Humanities (HUMANITARIANS)--Reference Desk

Wikipedia is there when you need it — now it needs you.
Donate Now »
Support Wikipedia: a non-profit project.
Donate Now »
Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of humanities.
WP:RD/H Humanities #eee #f5f5f5 #eee #aaa #aaa #aaa #00f #36b #000 #00f humanities Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities Humanities WP:RD/H
Welcome to the humanities reference desk.
Is there any way I can get a faster answer?
  • Yes, you can search first. Please do this. Many questions can be immediately answered by a simple google search. Entering search terms in the box to the left may locate useful articles in Wikipedia.
  • Yes, if you need advice or opinions, it's better to ask elsewhere.
    • The reference desk does not answer (and will probably remove) requests for medical or legal advice. Ask a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, or lawyer instead.
    • The reference desk does not answer requests for opinions or predictions about future events. Do not start a debate; please seek an internet forum instead.
    • If you are considering suicide or self-harm, please talk to a doctor, friend, or counsellor, or call a hotline.
How do I word my question for the best results?

  • Include a meaningful title. Do not write "Question" or "Query", but write a few words that briefly tell the volunteers the subject of the question.
  • Include context. Include links to any information that might help to understand your question. Tell us what part of the world your question applies to.
  • Do not provide your contact information. E-mail or home addresses, or telephone numbers, will be removed. You must return to this page to get your answer.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end of your question. This signs your contribution so volunteers know who wrote what in the conversation.
  • If your question is homework, show that you have attempted an answer first, and we will try to help you past the stuck point. If you don't show an effort, you probably won't get help. The reference desk will not do your homework for you.
When will I get an answer?

  • It may take several days. Come back later and check this page for responses. Later posts may add more information. Please, post your question on only one section of the reference desk.
After reading the above, you may
ask a new question by clicking here.
How to answer a question
  • Be thorough. Provide as much of the answer as you are able to.
  • Be concise, not terse. Please write in a clear and easily understood manner. Keep your answer within the scope of the question as stated.
  • Provide links when available, such as wikilinks to related articles, or links to the information that you used to find your answer.
  • Be polite and assume good faith, especially with users new to Wikipedia.
  • Don't edit others' comments, except to fix formatting errors that interfere with readability.
  • Don't give any legal or medical advice. The reference desk cannot answer these types of questions.
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual


// [edit] November 5

[edit] President Start Date?

Why is it months after the election the new president starts there job in the white house { (talk) 16:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC)}I think that in the "old" days, it took a lot longer to count votes and to spread the news around. The original date for inauguration was actually on March 4th, but that long period of time eventually spawned "lame-duck presidents", so the third section of the 20th Amendment changed the date to January 20th. —Ed 17 (talk)— 16:45, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Several things have to happen before the new president can start his job. First, the electors of the Electoral College have to cast their votes for President and Vice President. This will happen on December 15th. Then, Congress must meet and count the votes of the Electoral College and declare a winner. This will happen on January 6th, 2009. Then, the new President-Elect must be sworn in to office. This will happen on January 20th, 2009. Only then can the new President officially start their job.--Zerozal (talk) 19:09, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Why does the Electorate collage have to come together at all if everyone in the country already voted? Isn't that just a waste of a whole lot of time and money? - Mgm|(talk) 20:06, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
They have to because that's what the Constitution specifies, and also because it's a ritual much like the voting process that Mark Shields calls a civic sacrament. You could change or even do away with the Electoral College by amendment. Every four years there's a lot of discussion about doing so, but that's pretty much all it is: discussion. The two-plus month schedule does allow for some transition -- e.g., planning time, discussions with potential officials in the new cabinet. Bush is still president, but will not be able to pass any significant legislation unless the Democrats want it passed. He'll have to confine himself to executive orders, rewrites of regulations, speechifying, and as he so delicately put it, getting ready to refill his personal coffers. --- OtherDave (talk) 21:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC) By the way, the Electoral College never does "come together". There are 51 separate meetings, one in each state and one in Washington DC, each sending in its own set of vote results. --Anonymous, 09:12 UTC, November 6, 2008.

