirect is now in place. --ByeByeBaby 17:29, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I tried a Goggle search first, and it did not correct my spelling, and found 9,860 matches, so I took that to mean my spelling was correct. StuRat 17:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you should try Google instead :) --BluePlatypus 19:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
LOL, that one got by my spell checker. Maybe I should create a web search site under that name. Mine, however, would have a reverse filter. That is, it would ONLY find the objectionable material. :-) StuRat 20:33, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Captain Scott Presentation Fork[edit]

I have a fork inscribed 'national antarctic expedition s.y.morning' It is in a blue leather case inscribed A.M.H.C. on the exterior & CAPt. SCOTTS BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1902 on the interior does anyone know why these were issued and if they have any value

It presumably would have been issued in association with the Robert Falcon Scott-led Discovery Expedition, which explored Antarctica from 1901-1904. I have no clue on who the AMHC are, nor why they're handing out forks. I don't know how common such tchochkes are, nor how highly sought by collectors, but it seems to me that it may have some value, and you should probably ask a professional appraiser, particularly if it's a nice piece and in good shape. --ByeByeBaby 17:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Why is Tintin relatively unknown in USA?[edit]

I am a big fan of Herge, Goscinny, Uderzo and Tabary comics (Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, Iznogoud, etc.) for over 25 years, having discovered them as a teenager in India. I am still entertained by them, and I hope I never outgrow them. These works have deep humor, satire, research-backed themes, great values, and so on, in sharp contrast to the mindlessness of Archie comics.

Therefore, I'm very puzzled and curious why these absolutely superb comics never took off in America. They are not even mentioned in American-published compilations of important world comics.

If someone can shed some insight into this imponderable (besides the obvious stereotype of the culturally-challenged American), I'd appreciate it!



(removed E-mail, see top of the page)

First, are you sure they were released in the US ? If so, perhaps they contain cultural themes more appropriate to India than the US, like say, an arranged marriage, StuRat 20:28, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
You're not doing a good job of breaking the stereotype, Stu. - Tintin and Lucky Luke are from Belgium, Asterix is French. And yes, they were released in the USA (as in most of the world). As for why.. I don't know, but there was probably some form of prejudice at the root, perhaps in the form of a publisher who felt that their brand of humor wouldn't sell in the US. (despite selling in the rest of the world), and who therefore didn't market them enough. --BluePlatypus 21:12, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Why do you so boldly accuse me of perpetuating a stereotype ? I know of many young couples from India who had arranged marriages. StuRat 21:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I was referring to the "stereotype of the culturally-challenged American", given that you obviously didn't know about these cartoons. (And knowing some Indians who have arranged marriages doesn't justify perpetuating that stereotype, either. I know a Jew who's a communist. That doesn't make it OK to leap to the conclusion "You must be a communist" every time I meet a Jew.) --BluePlatypus 02:12, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I hardly consider it a sign of being "culturally challenged" to be unaware of comics which originated in non-English speaking nations. I pride myself on knowing the works of Van Gogh, Machiavelli, and Beethoven, but feel expecting Americans to also know every aspect of popular culture in every country around the world is a bit excessive. As for arranged marriages in India, I only implied that they exist, which is quite correct, so there is no stereotype there. I believe they are, in fact, quite common. StuRat 19:00, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Your statement makes the following assumptions: 1) Since it's popular in India, it must be from India. (false) 2) Since it's Indian, it must contain uniquely Indian themes (false) 3) Indian themes are not of interest to a US audience. (false). Nobody said you need to know everything about everything, but when you are ignorant on a subject, it's better to hold quiet than to substitute stereotypes for knowlege. --BluePlatypus 19:29, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a bit harsh, who spit in your cornflakes ? I used the word "perhaps", meaning this is one possible explanation, not an absolute claim of fact. I think it's reasonable to assume that something popular in India would likely contain different cultural themes than something made in the US, and this would make it less likely to appeal to Americans. For example, Bollywood movies, while quite popular in India, aren't likely to be able to compete with Hollywood movies within the US. StuRat 17:31, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Some clues can be found in those links you provided. One said "only a handful of his adventures have been published in the English-speaking world", and another mentions how competition from strong comics in the US and Japan reduced their success in those countries. Archie comics are far from the best comics published in the US. I particularly liked the Watchmen series, for example. StuRat 21:28, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Part of it is a stylistic issue. Franco-Belgian comics developed at the same time as American comic books and Japanese Manga; each is very popular in their region, and each has their own conventions as far as what a comic character should look like, what sorts of stories and settings to use, how to lay out a page and even how big and long a comic book should be. For an example, compare the drawing styles for these characters, all of which are notable because they posess super strength: Obelix from France, Hulk (comics) from the USA and the Super Saiyan from Japan. The line thickness, level and type of stylization and so on are all very different. I think it's similar to the way Hong Kong cinema and Bollywood can be successful in their own regions, but not in each other's. A Bollywood audience would find a Hong Kong movie too short, with not enough music and dancing, and so on. A Hong Kong audience would probably find most Bollywood movies boring and melodramatic. It's not that one movie industry is better or one audience more cultured, it's just that the two are distinct. --ByeByeBaby 21:32, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Comparing those 3 comics, I see the French one is hand drawn in a rather basic manner, with very little shading, for example, while the US one appears to use extensive computer animation. The French one also appears to be humorous while the US one is menacing. The Japanese comic character is somewhere in between the other two in most respects. StuRat 21:45, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
My public library in upstate New York had several Tintin books and my brother and I read them all in the 1980s. We had some Asterix comics but I don't recall where we got them. I believe some high school French classes used Asterix comics. Шизомби 02:40, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I grew up with Tintin and Asterix. I think it is a generational thing though. My parents had me relatively late so their friends had kids in the late 70s/early 80s. I was introduced to them through that connection. Neither of these comics has the level of violence or monster appeal that currently popular American comics do. It's unfortunate they aren't more popular. I certainly think they are on a higher level than the current Marvel fare.—WAvegetarianCONTRIBUTIONSTALKEMAIL 02:44, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
One problem with the Asterix comics is that it contains many lingual jokes, as well as many jokes commenting on both contemporary and ancient culture. The first will almost certainly lose out in translations, and the second may not get across if your knowledge of either european culture or ancient roman culture is relatively limited. SanderJK 12:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
The translators of Asterix have tried to deal with the first issue by introducing new lingual jokes. For instance, the dog Idéfix, a pun on idée fixe is translated to English using an entirely different pun as Dogmatix. Much depends on the skill of translators, an underrated class, in how well literature crosses boundaries. Notinasnaid 12:13, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Marketing (or lack of) is one component at the root of the answer (as suggested by BluePlatypus above). The apparent lack of marketing must not be misunderstood with 'weak' or 'deficient' marketing however. One has to first look at the overall context. In the post-WWII, French speaking Europe had three things working for them: 1. an upsurge of creativity; 2. strong printing and distribution capabilities; 3: a global audience for their creations. French was proportionally a much wider spoken language then than today. Having those fun comics distributed in dozens of nations rapidly created a demand for translated versions, thus giving them a truly global penetration. With, understandably, the exception of the USA. At that same period, the Americans had the very same three things working for them: creativity, capabilities, and audience. In effect, the American market was already quite well served with their own creations. To penetrate this market, the West Europeen editors would have had to make large investments to compete. And what would have been their chances? As pointed out by ByeByeBaby above, the Europeen productions were also facing high cultural barriers. Ultimately, the business decision they made was to focus their marketing resources and expand where they were already strong.--JLdesAlpins 12:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