[edit] Roe v. Wade Question

I read through our article and am still confused on a particular point. If the supreme court ruled that "most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment" then does that mean that abortion then became legal in all 50 states?
I thought that if the constitution doesn't specifically allow (or forbid) something, then it's up to the states to decide---can someone clear this up for me?
Basically--when are states allowed to make their own laws? (talk) 00:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Well, the states do have their own laws. As a matter of fact, the legality of abortions are up for a vote in North Dakota (I think that's what the news said this morning) today as part of the rest of the general election. Dismas|(talk) 01:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The Court basically said that there was a Constitutional right to privacy, and thus the Constitution did specifically forbid specific types of laws (in this case, against abortion). That's the entire point of invoking the Constitution. If they said, "the Constitution doesn't go one way or another" then it would be a totally state-by-state thing. -- (talk) 01:25, 5 November 2008 (UTC) You are correct. Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution specifically spells out which powers are granted to the federal government. If it's not in this list, then it's not anything that the federal government has juristiction over. So yes, it's left to the states or to the people to decide. The only way around this is through a Constitutional amendment. But the Forteenth Amendment is about civil rights and grants citizenship to former slaves. It has nothing to do with abortion. Roe vs Wade is an example of legislating from the bench. In the United States, we have a Constitution, but we don't really follow all of it anymore. (talk) 16:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I must disagree. A majority of the United States Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade that a right to privacy, particularly on matters of bodily integrity, exists under the penumbra of the Constitution. The Court looked at the rights conferred, the structure of the Constitution and concluded that restrictions on abortion violated the Constitution. Subsequent Supreme Court majorities have upheld such a right. One may read the Fourteenth Amendment and find what one seeks. No one besides the individual is particularly interested because it is the constitutional function of the Court to delineate the Fourteenth Amendment. To say that Roe is social legislation from the bench is to state an opinion, not the Court's holding to this very day. A majority of the Court may decide to overturn Roe or the states may ratify an amendment overturning Roe. Roe remains valid law until then.No, the simple fact is the federal government has gotten out of control and no longer follows the limits imposed by the Constitution. Article I Section 8 is now completely ignored. As for the Fourteenth Amendment, that is about slavery. It has nothing to do with abortion. If you went back in time when the amendment was being drafted and told them that it was about abortion, they would have looked at you like you were crazy. The decision hasn't been overturned primarily because the issue of legalized abortion is more important to people than the issue of constitutionality. (talk) 17:50, 6 November 2008 (UTC) "Legislating from the bench" can sometimes mean "a court decision I disagree with." In fact, the U.S. has had two forms of law throughout its history. Statutory law consists of legislation -- laws passed by legislative bodies from the Congress to the 50 state legislatures to statutes of the smallest towns. Such legislation can't take in every eventuality, and so people go to the courts when there's disagreement about how a statute might apply. Appellate courts review the decisions of lower courts; the decision of the appellate court becomes part of case law. Courts (and lawyers) look at the way in which other courts have ruled in certain circumstances. As appeals move through the court system, case law becomes more authoritative -- e.g., decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court set precedent for lower courts in the Michigan system. Decisions of the U. S. Supreme Court contribute to federal case law. As an example, the right to remain silent is not statutory law; in Miranda v. Arizona the Supreme Court held that interrogating a suspect without advising him of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights was unconstitutional. Today, Americans almost universally see "Miranda rights" as a basic protection, though no legislative body voted such protection. It's possible, though unlikely, that a future court would overturn Miranda, or that legislation might try to alter some of the protections that courts have found. And, as in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, a court decision can be overturned by a subsequent amendment to the Constitution. --- OtherDave (talk) 21:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Roe v. Wade is a perfectly legitimate interpretation of the fourteenth amendment. Read up on due process and substantive due process. Roe v. Wade is a decision completely in the spirit of what was intended with the fourteenth amendment. Women have a fundamental right to make decisions about their own bodies, and it absolutely is unconstitutional for a state to deny them that right. Belisarius (talk) 01:26, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Women abosutely do NOT have a fundamental right to make decisions about their own bodies. If they did, prostitution and drugs would be legal. Roe vs Wade has nothing to do with constitutionality. It's simply a decision about abortion, constitutionality be damned. (talk) 17:53, 6 November 2008 (UTC) The Bill of Rights was originally supposed to limit the powers of Congress alone. However, the Fourteenth Amendment extended constitutional protections to the state level as well, or so it's interpreted now. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Shiny question

Why are some men (well, at least me, for example) so obsessed with women wearing shiny clothes? At least I can't resist looking at a woman of around my age wearing a shiny swimsuit, or a shiny dress. The shinier, the better. I know what I like, I just can't explain why I like it. And are there women who like men wearing something shiny? JIP | Talk 00:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC)I don't know but my eye is also drawn to shiny things that aren't wrapped around women. I'm rather visual and tactile oriented. If something has a interesting texture to it, I have much the same interest in it that I would if it were shiny. I just want to touch it. Dismas|(talk) 01:00, 5 November 2008 (UTC) There is no excuse for personal taste. Why do I look at a hedgehog and think it is a cute and cuddly little animal and others look at it and see nothing but dangerous spikes? I seriously doubt there is any reference that could be provided other than one that shows different people prefer different things. -- kainaw 02:13, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I would point you to the article on De gustibus non est disputandum but it is terrible. Rmhermen (talk) 21:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I beg to differ -- I find the article perfect! Or what, would you prefer it be in wiktionary or something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC) We are biologically wired to track movements; shiny fabrics offer a lot more variation in color vs. angle of view and add reflections of surrounding objects, which change all the time because people actually constantly make small movements even when they're still, and thus attract more attention. MaxVT (talk) 22:18, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Glitter. I lo-ove glitter. Sequins, spangles, sun spots on water, dewbeads on spider's webs, raindrops, water spray in sunlight, on a swimmer's face, fishscales, mother-of-pearl, carbonation, all those flashing shiny things. But I never wear any. Julia Rossi (talk) 05:36, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] 848

What is the significance of number 848 in History or as a matter of fact is there anything at all? Just wanted to know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Local 848 of the United Auto Workers was founded in 1943 at North American Aviation. Senate Bill 848 was referred to the Judiciary Committee June 25, 2003. Destroyer DD-848 , the USS Witek, was launched February 2, 1946. 848 dogs were at the Sand and Sea Kennel Club event in August 1967. Edison (talk) 06:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Various things happened in 848, and some very important things happened in 1848. Algebraist 08:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


When did the United States Navy first use metal boats (not ships) and who created them? I do know that the USN had and used them before the American Civil War, circa 1850s

Seastone (talk) 06:45, 5 November 2008 (UTC)seastoneWait. What do you mean? (Define "boats") —Ed 17 (talk)— 16:38, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I, too, am unclear on the exact difference between boats and ships, but the article for boat contains this information: "In 1855 ferro-cement boat construction was patented by the French. They called it Ferciment. This is a system by which a steel or iron wire framework is built in the shape of a boat's hull and covered (troweled) over with cement. Reinforced with bulkheads and other internal structure it is strong but heavy, easily repaired, and, if sealed properly, will not leak or corrode. These materials and methods were copied all over the world, and have faded in and out of popularity to the present. As the forests of Britain and Europe continued to be over-harvested to supply the keels of larger wooden boats, and the Bessemer process (patented in 1855) cheapened the cost of steel, steel ships and boats began to be more common." It doesn't provide any information on Navy use, but if this process was first used in 1855 and you're referring to a pre-Civil War usage, that should narrow down your time frame a bit. Tomdobb (talk) 19:52, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The defination of a boat and a ship sometimes is confusing and especially over time as with Viking "longboats". Wikipedia defines both boat and ship. A boat is smaller than a ship and if ever in the USN never call a ship a "boat". A ship's longboats or "lifeboats" are "boats". A submarine is called a "U-Boat" or just "boat", so these can confuse us. I thank you, Tomdobb for the information. Let me provide more information on what I have been reading. I do not know when the United States Navy first started using metal boats nor who invented them but here is some history that perhaps should be on Wikipedia. Commander William Francis Lynch, USN, wrote a book entitled, Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and Dead Sea. I believe the first publishing was in 1847 and I know a second publishing was in 1849. Page 13 with details found on the following link: . p.13 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY. ON the 8th of May, 1847, the town and castle of Vera Cruz having some time before surrendered, and there being nothing left for the Navy to perform, I preferred an application to the Hon. John Y. Mason, the head of the department, for permission to circumnavigate and thoroughly explore the Lake Asphaltites or Dead Sea. --My application having been for some time under consideration, I received notice, on the 31st of July, of a favourable decision, with an order to commence the necessary preparations.--On the 2d of October, I received an order to take command of the U. S. store-ship "Supply," formerly called the "Crusader."-- In the mean time, while the ship was being prepared for her legitimate duty of supplying the squadron with stores, I had, by special authority, two metallic boats, a copper and a galvanized iron one, constructed' So, at this early date of 1847 the United States Navy used metal boats. When W. F. Lynch put ashore in the Holy land he removed these two boats and "'assembled" them. Another tidbit of history forgotten. Lynch found that camels would pull the boats behind them when they were placed on a carriage. That is another historical first. But who invented these two different metal boats and when were they first used as well as when did the _United States Navy_ first use metal boats? Thus far I can only determine that this was the U S Navy's first use of metal boats to would carry several men in each as both boats traveled down the Jordan river with rapids and later just floating upon the Dead Sea as soundings were taken of the Dead Sea bottom
I thank all who try to help in learning when these type of metal boats were first used by the United States Navy and in seeking out who invented these unique boats that were not fragile as wooden boats and were also designed to be taken apart for storage and transportation and then assembled where desired. This is a unique piece of American history. seastone (talk) 05:18, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] painting sources

in the article on robert bruce Cotton it shows a portrait of him, but has no reference to the location of the painting how do I go about finding the source/location of the photo/painting? (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 07:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC).If you mean Sir Robert Cotton, 1st Baronet, of Connington, then "the portrait is now the property of The Rt. Hon. Lord Clinton, D.L., 22nd Baron Clinton, of Heanton Satchville, Devon." according to this. (Found by googling "Sir Robert Cotton" under image search, and compared with the image shown on the WP page.) Gwinva (talk) 09:16, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] List of United States Presidents by college education...

I'm looking for an analysis of the quality of the presidents' education achievements, and how Obama would rank in it. Does a list like this exist? --KnightMove (talk) 09:19, 5 November 2008 (UTC)I foresee a problem in the list (should you find it). For 8 years, many people have claimed that GW Bush has no education even though he has a college degree. So, how do you define "education" if others can come in and claim that a freshman House representative (GHW Bush) can easily force Yale to give good grades to his son. -- kainaw 13:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I see your point. But for example, a list how many presisdents did achieve a "magna cum laude" or even a "summa cum laude" would be helpful. --KnightMove (talk) 15:34, 5 November 2008 (UTC) If we ignore the difference between "college degree", "education" and "intelligence" and look for presidents who may have been geniune "geniuses", the following candidates for the "smartest" or "best educated" president spring to mind:
  • James A. Garfield, who was president for about 6 months before being assassinated, showed serious genius, and some quirky talents as well. He published what is considered a novel proof of the Pythagorean theorem, while a serving Congressman, he spoke several languages fluently, and famously could translate and write any passage given him in English simultaneously into Greek and Latin with each hand.
  • Thomas Jefferson was a rennaissance man, besides being a gifted writer and statesman, was an architect and botanist.
  • Herbert Hoover gets the shaft for his poor handling of the Depression, but he was quite competant in some very different fields, including engineering, business, and international relations. He built himself a private fortune in mining, and also led efforts in the rebuilding of Europe after WWI.
  • Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar, which is in itself quite an accomplishment.
  • Woodrow Wilson had studied at 4 different colleges, and was, IIRC, the only PhD to become president of the U.S.
  • Jimmy Carter has a college degree in Physics. He was part of the U.S. Navy's first Nuclear Engineering program, and would have likely served on the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine, had his father's death not cut his naval career short. He may be the only President whose college degree was in a "hard" science.
There ya go... I would go with Woodrow Wilson as the best educated (PhD and all), James Garfield for raw genius, and possibly either Jefferson or Hoover for most accomplished outside of politics. 19:34, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Be a bit careful about education = smart. George "Dubious" Bush has an MBA . . . DOR (HK) (talk) 08:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Thx for the info. Well, I'm not in danger to confuse that... a more precise question: What other US presidents have taught at university? --KnightMove (talk) 08:08, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Multiculturalism in Uzbekistan

Hello dear Wikifriends !! I was looking for the answer to my question for a long time in different sites,but could not find anything.So could you please help me with my question.I am writing a thesis about "The World`s multicultural countries". I am comparing USA,Canada,Australia. While I was doing my researches, I found one more country ,I think that ,that country also a multicultural one. I am speaking about the Uzbekistan. I think that the Uzbekistan is unknown ,but very interesting multicultural country.I`ll be very obliged,if somebody helps me with the articles(information)about the multiculturalism in Uzbekistan. About the laws which supporting different cultures and traditions, the identity of the different nations.Thanks beforehand. The Demographics of Uzbekistan article says the country is 80% Uzbek with no other group at more than about 5%. You might look at Demographics of Malaysia for a better example of a country with multiple ethnic groups. The multiculturalism article should also be of help. (talk) 14:33, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Which US Presidents were sons of immigrants?