(The following takes/took place in Missouri) Perhaps 10 years ago, there were Tintin cartoons (in English) on television. My public library has several Tintin and Astérix books. I know of Tintin, Astérix, and Lucky Luke from French classes, but have never heard of Iznogoud. Ardric47 01:05, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

How to add a name on the list of disputed convictions category?[edit]

When I try to edit the article, the list is not editable, or I don't know how to have access to the list.

I am trying to add the name of Hank Skinner with the following link:

Thank you for your help. Sincerely yours

user Adumoul

You need to add the proper template at the bottom of that article to add the article to that category. Go to a page of someone else in that list, edit the page, and look for the template you need to copy. StuRat 22:00, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is by adding the category link to the guy's article itself that his name appears in the category. Not the opposite ... the registering method is clear once you've tried.
So edit Hank, write category:disputed (or the real name of the category) between [[]]s and save. The category will be listed ; then go have a look to (or refresh) the disputed category article. --DLL 21:53, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

April 23[edit]

Broken arrow[edit]

I've been listening to a lot of old Neil Young songs lately, and have been puzzled by the symbolism of his song "Broken Arrow". What, if anything, is the significance of an American Indian warrior standing with a broken arrow? Is it Young's own allegory, or is there some piece of native American tradition or symbology involved? Grutness...wha? 00:13, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

The Blackfoot used a broken arrow to symbolize that they would not fight anymore. Perhaps that is the same meaning in Neil Young's song. I wouldn't claim a symbolism for one nation of Native Americans applies to all of them. --Kainaw (talk) 00:18, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

In the US military, a "broken arrow" alert means the (possibly) accidental release of a nuclear weapon. I don't know what Neil Young's symbolism is, so I can't tell you if his songs have anything to do with that. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:33, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Not sure that any of that is quite the symbolism that neil Young was alluding to, but it was interesting anyway - thanks. Grutness...wha? 07:12, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

"al habna minoret"[edit]

Can anyone find pictures or description or location of the "al habna minoret"? This minoret is somewhere in Iraq.

Firstly, it'a Minaret, which might help with your search. Secondly, Google doesn't report any links for Al Habna minaret, and very few for Al Habna. Why do you want pictures of this minaret in particular? Is it notable for some reason? Some context might give us a hand, since you may have the name wrong. --ByeByeBaby 06:41, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Ambassadors from Guatemala in 1974-75[edit]

How would I find the name of any Guatemalans who were appointed as ambassador to another Latin American country in 1974 or 1975? I'd appreciate any ideas or leads. Thanks! --LibraChick

History of Jews of Beltsy Moldova in the 19th century[edit]

Can anyone please tell me where I can find information on the history of the Jewish community of Beltsy (Bessarabia) Moldova in the 19th century and in particular concerning the group who came from there to Eretz Israel towards the end of the 19th century? Thank you.

Try asking at the Romanian Special Interest Group at the JewishGen website. -- Mwalcoff 07:56, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I have done as you suggested.

Translation English / hebrew[edit]

please translate this santences to hebrew "Dig your tombs"

please translate this santences to hebrew "Leave Our land"

Why should we? It's off topic for the "Humanities" section, and it sounds like you want to use it to threaten and harass Israelis... AnonMoos 21:00, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, digging a tomb is definitely not the best way to leave a land. --DLL 21:45, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't one dig a grave and construct a tomb? User:Zoe|(talk) 22:38, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

"Dig your tombs" can roughly be translated as: "Ein li beitzim"

"Leave our land" can roughly be translated as: "Ha-ima sheli zona"Loomis51 22:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

My knowledge of Hebrew isn't what it once was, but I don't think those are correct. At any rate, they're in the Latin alphabet, so it'd take a little while for Israelis to understand what they mean anyway... zafiroblue05 | Talk 03:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Loomis51 is yanking the legs a little, but if you want Hebrew alphabet transcriptions, here they are: אין לי ביצים and האמא שלי זונה !! AnonMoos 01:25, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, now I can read it - the "translations" really mean "I don't have any balls" and "My mom's a whore." ;) It's only fair to let you know. zafiroblue05 | Talk 03:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Anon, I still can't figure out how to get my computer to produce Hebrew characters. In any case, I hope the questioner got this. Although I strongly disagree with anyone who would want to harass Israelis, since Israel is a democracy and is devoted to such a fundamental freedom as freedom of speech, I believe that s/he has every right to make these statements. Should any Israelis mock you for displaying these messages by laughing hysterically, I strongly suggest you stick your guns and tell them that they're hypocrites for laughing at another human being for expressing these beliefs. Peace and strength be with you, or as they say in Hebrew: Gey kaken afen yam. Loomis51 01:47, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Which means "Go sh*t in the ocean", in Yiddish. СПУТНИКССС Р 04:11, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Re Hebrew characters on computer - same answer as for the Cyrillic characters we discussed on the Language page. Cheers. JackofOz 13:47, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

You guys are no fun. I had a real, live anti-semite to have fun with and you ruined it. :( Loomis51 01:07, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Play: Same Time Next Year[edit]

I saw this play in Birmingham UK (at the rep) in the 70's

I want to know who played the leading roles?