Who were the most recent US Presidents who had at least one parent born in another country (not including parents born overseas on military bases, etc.--I want to know whose parents were foreigners)?-- (talk) 11:40, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Well, Barack Obama would be the most obvious recent one. On a side note, his grandmother lives in the UK, claiming welfare benefits.--ChokinBako (talk) 13:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Barack Obama is not yet US president, and may might never be so. Algebraist 14:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I know that he has a few months before he takes over from Bush, but why will he never be President...? —Ed 17 for President Vote for Ed 14:38, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Well, he could die of some horrible disease, or simply of a heart attack brought on by the strenuousness of the campaign. Or be assassinated. Or change his mind and resign before he takes office. All highly improbable, I hope, but all very possible. -- JackofOz (talk) 15:00, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Wow, that's a good trivia question. Prior to Obama, the only one that leaps to my mind is Andy Jackson, the son of Scotch-Irish immigrants (or Scots-Irish, for the politically correct). —Kevin Myers 14:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Hmm, now I realize that the original questioner actually asked three different questions, perhaps without realizing it. To wit: (1) Which presidents were sons of immigrants? (2) Which presidents had at least one parent born in another country? (3) Which presidents had parents who were foreigners? Andrew Jackson is an answer to questions 1 & 2, Obama is an answer to 2 & 3. Early presidents whose parents were born in the colonies before the establishment of the US could technically be answers to 2 & 3. Unless I'm forgetting someone, Obama might be unique in having a parent who (post 1776) was never a US citizen. —Kevin Myers 14:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC) In asking "who had parents who were foreigners", that can be vague enough to include a President who has at least one parent who changed citizenship to another country. I don't know if that has happened. -- kainaw 15:13, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Wasn't Washington an immigrant himself? :) Both his parents were "foreign". -- (talk) 17:05, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The original colonists are not normally considered immigrants. -- kainaw 17:06, 5 November 2008 (UTC) And Washington's parents were not original colonists. They were both born in Virginia. Algebraist 17:08, 5 November 2008 (UTC) As an aside, Martin Van Buren was the first president to literally be born in the U.S., as he was the first born after 1776. All the earlier presidents technically were born on British soil. I know this is not what the questioner was asking. Andrew Jackson seems to be the earliest example of a president for whom at least one parent was not born in territory that was or would become the U.S. 19:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Another oddity: Chester Alan Arthur may have been born in Canada, there is some question as to whether he was born in Quebec or Vermont; though it is a moot point since his parents themselves were American citizens, making him a "natural born" citizen, regardless of the actual location. 19:13, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The article on Arthur linked above says that Arthur's father immigrated from Ireland to Quebec first and only afterwards to the US and therefore that if Arthur actually was born in Quebec then he would not have been a "natural-born citizen". But his mother was American-born; I have no idea whether US citizenship was then inherited from either parent, but will ask on the article's talk page. The article also says that there is no proof either way as to his birth. It also refers to "Quebec, Canada", which is anachronistic; I'll fix that. --Anonymous, 20:18 UTC, November 9, 2008. (Added 20:30 UTC: Oops, it's semi-protected, I can't fix it. I'll mention it on the talk page, then.) What is all this talk about Obama not being president yet? Has the BBC taken the precidented step of declaring American news before it happens, like they did with the 911 'attacks', or is my internet bandwith ridiculously fast? He is president, as far as all the news we are getting says!--ChokinBako (talk) 21:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC) People like to be technical. Barack Obama will become president when he takes the oath of office, which happens after...well, see Electoral College for the details. So he's the president-elect, unless you like to wallow in the inside-baseball factoidism found on the Barack Obama talk page. --- OtherDave (talk) 21:44, 5 November 2008 (UTC) He becomes president at noon on 20 January 2009, and not a moment before. GWB remains president till then. Technically, Obama's not yet even the president-elect, but for most practical purposes he may as well be. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:22, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The talk page of our President of the United States article has the following line which was removed from the article at some point: "Only one president was the son of two immigrant parents: Andrew Jackson. Five presidents (Jefferson, Buchanan, Arthur, Wilson, Hoover) had just one immigrant parent each." Rmhermen (talk) 22:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC) One more oddity: Barack Obama is the first person elected president who was born in the second half of the 20th century. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC)I'd hardly call that an oddity. Did you expect to find any others born in this period - Lincoln, perhaps, or Truman? -- JackofOz (talk) 13:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC) That would be silly, wouldn't it? DOR (HK) (talk) 03:23, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Margin of victory

I notice that Obama won 93% of the votes cast in Washington D.C. (interestingly, in Ward 8, he won 99%, and in Precinct 118, he appears to have won all but four votes). Is this a record? Is there any county, even, elsewhere in the U.S. which has endorsed one candidate so strongly in recent years? Warofdreams talk 15:29, 5 November 2008 (UTC)I remember hearing about a small town in Utah where everyone voted for George W. Bush, but I'm at work and can't find a reference for it. Tomdobb (talk) 15:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Searching around, I've managed to answer one part of my question - in Glasscock County, Texas, 93% of votes in 2000 went to Bush. But I can't find anything on past vote shares for Washington D.C., and I'd be interested to see if previous candidates took more than 93% in one county. Warofdreams talk 16:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Washington, DC is well-known to be radically Democrat (to the point of simply being anti-Republican). So, I would be surprised if any Democratic candidate ever failed to get at least 90% of the vote. This shows county by county the historical Democrat/Republican votes. -- kainaw 16:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Of Washington D.C.'s 400,000 registered voters, only about 216,000 voted. (Many Americans are unaware that the District of Columbia has no vote in Congress, which is why DC license plates sport the motto "taxation without representation." Residents can vote for president thanks to the 23rd amendment.) Also, John McCain and the Republican Party in general did not do well in urban areas. D.C. is a 68-square-mile city (9,500 people per square mile) and so not easily compared with, say, Utah (85,000 square miles, 27 people per square mile). --- OtherDave (talk) 22:06, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I agree that it is no surprise that Obama easily won in DC, but I still find the margin of victory surprising. I've managed to find past results, and this is indeed the highest percentage any Democrat has received in the district, although it has been over around 90% at the last two elections. I'm still interested to see if any counties have shown more than 93% support for one candidate in the past. Warofdreams talk 14:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Let's have some statistics!

Counties with Highest Percent of Vote in each presidential election since 1960 Year Best Republican vote Best Democrat vote Other
1960 Jackson County, KY 90.35% Seminole County, GA 95.35%
1964 Holmes County, MS 96.59% Duval County, TX 92.55%
1968 Hooker County, NE 87.94% Duval County, TX 88.74% George Wallace Geneva County, AL 91.73%
1972 Dade County, GA 93.45% Duval County, TX 85.68%
1976 Jackson County, KY 79.80% Banks County, GA 87.85%
1980 Banner County, NE 90.41% Macon County, AL 80.10%
1984 Madison County, ID 92.88% Washington, DC 85.38%
1988 Jackson County, KY 85.16% Starr County, TX 84.74%
1992 Jackson County, KY 74.96% DC 84.64%
1996 Ochiltree County, TX 79.20% Starr County, TX 86.94%
2000 Glasscock County, TX 92.47% Macon County, AL 86.80%
2004 Ochiltree County, TX 91.97% DC 89.18%
Source: [1] and similar pages.
The highest Republican is 96.59% surprisingly in the 1964 Democrat landslide - I guess Lyndon Johnson must have really got them mad - while the highest democrat is 95.35% in Seminole County, GA in 1960.--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 15:51, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Great, thanks - that's exactly what I was looking for! Warofdreams talk 16:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC) And looking the information that website gives, I've found the last occasion on which a candidate won a higher percentage share in a particular state was in 1944, when Roosevelt won 93.56% of the vote in Mississippi. I also see Roosevelt managed to take 100% of the vote in the small Armstrong County, South Dakota. Warofdreams talk 16:20, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I assume blacks were prevented from voting in Holmes County in 1964 but would have voted overwhelmingly for Johnson who fought for civil rights for blacks, including the right to vote. That got a lot of whites in Mississippi mad. This was the last state to ratify the abolishment of slavery, and they did it in 1995. In 1964 before the election several civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi with little or no attention from Mississippi authorities who apparently participated in some of the murders. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:06, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Obama