Sorry, I don't know who played the leading roles, but I believe this play was staged in 1976 if that helps to narrow it down. --Canley 03:16, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
The "rep" would be the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, I suppose? Are you sure you saw it there? Because the Birmingham Festival Theatre staged the play in 1976. I suggest you send them an e-mail. Lupo 09:33, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

main imports and exports of Spain[edit]

for a project i am trying to find the main imports and exports of spain

According to the CIA Factbook, Spain's primary exports are machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and medicines. Its primary imports are machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments. The page also lists main agricultural products if you want to break "exported foodstuffs" down further. GeeJo (t)(c)  13:21, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
To that I would add that tourism is generally considered an "export" by economists, despite the fact that it's hard to conceptualize it as such. Think of it this way: Foreigners take their money, and instead of importing and buying a Spanish product, they bring their money to Spain and spend it there, in return for the opportunity to spend some time in exploring an interesting foreign country. Economically speaking, tourism has the identical effect as exporting a product. I'm also quite sure that the tourism industry is rather significant in Spain. Loomis51 23:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Family tree for Dame Nellie Melba[edit]

I am searching for a family tree for Dame Nellie Melba as I would like to confirm the existence of a female cousin of hers with the surname Thompson who would have been a young woman in the 1920's and who would have lived in either Scotand or England at the time. Can anyone help? Thanks all information or a family tree much appreciated. Helena

There is some geneological information about Nellie Melba (born Helen Porter Mitchell) at this website: The Peerage, but not much more than her father's name (David Mitchell) and her husband's family. There is a mention of a Scottish cousin, Charles Robbie, here, and another, Alice Walker, here, and a third, Ellen Mitchell, here. --Canley 03:14, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Nellie Melba David Mitchell William Mitchell [[{{{8}}}]]
Ann Fraser [[{{{10}}}]]
Isabella Ann Dow James Foote Dow [[{{{12}}}]]
Jane Taylor [[{{{14}}}]]

Yaqui tribe[edit]

Could someone please give a good description of the Yaqui culture? (food, clothing, homes, art and crafts, etc.)

The article Yaqui gives some helpful information and the links at the bottom give you whatever else you would need to know (need to do a little surfing though). schyler 21:10, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

CIA World Factbook[edit]

I want to find the information that would be in The CIA World Factbook about the former Soviet Union at its height (what would that be?). The site itself doesn't have a choice for USSR or Soviet Union (I even tried CCCP). THanks. schyler 21:36, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

This page has World Factbooks going back to 1989. -- Mwalcoff 00:53, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


Lately I've been having amazingly realistic dreams about my father and our family's old home. I live on my own but visit my father once per week. More than once, I've woken up from a dream only to find myself in another dream - in our old home, with my father at my bedside. This feels incredibly realistic to me. Only when I remind myself that my father isn't supposed to be here, and neither of us are supposed to be at our old home, do I really wake up into reality. Is this normal? Why is this happening? I hope I don't sound like I'm going insane. JIP | Talk 21:39, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

My flatmate recently had similar dreams. He would awaken, only to find that he was still dreaming a dream, from which he would then awaken. Are any other people having strange dreams? Could someone please go and check for strange unrecorded islands somewhere in the vicinity of 49° 51' S, 128° 34' W? --Dr. Zarkov 05:54, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I've been having very weird dreams lately. But as for that location arising from the deep, as they say in Canada - "O RLY, eh?" Grutness...wha? 10:01, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Waking up inside a dream is what Oneironauts call a 'False Awakening'. Reading the article on Lucid Dreaming may be helpful along with visting the website [], this way you wil be able to control your dreams if you are not enjoying them. -PyroTom 13:15, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

"Freedom" Indices[edit]

I'm doing a rather lengthy, complex and in-depth thesis on the subject of Canadian constitutional rights, both pre and post the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982. I'm wondering if there exists one, or preferably several (because one alone can be biased) "Freedom" indices, ranking each country of the world by the effective fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press, fundamental elements of due process in the criminal justice system etc... according to the level of de facto freedom enjoyed by its citizenry. I'm wondering if anyone out there can provide me with links to such indices. Right now I can think of Amnesty International and the UN as perhaps keeping such indices, but it can be quite difficult to navigate their websites. Plus, I'd rather have as many souces as possible. I would appreciate any help I can get. Loomis51 22:43, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Another source would be Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index]. (also reproduced in the article). And there's a whole List of indices of freedom article too. --BluePlatypus 23:36, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
The best known rankings are those of Freedom House. -- Mwalcoff 00:52, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
The Fund for Peace has a Failed States index which may be of some interest; it's got a few factors like "security apparatus operates as a state within a state" that track low levels of freedom. It's only for 75 countries at the rough end of the scale; India, China, Malaysia, Mexico at the good end, all the way to Iraq, Sudan, DR Congo and Cote D'Ivoire. --ByeByeBaby 00:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks guys, I really appreciate your effort. However, what I'm really looking for is rankings among free countries. Perhaps I should give you a better undertstanding of my thesis. In the United States there is a written Bill of Rights. In the UK, the entire constitution is unwritten. Canada is a bit of a hybrid. We only put in place a written Charter of Rights in 1982. Plus there's the notwithstanding clause, which allows the legislature to overrule the courts in certain matters concerning fundamental rights. I won't bore you with any more details. Suffice it to say that the thesis of my argument is that whether fundamental rights are written into a constitution (as in the US) or not (as in the UK) is inconsequential. What's of ultimate importance is the de facto recognition, reverence and devotion to these rights by the electorate and their governmental institutions.

What I was looking for (or hoping for!) was two or three indices indicating that fundamental rights and freedoms are respected on a more or less equal footing in the UK (and pre-Charter Canada) as they are in the US, indicating that putting down rights in a formal document, though it may have strong psychological advantages, is ultimately irrelevant.

Also, I know (most of) you are intelligent and may have many opinions on the matter. I just want to say, and I hope I'm not being rude, is that my position is very settled on the matter. What I'm asking for is if any of you are familiar with any "ranking indices" comparing free countries, especially the US, the UK and Canada, on how well they fare when it comes to actually respecting these basic rights. Thanks again! Loomis51 01:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

So your opinion is settled, and your conclusion is drawn, and now you're looking for justifications for it? That's a deplorable and dishonest way of doing research. You're not going to get a high mark if you're not prepared to challenge your preconceptions. At least, you shouldn't. --BluePlatypus 07:15, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not trying to justify my preconceptions. I've spent a great deal of time studying and analyzing respect for human rights in all three countries. I know for example, that capital punishment is not considered a violation of human rights in the US, but is in Canada and the UK. I know that slavery was tolerated under the American Bill of Rights for close to a century, but was abolished in the UK and never even existed in Canada. I'm not looking for a justification for my preconceptions and I'm fully prepared to change my conclusion should it be proven to be wrong.