You're article on Obama refers to him, more than once, as Arabian. Kenyan Father and White American Mother doesn't equal Arabian. Please change this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC)That was vandalism; it was fixed quickly. Please reload the page and try again. Antandrus (talk) 15:54, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Is a progressive income tax considered socialist?

This question kind of came up in the previous discussion on socialism: Is a progressive income tax considered socialist? I'm going to say no because it does not involve ownership or control of a business or industry, nor does it directly involve wealth redistribution. But I'm curious to find out what other people's opinions are. (talk) 16:48, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Tax is not socialist. What the tax is used for can be socialist. For example, if the U.S. decided to take over the auto industry (socializing it so that every person got one car free of charge), they could use tax money to fund it. -- kainaw 16:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Now that's a great, concise answer. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:43, 5 November 2008 (UTC)It tends towards socialism, but is not of itself socialist. I have to say that in my view, all government tends to socialism, to the extent that it advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization. I understand that after years of propaganda, socialism has a poor reputation in the US, bit I'm afraid this is one of the contradictions you'll have to live with. --Tagishsimon (talk) 17:45, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Let's not forget that in the US the definition of 'Socialism' is something that the rest of the world wouldn't recognise. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Socialism is an ideal, and an ideal can inspire policies, but I wouldn't suggest inferring an ideal from a policy. It's better to think of things like this as a tradeoff between efficiency and equity (equality). The ideal of 'socialism' encourages almost perfect equity, while, some would argue, some forms of capitalism aspire for perfect efficiency. I would hope people realize that any practical policy would have to fall somewhere in between (and should reflect the views of the people). (talk) 02:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Obama - The first time a black person becomes president of a majority white state?

-- (talk) 18:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Maybe not - Haiti back in the 1800's saw a revolution against the slave owners there led by Toussaint Louverture. However, I don't know if there were a majority of whites there at the time...but it is a possibility. —Ed 17 (talk)— 18:52, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Well, taking into account the fact that "black" and "white", and indeed race itself, is not an easily defined attribute, makes this question difficult to answer. Obama, for example, under "classical" racial definitions is 50% black and 50% white. However, if we take the question in a broader sense, we can look at instances in history when a person who was not a member of the "ethnic majority" in a nation became a leader of that nation, and we get some interesting examples, such as:
  • Bernardo O'Higgins. Ignoring whether one could consider "Irish" as a distinct ethnicity from "Spanish"; O'Higgins father was of Irish descent; he went on to become the head of state of Chile. As a half-irish/half-spanish leader of a Latin-American country, one could at least make some claim of similarity to Obama (as a half-African-descent/half-European-descent leader of the US)
  • Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru, born in Lima, Peru to Japanese-born parents.
  • Éamon de Valera, former president and taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland. Born in America to an Irish mother and a Cuban or Spanish or Mexican father (he claims Cuban, official records are sketchy on this). Again, same basic ethnic background as Obama, being 1/2 the majority ethnicity and half of another.
  • Any of the apartheid-era Presidents of South Africa would qualify in reverse (that is, still a member of the minority ethnic group, though in this case, a white president of a black-majority nation. Historically very different situation than the U.S., but still superficially similar)
  • Again, whether one could consider being of different nationalities in Europe as being ethnically different, Nicolas Sarkozy, the current French president, may qualify. His father was Hungarian, and his mother was of Greek Jewish descent.
Again, I don't know how to directly answer the original question, since it seems to make some assumptions which, on the face, seem incorrect, but here are at least some parallels to the Obama presidency. 18:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC) None of these examples work. Haiti was a very highly majority black state which is how the revolution could even succeed. none of Jayron's example fulfil the questioner's criteria. i cannot think of anyone who does. Perhaps in the Caribbean somewhere? Rmhermen (talk) 19:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I wasn't trying to answer the question directly, as I noted I found it hard to answer, but I was trying to answer a related question, which involved the idea of someone from "outside" the majority ethnicity of a nation becoming leader of that nation (whatever "ethnicity" might mean given that time and place) 21:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The real significance of Obama's victory is that a person widely perceived to belong to a group that has historically been subjugated, despised, and indeed enslaved by a country's majority has won a democratic election to the highest office in the land. This, to my knowledge, is really historically unprecedented. Marco polo (talk) 20:18, 5 November 2008 (UTC) To answer the original question more directly, U.S. concepts of "black" and "white" do not have direct equivalents in other cultures, so it is hard to answer the question meaningfully. If it is a question of whether someone with dark skin has been president of a country where most people have lighter skin, one could cite the case of Anwar El Sadat, who was president of Egypt despite being darker-skinned than most Egyptians. However, Egypt does not have the same concepts of race as the United States. Egyptians did not consider Anwar El Sadat "black" or racially different, nor do most Egyptians consider themselves "white". Those terms do not have the same meaning in Egypt. Marco polo (talk) 20:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Race is not that much an issue in Europe, and in German-speaking Europe it is popular to denie the existence of human races at all. However, in what way is the American concept of "black" and "white" different from European ones? --KnightMove (talk) 09:46, 7 November 2008 (UTC) and the various Quebecois prime ministers of canada, loosely analogous. Gzuckier (talk) 20:31, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Actually, if we are looking for a subjugated minority person being democratically elected to the highest office in a country which is a majority of a different ethnicity, perhaps Evo Morales is the best prior example. Certainly not a black/white issue, but as noted that is a unique relationship in the U.S. In Bolivia, the relationship between the native peoples and the European peoples is probably close to the Black/White relationship in the U.S. 21:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I think that the election of Evo Morales is similar in some ways, but Bolivia actually has an indigenous majority. So his election was a matter of the majority people finally attaining power, as they have in South Africa. This is rather different from the accomplishment of Barack Obama, since African Americans account for not much more than one eighth of the U.S. population. As I understand it, Morales won without much non-indigenous support. So his victory was not a case of the dominant ethnic group rising above its prejudices to back a member of a subjugated group. By contrast, a substantial majority of Obama's supporters are members of the dominant white majority, and he won despite being labeled a member of a subjugated minority group. As for the Quebecois prime ministers of Canada, there are some parallels, but the Quebecois were never enslaved and never excluded from Canadian politics, as African Americans were in the United States. Marco polo (talk) 22:19, 5 November 2008 (UTC) You may very well be right about that... He may be completely unique in that regard, but let's try another attempt at finding a parallel. Scotsman Gordon Brown is the current PM of the UK... for most of history the Scottish have played a "subjugated" role in British politics. Many scotsman suffered under English hegemony, at times Scotland was an independant Kingdom, but when the English did rule it (say, prior to Robert the Bruce and after the ascension of James VI and I to the English throne), the Scots had been second-class citizens on the British Isles. Come to think of it, I can only, off hand, name 2 non-English prime ministers of the UK, Brown and Welshman David Lloyd George. However, more recently the Scottish have not been excluded from the political sphere in the same way that African American have (as soon as 50 years ago, African Americans were actively disenfranchised; 50 years ago the Scottish were treated as equal British subjects to the English)... 22:37, 5 November 2008 (UTC) I must add that I find the tone of the above comment rather offensive. "Fifty years ago the Scottish were treated as equal British subjects to the English"? At what point in British history were Scots denied a vote simply for being Scottish? You have to go back to the Middle Ages, long before universal suffrage, to find the kind of Braveheart-school-of-history subjugation of which you write. Malcolm XIV (talk) 11:33, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Ramsay MacDonald were also Scottish. In terms of Britain, Benjamin Disraeli is a closer parallel to Obama, as his grandparents were all Jewish and had emigrated from Italy, although his parents had him baptised into the Church of England. Warofdreams talk 14:47, 6 November 2008 (UTC) George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen was, as his title indicates, Scottish. And the Duke of Wellington was Anglo-Irish. Note, however, that the prime minister is not the head of state, so the parallel does not really hold much water. Malcolm XIV (talk) 11:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Leader of the Party

Another random question inspired by coverage of the US election.
The news today described Obama as having taken “control” of the senate and the senate/house of the representatives. Now I know that Obama is president and not leader of the party so is it him that takes control (constitutionally or by tradition), or the head of the party?
Now, my question is, how much control does the President (democrat in this case) have of the government houses. Does he lead the party, and are they whipped to follow his lead? When he promises a bill, does the party follow him 99% or is it mostly up to their conscience (wrt to public mandate etc)? (talk) 19:29, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Tradition. Although Howard Dean is still the "chairman" of the Democratic Party, Obama is now the "symbolic" leader of the party. None. Absolutely no control whatsoever. It's completely up to the consciences of each individual Senator. The only time (in recent memory) that I can think of where almost every senator followed the party line was during the impeachment of Bill Clinton. (the resolution on Iraq too...?) —Ed 17 (talk)— 19:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC) However, if you go against the party too much, you may risk not getting the party nomination next time the elections come round. That isn't determined by the President, though. --Tango (talk) 19:42, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Also, several news sources have noted that Obama is in a unique position, as a sitting senator AND as de-facto party leader, to effect legislation during this "lame duck" period, and there has been some speculation that he may spearhead the calling of a "special session" of Congress to try to pass some recession-relielf legislation while he is still a Senator and before he becomes president, or that he could possibly set into motion some legislation that could be started now, and which would later be passed when he is innagurated at president in January. Its not often that a sitting member of the legislature is elected President. The last I can think of is JFK, and before him I can't think of any others in the 20th century... 19:48, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Warren G. Harding was the other - only 3 have done it in the U.S.'s entire history, I believe. —Ed 17 (talk)— 19:55, 5 November 2008 (UTC) So when Obama promises things in the election campaign that would require a bill to be passed to happen, how likely is it that he can actually push them though? Does the ‘‘party’’ then control the President (i.e. have they introduced his manifesto into the campaign)? Are the houses whipped at all, by the party? Besides removal of the party nomination is there any other things the party does to cajole/threaten members to toe the line; jobs that are desired etc? (talk) 19:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC) (ec) Plenty of things - committee appointments, chairmanships, offers of White House or Cabinet positions, funding for you pork-barrel projects. Probably good parking spots, better seats, all kinds of incentives are possible. They might even "remove you from their caucus" as the newsmen keep warning may happen to Joe Lieberman. Rmhermen (talk) 20:04, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Pretty likely if the ideas have the support of alot of Americans - the members of Congress don't want to get voted out like Elizabeth Dole did. :) Not at's not like Europe here. :D That's why the parties here are so much weaker than Europe's—they can't "enforce" the party line. This is also the reason why you see conservative Democrats around! —Ed 17 (talk)— 19:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The President is considered the leader of his party, but this is mainly a symbolic leadership without the same powers as a prime minister in a parliamentary system. Obama's ability to get legislation through Congress will depend on his ability to secure the support of individual members of whichever party. Philosophically, members of his own party are more likely to agree with most of his proposals. To get less popular legislation through Congress, however, the president cannot rely on party discipline alone. Party discipline is much weaker in the United States than in countries with parliamentary governments, and particularly weak among the Democratic Party. Instead of party discipline, Obama will need to rely on his own prestige, his ability to promise favors to legislators in return for their backing of an unpopular bill (proposed law), and the debt of loyalty and obligation that many members may feel that they owe to Obama for creating a favorable sentiment toward Democrats in this election and thereby helping many Congresspeople win or hold onto their seats. Within each house of Congress, there is a separate structure of party leadership. In the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House leads the majority party. Her position is somewhat analogous to that of a prime minister, except without the executive power. The Speaker of the House, together with the House Majority Whip, do attempt to enforce some party discipline through the awarding of desired positions to members and through the promise of favors in exchange for support of legislation. The Senate has a much weaker leadership structure and a more collegial process of deal-making among members in which some members have greater power due to prestige, seniority, fundraising ability, and so on. In each house of Congress, the President must work with the leadership and the more prominent members in order to mobilize support for desired legislation. Marco polo (talk) 20:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The Senate still has party leaders and whips (Assistant party leaders of the United States Senate. Rmhermen (talk) 20:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC) This is true, but I think that the process in the Senate is more informal and collegial and less often a matter of party discipline. Marco polo (talk) 20:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC) There is little to add to Marco's excellent answer except perhaps some examples. Bill Clinton had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress in 1993-94 but was unable to get one of his major campaign promises, universal healthcare, passed into law. This was in part because the Republicans still had enough votes in the Senate to filibuster any legislation they disliked and in part because Clinton didn't do a good enough job of convincing his fellow Democrats in Congress to support his plan. Jimmy Carter also had a majority in both houses but had terrible relations with Congressional leaders. Woodrow Wilson couldn't get a Democratic Senate to approve membership in the League of Nations. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Obama's choice of Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff shows that he is strongly interested in working hand in hand with the Congress. Emmanuel is the current head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and is the chairman of the Democratic Caucus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Democrats and Republicans