Perhaps you misunderstood what I meant when I said that my opinion was very settled on the matter. I've done extensive raw or primary research to form my opinion. Without that research I couldn't have any opinion at all. I live in Canada, have spent a great deal of time in the US and have visited the UK on several occasions. I've witnessed and researched how, and to what degree, for example, in all three countries, the state respects due process, or, as another example, how the state places restraints on the power of the police. I only said that my opinion was settled on the matter after doing this extensive research.

I believe you've completely misunderstood (or maybe I miscommunicated) my point when I said that I wasn't interested in enaging in a debate on the matter. From my experience at the Wikipedia Reference desk, it seems that whenever a question is asked, rather than sticking to the question, a debate seems to develop and everybody seems to want to throw in their two cents about their opinion. I merely wished to state that I wasn't interested in engaging in a debate, or requesting a poll of wikipedians as to their thoughts on the matter (which, by the way, would be an extremely unscientific way to gauge an opinion.)

My thesis is nearly finished, and it just occurred to me that there may be secondary sources of "ranking indices" that neatly describe or sum up what the literature and all my previous research already indicates. So no, I'm not trying to justify a preconception by "shopping" for secondary sources. My argument is complete without them. I already know, if I had access to these sources, that their conclusions would agree with mine. In fact, from the few souces provided, I now have actual proof that their conclusions agree with mine. If for some unlikely reason they didn't, I would surely rethink my position. I just wanted to make it clear that the point of my question was not to engage in a lengthy debate, but to simply ask how I can access to this sort of information. Loomis51 11:11, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

It would be hard to objectively rank countries like the US, UK and Canada by how free they are. For example, American landowners have more "freedom" to do what they want with their land, while in Britain, people have a limited "right to ramble" on other people's property. Which country is more "free" in that regard? Depends on how you look at it. On the other hand, comparing any of those countries to North Korea is far more clear-cut. -- Mwalcoff 23:06, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Baby Boomers[edit]

Approximately how many Baby Boomers are in the USA today? How many of these Baby Boomers are "single" (never married, widowed, divorced)? Thank you for you assistance.

This page of census estimates should provide the info you need. -- Mwalcoff 00:59, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

April 24[edit]

Roman Mythology[edit]

I cannot figure out which three MAJOR gods the Romans worshiped before they came into contact with the Greek culture.

What do you mean? Arguably, they were always in contact with the Greeks, as they were in contact with the Etruscans, and the Greek pantheon had spread via trade pretty early. Geogre 02:30, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Iuppiter, Mars, and Quirinus. Chl 13:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


I 'm trying to find information about the personal space or comfort zones on people in Nigeria. In some countries people kiss on each cheek when greeting one another. In some countries people hug to say hello or good bye. In some countries people bow to greet. How do people in Nigeria feel about these customs. What are some of Nigerias communication customs. How do they feel about invasion of personal space?

Try exploring the articles and subcategories at Category:Nigeria FT2 (Talk) 18:32, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

The apartment in the movie "The Island"[edit]

Hey all,

After I watched the 2005 movie "The Island", I have been obsessed with trying to find out more about the props and locations in the movie. I have already found out a lot about the yact they used in the movie called the Wallypower 118, and now I am trying to find out more about the in-movie apartment of the character Ewan McGregor plays.

If you watch the movie, the apartment is VERY cool with a very modern design. I was wondering if anyone knew more about where that scene was shot, or perhaps could tell me more about that particular style of design for homes and apartments. Does it tend to be very expensive over traditional building? Is it difficult to find a contractor to build something like this? I am in love with this kind of modern design and would like to someday build a home very similar. Any information is helpful!


-- 01:09, 24 April 2006 (UTC) thank you

IMDb is your friend: [36]. Grutness...wha? 10:05, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

what are sharks . how do they live[edit]

pls explaine this title

thank youu.

--Haishma 03:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Sharks are fish. They live nice. Loomis51 09:54, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Immigration of Persian people to Iran[edit]

Hey, I was just wondering, which part of Europe did alot of persians come from? Just to feed my own curiousity, because I know that there are alot of persians in Iran who are part European, but I'm not sure which part of Europe. I looked everywhere, but couldn't find the answer anywhere. Thanks a bunch!

I would take a guess and say from Greece and the Macedonia area because of Alexander the Great --Jcw69 10:36, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
No, most ethnic Persians (And therefore, most Iranians) in Iran are descended from Indo-Europeans who migrated to Iran milleniums ago from the Caucaus Mountains. That would be why Iranians speak an Indo-European language. -Anonymous Edit in

DIY Nuclear Weapons[edit]

Why did PM Thatcher buy nuclear weapons from the US? Why couldn't the UK MoD have made their own? -Username132 (talk) 05:45, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

They tried. See Blue Streak missile#Cancellation. I think the problem was not making bombs that work, but making accurate and reliable methods of delivery. Notinasnaid 12:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the main problem was the cost of developing the whole nuclear bombs + delivery system, that is R&D, manufacturing & infrastructure. In the short-term (the next few elections) it was cheaper just to buy them from the Americans. AllanHainey 13:20, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, they didn't buy nuclear weapons. They bought the Trident missiles to deliver them - the warheads themselves are British-made (though reputedly based on an American design [37]; making warheads small enough to fit on a missile is technically challenging). Interestingly enough, the current generation of Trident subs are getting to the point where a decision has to be made on a replacement nuclear capability (be it a new generation of subs or something else). --Robert Merkel 11:33, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

identify the ballet music from this Kids in the Hall sketch[edit]

I want to identify the ballet music that's playing in the ballet sketch from season 1 episode 1 of the Kids in the Hall (see List of Kids in the Hall episodes). It's not in the credits. Anyone have the show and can identify? Or do I have to do an audio capture and upload? -lethe talk + 06:55, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I've done the audio capture. here (458K mp3). Any help? -lethe talk + 07:24, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
It's from Swan Lake, by Tchaikovsky. This movement is the Allegro moderato from "Danses des cygnes". --Cadaeib 20:18, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. -lethe talk + 22:23, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
You're welcome. Beautiful music, isn't it? --Cadaeib 00:48, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. -lethe talk + 01:24, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Boy Scouts in Japan[edit]

Do you have any information about the formation of the Boy Scouts in Japan, specifically related to the contributions made by Clarence Brazeal?

Old LP of children's songs about cars[edit]

When I was a boy in early 70s England, I had an LP of songs all about cars. They were songs for children. I think one of the featured cars was a Vitesse, but I can't remember any of the others. Nor can I remember the title of the LP. All I remember is that on the cover of the LP, the title was spelt out in letters formed by various cars.

Does anyone else remember the LP? Can you give me any more details? I'd love to track down a copy. --Richardrj 14:38, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I remember something like this. There was a song about a Volkswagen Beetle (He said "ja, ja, ja" and he laughed, "hee hee") and one about a Mini Moke. But no, I don't remember the title or anything else. DJ Clayworth 16:57, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I need to find a calendar of official days / months...breast cancer awareness month, administrative assistance day, etc. Suggestions?


Did you ever hear of a Jewish Acre. Not the town, but the size of land?

Maybe this article: Ancient Hebrew units of measurement can help you. --Eivindt@c 00:38, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


Does anybody know what these are called:


HarryCane 17:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The generic name is Pin Art. I'm sure some companies give it fancy names. --Kainaw (talk) 19:38, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Conservatives in America[edit]

When I see Ann Coulter et al, I seriously wonder 'what are these people thinking'. I can't read her, since she's such a shrill blood spitting ranter who comes across as psychosed. Is there a sane, calm, logical explanation of why conservatives think what they do that I can read somewhere?

Have you tried our Conservatism article series, especially American conservatism and Neoconservatism, as well as our aticles on Left-Right politics and Republican Party (United States), or articles concerning the issues that often divide them, such as Free trade controversy, Abortion debate, Gun politics in the United States, and Same-sex marriage? Though I doubt that any of them will be able to explain what motivates Ann Coulter to say what she does. The answer to that probably lies in the non-existent controversy as a source of income article. --Aramգուտանգ 19:11, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
you might also consider [[38]] and [[39]]in trying to gain some insight. this may also be helpful: [[40]]
The book The Right Nation is an attempt by two British authors to explain the phenomenon of American conservatism to a worldwide audience. By the way, I think most Americans have the same reaction to Ann Coulter as you do. -- Mwalcoff 23:43, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

i had the same question when reading/watching the likes of al franken and michael moore. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Yes, I do believe that there are radicals on both side (Franken, Coulter, and Moore). However, I do not think that these people can categorize all Conservatives or Liberals or whatever these peolpe are. I'm a conservative and despise the "shrill"ness of Ann Coulter, but also can't stand the arrogance of Michael Moore and Al Franken. The case you mention about Ann Coulter is limited to Ann Coulter and can't be used to categorize all Conservatives. Thank you, Chuck 23:56, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

The Great Snake, USA[edit]

Do you know where the Great Snake is located in the USA? This is a hill figure, a carving, similar to Nazca Lines in Peru, Giant in Cerne Abbas, UK and White Horse carvings in UK. ^^^^

Serpent Mound? AnonMoos 21:45, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Cass County Mo[edit]

what are the car repossession laws? case laws legal repossession city made people give back car , cannot order to give property back without a court order in civil matters. punitive damages apply

Tonto no like fire? wolf raisin electrocute! vanilla civil court order. Hope that helps!Loomis51 21:01, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Lyrics to song about Dixie Dean and Pongo Waring[edit]

I'm trying to find the lyrics to a song about footballers Dixie Dean and Pongo Waring. I think it starts "when the ball was centered and when the whistle blew".

Whilst I primarily would like the words to the song I'd also be interested in any history about the song. I don't think it was sung at football matches as I don't think these two every actually played a match together.

I thank you very much in advance for any help you can give.

Probably a long shot, but if there are any websites relating to Tranmere Rovers history, they might be your best bet. Pongo seems to have taken over as star player from Deans as star player at the club. Grutness...wha? 03:28, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


Why exactly in the book 1984 are the proles, who make up most of Ocenia, not controlled as much as the Party members. I know they are seen as lower class, but wouldn't it occur to at least one of the Inner Party members as it does to the main character, who is an Outer Party member, that the proles could overthrow the government and that it would make more sense to control everyone equally? And was the Party planning on making everyone speak Newspeak, or only Party members? Also, would the government in Brave New World be considered more successful than the one in 1984, seeing as though they still have different classes of people, everyone is controlled equally? For example, in 1984 only the proles can use drugs while in Brave New World, soma is handed out to everyone. Another difference is, in 1984, anyone against the government is killed. In Brave New World, there are fewer people against the government, and those who are are sent to live on faraway islands.

I haven't even read 1984, but I'm of course very familiar with its theme. I may be wrong, but it seems almost certain that the "Proles" is Orwellian for the Proletariat. Loomis51 23:14, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, but why would the Party or Thought Police not control them as much as they control the Party memebers. It says in the book that the proles make up 85% of the population. Wouldn't they want everybody to be either complete control or like the society in Brave New World if they wanted no one to be against the Party, or even have any reason to be against the Party?
Does the Party have enough to control all of the the proles especially as it is fighting overseas? Orwell mentioned the average working-man's indifference to politics is several of his essays and the Road to Wigan Pier. The party obviously has parrallels with the Nazi or Communist parties which greatly influenced whole countries but did not make everyone members. There is an inner, outer and non-party structure just as there is an a-list, b-list...z-list to current ruling parties. Even society designed for equality needs hierachy. Newspeak is probably designed partly as a prestige dialect, speakright, thinkright getahead. Perhaps the party knows that producing utterly loyal party drones saps the drones energy, are you working hard if you are crimethinking.
As to which is more successful Orwellopia or Huxleyopia, why do you want to know are you trying to decide which too institute? In Brave New World cracks seem, to be appearing in the well organised society whereas Ingsoc seems to know how to deal with cracks. MeltBanana 00:46, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I read that book, and I thought that this flaw, which you bring up, was one of the reasons why it was kinda stupid. A brief glance at history will show you that you cannot keep control of your fascist government if you don't control the populace. Controlling minor governmental bureaucrats suffices to maintain control of the government? Garbage. -lethe talk + 01:27, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

the proles are controled it is just hard to notice. the party does not allow them to gain any form of wealth whatsoever, thus making it extremely difficult to move up or revolt. the proles will always be the lower class because they almost dont know anything better.