Ok, what exactly is the difference? We have republics and democratic republics and democracies. Is it just two names to differentiate the only two parties standing for election in the US? In which case, the name means nothing, because they are both standing for the same thing, if they think the name is what they are standing for. Can someone clarify this?--ChokinBako (talk) 21:22, 5 November 2008 (UTC)As far as I know, the names mean absolutely nothing. There may be historical reasons for their names, but these days they are just names. --Tango (talk) 21:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC) The difference between the parties has very little to do with the name. The one very tenuous connection is historical. Republicanism was considered a nobler ideal than democracy, which in the context of the French Revolution was seen as rabble rule verging on anarchism. By contrast, republicanism was conceived as a concern for the good of the body politic as a whole and of all of its members. However, the Democratic Party championed the little man beginning with the political career of Andrew Jackson. The Democratic Party in the mid-19th century had many Southern members and in the North was the party of immigrants, workers, and sometimes corrupt urban machines. The Republican Party was founded as a reformist party by Northerners of largely indigenous stock, many of them members of the prosperous middle class. They chose the name "Republican" partly harkening back to the earlier ideal and partly as an appeal to the ideals of self-reliance and civic-mindedness espoused by Thomas Jefferson, who had called his party Republican, although it was an ancestor of the subsequent Democratic Party. Today the parties differ somewhat in their ideological focus and in the interest groups that they represent, although both parties represent politicians and voters with a broad range of interests and ideals. In practice, Republican tend to represent people who are culturally conservative and/or economically libertarian. As a consequence, Republicans tend to want the state to police morality but to intervene minimally in the economy. They are especially keen to limit taxation. Republicans also tend to favor a strong, even aggressive military posture. Republicans are overwhelmingly white and typically not very sympathetic to the concerns of ethnic or racial minorities and lesbian or gay people. Democrats tend to represent people who are culturally more liberal but who favor what in Europe would be considered very mild social democracy, including a role for government in assuring access to healthcare, which Republican typically oppose. Democrats also have a strong constituency among non-whites and gay and lesbian people, whose interests they represent with varying degrees of effectiveness and enthusiasm. Marco polo (talk) 21:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Marco Polo gives a pretty accurate description of things as they stand today; however it should be noted that when looked at over history, the two parties do not have any coherant ideology. They basically assume whatever ideology is convenient at that point in history to place their candidates into office. Often times, one party or the other will assume a real ideology, and the opposite party takes the opposing ideology by default. For example, in the 19th century, the Republican party was the abolitionist party, while the Democratic party was the party that supported slavery. From 1850's - 1950's, this split remained in the south, where the Solid south was controlled by Yellow Dog Democrats, i.e. they'd rather vote for a yellow dog than a Republican. When the Northern wing of the Democratic party became the champion of Civil Rights, many of these southern democrats "switched sides" to the Republican party by default, as I describe above. It wasn't that the Republican party was against civil rights, it was that, by seizing the lead in civil rights, the Democratic Party forced a migration of largely segregationist Southern whites, who had been Democrats for generations, into the Republican party, and THAT'S what changed its ideology. Something similar happened in the 1980's, when the Republican Party became the party of a coherant ideology, that of a fiscally conservative national government with a Hawkish foreign policy, created a class of voters known as Reagan Democrats; again mostly southern democrats who believed in generally conservative principles. Today, the descent of these Reagan Democrats are Blue Dog Democrats, a name chosen to reflect a connection to the Yellow Dog Democrats of time past. Hope that helps understand the complicated nature of American party politics... 22:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Republicans as "fiscally conservative" ? Since when? Ronald Reagan ran up the largest budget deficit (on an annual average basis) of any president in history, beating Jimmy Carter by over $100 billion (or 1.3 percentage points of GDP). He was in turn beaten by George HW Bush. Bill Clinton brought it down, and the current (p)resident beat his father's record. In fact, throughout the post-War era, Republican administrations have taken more out of the economy in taxes, and spent far more than Democrats, which is why they run such awful deficits. (Oh, and if you adjust for who controls one or both houses of congress, it doesn't change the results.) DOR (HK) (talk) 08:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I'm not sure it's really fair to blame the president for deficits when it's Congress that holds the purse strings. In fact, usually whatever part has the Presidency, the opposition party has the Congress. Anyone can just as easily say that the Democratic Congress ran up the deficits during the Reagan era, then the Republican Congress brought it down during the Clinton era. Let's try not to be so partisan, OK? (talk) 16:51, 6 November 2008 (UTC) It's very difficult to apportion blame for these kind of things without studying the details in depth (and even then it's not easy). However, I think it's worth noting that Congress holding the purse strings means they can stop the President spending, but they can't spend without the President's approval. That means either Congress or the President can take the credit for a surplus but both have to take the blame for a deficit. --Tango (talk) 17:37, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I don't believe this is true. If my memory is correct, it was during the Nixon administration that Congress allocated funds in the budget for some project and the President refused to spend the money. Congress then passed a law requiring the President to spend monies allocated in the budget. Wikiant (talk) 23:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Republicans believe that individuals are not competent to make social decisions. Democrats believe that individuals are not competent to make economic decisions. Libertarians believe that the state is not competent. Wikiant (talk) 22:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)And the beautiful thing is, they're all right! :) --Tango (talk) 15:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I prefer Lewis Black's interpretation: "Republicans are the party of bad ideas. Democrats are the party of no ideas. In Congress, you have a Republican who stands up and announces, 'I have a real crappy idea.' Then, a Democrat stands up and announces, 'I can make that idea even crappier!'" -- kainaw 15:21, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Republican'ts think government is the problem; Democrats think government can be part of the solution. DOR (HK) (talk) 03:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC) If you're not American, you can't really go wrong by thinking of the republicans as the baddies and the democrats as the 'less-baddies'. It certainly avoids any heated dinner table discussions82.22.4.63 (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] What does entropy have to do with a surjective sense of time?