The proles are allowed to have sex freely, to eat, etc., because this keeps them from revolting. They are killed by their work and by the eternal war, and so they are allowed freedoms of the body, but they are denied any freedoms of character. They also are expected to reproduce frequently because their children are needed to replace the losses of adults in industry and war. In other words, Big Brother is very cynical. He has consigned them the role of beasts, and therefore they are allowed and expected to have bestial behavior. They are tightly controlled in their access to the upper classes, however. Geogre 10:34, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm no literary critic, but perhaps Orwell had a very low opinion of the poor masses. I always think of that scene in which Winston Smith goes into a tavern full of proles and tries to engage an older one in a conversation on politics and history. The only political comments the prole has to make are complaints that the metric system has made it impossible to get a pint of beer. In Animal Farm, the equivalent of the proles are the sheep, who can't learn to read and can't think on their own. Perhaps hanging out with the destitute of Paris and London made Orwell a snob. Or perhaps he really didn't think that way but was criticizing people who do. In The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell certainly does not appear to consider the poor totally useless, even if he admits to being somewhat repulsed by them. -- Mwalcoff 00:06, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I think, in 1984 at least, the proles are made stupid. They are consciously deprived of information and education. It's a complaint that Orwell made elsewhere (in his essays on Burma, for example). He also saw that a history of expectation of stupidity would make a future of stupidity -- the power of class expectations being an actual ideology. Animal Farm is more complicated, as he was speaking there of history and not Mankind and about serfdom as it was, rather than serfdom as it could have been. I.e. those sheep were dull witted and easily led. I don't think they're analogous to proletarians in general, and I do think he believed in the power of the proletariat to achieve the desirable end, if scheming intelligentsia didn't mislead them along the way or plutocrats convince them to watch football and get loaded. Geogre 01:31, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
The Party definitely does control the proles (yes, it's short for proletariat), but they are kept uneducated and Orwell says that when one comes along that has a chance of inciting dissent, the Thought Police would just execute him/her.
In Brave New World, people are bound to society by social conditions.
"It is not consciousness that determines one's existence, but rather one's social existence that determines consciousness." -Karl Marx

The social theory which Orwel propounds in the book (that is what the chapters from Emmanuel Goldstein's book are all about) is that revolutions are ALWAYS made by the middle class (in this case the Outer Party). The lower calss never do it themselves, they only follow the middle class. In earlier revolutions, part of the middle class took power and became the new upper class, but then the remaining middle class always aroused the lower class and made a new revolution. The difference is that this time the people who took power in Orwell's 1950's understood the process, and already when they were still middle class planning to take power they already made sure nobody would follow them in amking a revlution, so they could stay on top forever. The idea of the book is very simple: if you contol the middle class so toghtly that they can;t even think of revolting, than there will be no revolution by anybody. The Proles will no rse by themselves, you can let them run relatively loose. Adam Keller 18:47, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


When I went through the quality of life index, one column is Material wellbeing (GDP per person, at PPP in $). What does PPP stand for?

"Purchasing Power Parity" (money relative to what it can buy in ordinary commonly-used goods, rather than according to exchange rates). AnonMoos 22:41, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Intelligence/ Smartness[edit]

Is there any concrete factors to define someone is smart or not? Is intelligence inherent or can be gained?

See intelligence and IQ for a start. Is there some reason this question is asked practically every week? --Kainaw (talk) 22:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Stocks and shares[edit]

I heard there are some people who make a living buying stocks when they're low and selling them when they're high. If the money they make selling them is greater than the money they lose buying them, they get some free money. Where does all that money come from exactly? Jonathan talk Flag of Canada.svg 22:16, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

It comes from the people who bought high and sold low. It is just like trading baseball cards. The value of a card/stock is simply what someone else will pay for it. The catch with stocks is that the prices are controlled so you don't have to shop around for a buyer/seller. You just go through your agent and you buy/sell at the current market rate.
I just realized that I could have made this a shorter answer by just saying day traders. --Kainaw (talk) 22:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
No Kainaw, your explanation is a lot better. Actually, all that was necessary was your first sentence. "It comes from people who bought high and sold low" That sums it up perfectly. I checked the day traders article and its extremely poor. It's pretty one sided actually, and seems to make the assertion that if you're smart enough you can make a tonne of money at it. Unfortunately 99.99999% of day traders aren't smart enough, and many have lost fortunes. For the vast majority of people, day trading is only slightly less risky (and slightly more socially impressive) than going to a casino with your life savings and trying to "beat the system".Loomis51 23:09, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Dividends & Share buybacks also help 18:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I think it's slightly more complex. When shares rise (just as when house values rise) there is no more money in the system. Let's compare to house values first, because that's easier to follow. If your house doubles in value, you feel richer, but you don't have any more cash. The only way to get that cash is to sell your house. Of course, you still need somewhere to live, so you may well buy another house, but you could move somewhere cheaper. Overall though, not enough people can get out of the game, so only a few people can get richer because they live in houses that have vastly increased in value. Now take shares. The only people who can make money from rises in share prices are those who can sell. If you can sell and walk away, you have made extra money from those who have been adding money to share owning or selling some shares to buy another (since to sell your shares you had to have a willing buyer able to pay that price). Most of the money in shares simply cannot get out of the game; it is institutional investors who have to buy one share or another. Ultimately profits come from other people buying the shares you sell. This could have come from people who bought high and sold low; from other people who bought low and sold high; or new money. There is always lots of new money going into shares, vast amounts of it from pension investment; if this dries up, share prices collapse, not because their inherent value has gone, but because there aren't enough purchasers and those who need to sell become ever more desperate to get some value. The really ironic thing about house and share prices is that most people can't get out of the game so most people cannot benefit from all this paper wealth; yet the players are devastated if the paper value of their investment drops. Or, to put it in a nutshell profits on share dealing are sometimes a redistribution of money among share owners (winners vs. losers) but more often it is the new money going into shares being distributed to the luckier sellers (winners vs. new investors). Notinasnaid 09:42, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
You make quite a few good points, Notinasnaid, but there are a few flaws in your argument as well. The analogy to houses is good, but not perfect. Everyone has to live somewhere, but there aren't nearly as many alternatives to living in a house as there are alternatives to investing in equities. If the equity markets begin to look overpriced, you can always sell your equities and invest in a totally different market that's governed by different factors, very often totally opposite factors, say bonds or commodities, which may turn out to be a cheap investment in comparison. You can't do that with houses. If the housing market is overpriced, all your alternatives, including moving into an appartment, will tend to follow suit and be more expensive than usual as well. Not everyone who sells one share turns around and buys another. Another thing is that share prices aren't totally governed simply by the amount of money available in the market. In the short-term this may be the case, but ultimately, the intrinsic value of the share has to factor in at some point (p/e ratio, eps etc...). When share prices in the short-term rise to unrealistic levels in comparison to their intrinsic value (creating a "bubble" in the market), some smart investors will realize this and quit while they're ahead, selling their equities and transfering them into other forms of investment. When this happens on a large enough scale, "the bubble bursts", so to speak, as it did especially in the high tech sector some 5 years ago. Otherwise, though, Notinasnaid's points are good ones. Loomis51 11:28, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Help with the Dervish Article[edit]

Cutting Themselves with Swords without Bloodshed

We definitely need to include pictures of dervishes piercing themselves with skewers and cutting themselves with swords. File:Dervish.jpgPatchouli 23:50, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

April 25[edit]


When, how and by whom was kissing 'invented'? The idea as a whole is quite odd when you think about it. What motive did the person have to touch lips to the other? The same goes for many common things such as hand shakes, winking and waves. Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated.

References to kissing (both platonic and as an expression of love) exist throughout written history. I have seen examples in early Chinese, Indian, and Germanic texts. I would be rather surprised if kissing wasn't in early texts of all cultures on Earth. Even cultures where kissing is evil will have it written that people should not kiss. --Kainaw (talk) 01:46, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Almost certainly its far older than that. Kissing in some form or another is found in several primate species - though not in the full flowering of the art as seen among humans. Grutness...wha? 03:31, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not really odd if you think about it a little harder. If you love someone, you want the maximum number of your sensory nerves touching the maximum number of theirs. One way to do that is simply to maximize the area of skin that's touching, hence the hug and the caress. Another way is to touch those parts of the body which have the greatest concentrations of nerve endings: the genitals, anus, lips, tongue, and fingertips. Pretty much every combination of those has been tried, and kissing (and shaking hands, for that matter) is the most practical in public. —Keenan Pepper 04:05, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
  • There are no patents for kissing.<grin>Patchouli 05:15, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
"Lord, I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing!" -- Jonathan Swift Geogre 10:36, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
People don't care if kissing is odd, the point is that it feels good. On the other hand, shaking hands is quite a practical gesture, as that way you could check that the other person doesn't hold a weapon (a knife or a pistol) in his hand. Waving is useful because it can be seen from far away. (And let me link to the article kissing.) – b_jonas 12:55, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Da Vinci's mechanical drum blueprints[edit]

My son is interested in attemptint to build a replica of Da Vinci's mechanical drum. I know that at least one museum has created a replica. We are looking for blueprints or plans for actually building this machine. Do you have any suggestions about where to find such information? I tried searching within wikipedia but only found basic information about DaVinci. Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated.-- 01:49, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

[41] this? yes , that is what I am talking about, but I need blueprints.
might find it in [42]. click on "sketches by leo.." nope looked there.
here's a list of some of his manuscripts: [43] nope, looked there too.
maybe one of these professors will forward it to you?
There is a book giving descriptions & plans of a range of DaVinci's machines, I've only seen it in museum gift shops in Italy though so I don't know how available it'll be. I think I've got the details at home I'll check & post again if I can find the author, ISBN, etc. AllanHainey 14:34, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Found it, I don't know if it includes your mechanical drum but it might be worth checking out:
Leonardo's Machines Secrets and inventions in the Da Vinci Codices; by Mario Taddei, Edoardo Zanon & Domenico Laurenza; Giunti Press; ISBN 88-09-04363-4. AllanHainey 07:26, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


What is a eloheem? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lovetolearn2006 (talkcontribs) .

Do you mean elohim? —Keenan Pepper 02:57, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
I doubt thats what he's referring to. If he had heard it in context he probably wouldn't have put the indefinite article in front, but you never know. — ßottesiηi Tell me what's up 21:43, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Althusser quote[edit]

Could someone please help me locate the bibliographic information for the following quote on the French page about Louis Althusser: "Un philosophe idéaliste est comme un homme qui sait d'avance et d'où part le train dans lequel il monte et...où va le train. Le matérialiste, au contraire, est un homme qui prend le train en marche (le cours du monde, le cours de l'histoire, le cours de sa vie) mais sans savoir d'où vient le train ni où il va."

Try asking in the fr:Main Page French Wikipedia? FT2 (Talk) 18:25, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

WWII history[edit]

I am trying to find information on Eskerunda (German Name in 1945). When the German army was retreating with refugees and it was impossible to escape through Gdynia people escaped to Denmark by a make-shift harbour situated in Eskerunda. I can find no information about this place. Could you please direct me to which I can access this information, thanks Nora

This is just a guess... I can't find any mention of Eskerunda on any maps of the German and Polish coast (and I've gone back into historic atlases too). BUT - there is an Ueckermünde close to the mouth of the Oder between Anklam and Szczecin. Could that perhaps be it? Grutness...wha? 12:44, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Eskerunda sounds more like a Basque name than a German name to me. I also suspect the spelling is something else. JackofOz 19:55, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Is Thiery Henry a muslim?[edit]

I`ve heared that Thiery Henry(the french soccer player who plays in the English Arsenal club) became a muslim & I couldn`t find any info in your site about this is this true?? I mean did he realy embrace Islam & if not then what`s his relegion????

thanks in advance

Not that I'm aware of. And certainly if he is Moslem it's not through any tradition within his family (though several French players are of North African descent, Henry's background is Caribbean). Grutness...wha? 09:41, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Why would it matter? I don't know if he is or isn't. But Arsenal is Bin Laden's favorite soccer team [44]. --Chapuisat 15:47, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, also, it's Thierry Henry. Two R's. --Chapuisat 15:50, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

help in assignment.[edit]

I'm looking for an artwork of fiona hall that has something to link her to any of andy warhol(example material used)thanks, i really appreciate your help.-----

i need help looking for any art work that links any of andy warhol's art work to fiona hall's art work.thanks alot.--≈≈≈

I tried :/ Best I could come up with was an article about her in a journal put out by the Andy Warhol Foundation (n.paradoxa, vol. 9). There's an article about Hall in the latest issue of Art Monthly Australia, BTW. Not that that really answers your question, I'm afraid... Grutness...wha? 12:58, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
That is...of course... unless you count subject matter as a link :) Fiona Hall has used Coca-cola cans to create art. She knitted with strips from them; Warhol, of course, painted them. Here's a link. Grutness...wha? 13:05, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, Warhol painted Coca-cola bottles and Campbell's Soup cans. --LarryMac 16:35, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Though his most famous work is probably his Campbell's Soup cans, he definitely painted coke cans as well. And Schlitz cans, And coke bottles, and a pepsi bottle cap - among many other things. Grutness...wha? 02:47, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Historic wages, plus food, merchandise and other prices in the US[edit]

I would like to know of resources where I may find average prices for various items throughout US history. For instance, how much did a pound of hamburger cost in 1939? And what was the average wage for various types of work that same year? Are there such indices online? Thank you, <email removed>

I removed your email, it's not a good idea to post it here or you'll get a ton of spam. --Chapuisat 16:13, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
There are many historical and detailed datasets are the Bureau of Labor Statistics on producer prices and wage levels. However, I find it easiest to use EconoMagic. For example, they have THIS, which gives "meats, poultry, and fish" monthly price index back to 1926 (index to 100 for January 1992). In any case, go HERE and explore the many datasets. There ARE wage levels hidden somewhere in there, I know it! --WonderBread 00:42, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Gun Control USA[edit]

hi, i'm british and just old enough to remember the Dunblane primary school massacre in the 1990's - after this tragedy the government promptly banned hand guns and we haven't another school shooting since. I'm aware that the US constitution has something to say regarding americans' right to gun ownership but given the shockingly high frequency of school (and other types of) shootings in the states, why hasnt it been repealed? indeed, why are americans so fond of their guns even if its clear that the social cost is so huge? is there an argument i'm missing? also, how does the absence of gun control play with the christian right? surely they must think that only god has the right to end life?. anyone's, preferably an american's, thoughts on the subject would be much appreciated, thanks andrew

I'm half American, so here's half an answer. It's complicated. Gun rights are tied to the idea of the American west, the pioneer, the revolutionary spirit Americans pride themselves on. Hunters see attempts to curtail gun rights as an assault on their culture by city dwelling liberals. The Christian right is probably the strongest supporter of gun rights. Just as they strongly support the death penalty. How, exactly, this jives with their Christian beliefs I'm not sure. You'll have to get an answer from them. --Chapuisat 16:36, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Although this might sound remote, it isn't: the United States was founded on the Lockean notion that power derives from the people and that it always remains in the hands of the people, that the people may rightfully overthrow any tyranny. The American Revolution required a volunteer militia and not a state army (the state being the UK). Thus, the 2nd amendment to the US constitution envisioned volunteers being used in all US conflicts and no standing army, ever. That's why it begins, "A well regulated militia being necessary, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." However, the US very, very slowly established a standing army, and military technology quickly got too expensive and lethal for anyone to bear. Nevertheless, the radical position on gun ownership is that guns will enable the people to overthrow any corrupt or tyrranical government. This argument is poppycock, obviously, as the same people pointed out that Saddam was a tyrant and that Iraq had the highest number of privately owned assault weapons in the Middle East, so they presented, in essence, their own rebuttal. However, that remains the logic most often cited by the National Rifle Association. More practically, the US has a culture of fear, as Michael More discussed in Bowling for Columbine, where that fear of the neighbor is used to justify the paranoid fantasy of a personal firearm being used to "defend" against the unspecified but violent Other. I.e. most actual gun owners believe that they will use their firearms to prevent Someone Else from raping or stealing or killing. They therefore will accept casualties, for the casualties are themselves justification of owning a gun: "I have to own a gun because there are crazy people out there with guns." Geogre 19:05, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
That would be Michael Moore. Also, Andrew, please do not assume all Americans are fond of guns. --LarryMac 20:20, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Some of us prefer knives.
But seriously, Geogre is right. The original relevance of the Second Amendment has been completely undermined by the massive and unanticipated expansion of the U.S. military. You might have noticed that the very politicians who support a runaway military also support a literal interpretation of the Second Amendment. Obviously, most conservatives don't want to join a militia or overthrow a hypothetical tyrant (they're quite happy with the tyrants they have). They want guns because they're afraid minorities will steal their TV sets. They want to feel like big men, and associate gun control with women and "liberals". The anti-gun-control movement is fed by what Karl Popper called a closed circle: If gun violence (or crime in general) were to rise, it would be interpreted as a sign that more guns are needed for "law-abiding citizens". If gun violence were to decline, they would present this as an argument that gun control is unnecessary. And LarryMac is right: although the ruling party accepts this tortured logic, a great many Americans do not. Bhumiya (said/done) 21:03, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Unless I skipped over it, I didn't see anyone mention the most common phrase used against gun control: "If guns were illegal, only criminals would have guns." I've personally never heard a person for gun control refute that argument (which would be simple: guns are illegal in many countries and most criminals in those countries don't have guns). --Kainaw (talk) 21:46, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to argue either for or against gun control, but I will argue for logic and say that your parenthetical statement does not refute the premise. --LarryMac 15:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
One other thing you should appreciate is that school massacres are not common. They are *extremely* rare. Just like terrorist attacks. It is largely because they are so rare that they attract so much attention when they actually happen. They are so rare, in fact, that designing policies around preventing them is largely a waste of time.
A further point is that the social cost of guns in the areas most strongly opposed to gun control (and with some of the highest gun-ownership rates) is often much lower than where gun control is supported; according to this and this the murder rate in Montana (where gun control is strongly opposed) is less than half that of New York (where gun control is, generally, more supported). --Robert Merkel 23:37, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
That's because Montanans live much further apart than New Yorkers do. The South and West -- where gun control has its fiercest opponents -- whole have higher murder rates as a whole than the Northeast and Midwest do. -- Mwalcoff 00:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, it's a common misconception that the reason America lacks significant gun control is because of the US Constitution. No matter what anyone thinks of the Second Amendment, the fact remains that no federal court has ever struck down a gun-control law on second-amendment grounds. Indeed, when passed, gun control laws almost always pass constitutional scrutiny at the federal level. Anyway, members of Congress are happy to pass legislation that violates the First Amendment, Tenth Amendment and lots of other parts of the Constitution and leave it to the courts to strip away the unconstitutional parts. But they won't touch gun control.

Why not? Well the easy answer is that while polls show majorities in favor of gun control measures like licensing and registration, the minority that's against such laws includes a lot of people who feel r