Ok, I have begun studying materialism vs. idealism (actually I'm trying to figure why I am (here)... but I figured this would be a good start).
The end of the article on Materialism says"Science has provided substantial evidence against the existence of a physical flow of time (see special relativity). However, humans possess a subjective sense of the flow of time. Critics of materialism could argue that it's impossible for a subjective sense of time to arise from something that doesn't flow in time, that is if they were to ignore the Second law of thermodynamics. As I feel there is something within me that strongly opposes materialism (but I can't say it is based on logic), this quote thrills me! However, what I don't get is what it says in the end. What does the Second law of thermodynamics regarding entropy have to do with this?
Before you answer, can you try to imagine the Pope of the Vatican trying to rob a bank? Now you have a good illustration of how new I am to these things. So please, keep your answers simple if you can.
PureRumble (talk) 21:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)The second law of thermodynamics basically says, in a different statement, that the universe is tending towards a constant, evenly spread energy. As it stands right now, the universe is full of hot places (i.e. stars) and cold places (i.e. not stars). All work in the universe arises ultimately as a product of the hot places warming up the cold places (or visa versa, the process of equilibrating temperature is what causes work to occur). The deal is, that once temperatures between two distinctly different areas have equilibrated, they have the same average energy, however since there is no longer a difference in energy, that "equilibrated energy" is no longer availible to do work. Here's where entropy comes in: Entropy is a measure of the difference between the state of seperated temperature and averaged temperature as described above. Basically, its a measure of the energy which still exists, but is no longer availible to do work. Here's where time comes in: Since the entire universe started at a state of zero entropy (the big bang) and is tending towards a state of total entropy (heat death) the point along the line between those two states defines "time". Assuming that one could define the exact total amount of entropy in the universe, that is equivalent to defining a single point in time. Since the universe is constantly increasing its entropy, it is impossible to recreate any moment in the past (i.e. the universe will never exist in the exact same state it exists in now) so time can be said to be moving in one direction only. Our concept of time is largely an artifact of how our minds organize events; from the universe's point of view, its merely just gradually averageing out its energy, and when we talk about an event ocurring at a certain point in time, we are merely saying that the event occured when the universe had an entropy = XXXX 22:04, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Ok, so you are using the ever increasing entropy of the universe to define time. Some problems come to mind: * Isn't your definition kind of recursive; don't we need a flow of time in the first place in order for the entropy of a system to increase? Or as you put it "... once temperatures between two distinctly different areas have equilibrated ...". We need time in the first place in order for this to happen. * Science of Physics has already established a good idea of how time works that is widely accepted as science and no longer philosophy. Take Einsteins Theory of Relativity for example. Among many things, it states that the faster we move the slower time goes. Also, the closer we are to a body of mass, the slower time goes because of the body's gravity field. Your definition of time based on entropy fails to explain such phenomenons. * There are theories saying that the universe is already in a state of very high entropy. The reason to why we see so many organized systems (galaxies, stars, planets, ecosystems) is that we are observing a temporary (20 billion years...) fluctuation in the otherwise state of high entropy. If this is true then the entropy of a part of a system can temporarily decrease, thus nullifying your theory that time can be defined on the amount of entropy in the universe because it always increases until it reaches "end of time" (dead heath). Just thoughts... PureRumble (talk) 10:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Just to answer the Einsteinian Relativity problem; there's no contradiction. Any objects personal relationship with the state of entropy in the universe is dependent on one's one velocity relative to other objects in that universe. Two objects moving at different relative velocity would meaure the rates of increase of entropy differently. That is, if I am moving faster than you, I am going to observe the entropy increasing faster than you will. I will see energy transfers happening at a faster rate than you will. Again, no need to introduce "time" into the equation... Time is a convenient analog for "rate of entropic increase of the universe", and one that as humans, we find a lot of psychological comfort in, but from a physical standpoint, the two concepts are indistinguishable... 01:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Have you seen our article, Arrow of time? That should answer at least some of your questions (feel free to come back with any it doesn't). --Tango (talk) 14:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I know nothing about materialism and idealism. But the passage you quoted from the materialism article sounds more like a badly written opinion piece than an encyclopedia article.
  • The universe didn't start in a state of zero entropy. Shortly after the big bang it was a uniform plasma of elementary particles, which most people would identify as a state of maximum entropy. Since then the matter has clumped together, which most people would identify as a reduction in the entropy. You can save the Second Law by introducing a concept of gravitational entropy, which was very low shortly after the big bang (when the spatial curvature was nearly zero everywhere) and has increased enough since then to counter the decrease from the clumping. But the fact remains that the Second Law is not a simple matter of things becoming more uniform. Things have become less uniform since the big bang.
  • People don't measure time by increases in entropy, they measure time by periodic motion—originally the day-night cycle and the cycle of seasons and the phases of the moon, these days by a cesium oscillator. These systems are subject to the Second Law, but it's not their entropic behavior that makes them useful for timekeeping. Even at zero temperature (the ground state), every quantum mechanical system has a periodic motion (because of the uncertainty principle) that defines a time scale.
  • On the other hand, the human perception of the passage of time is related to the second law. We feel that time is passing because we remember past events. The Second Law is the only law of physics that isn't time-reversal symmetric (except for some obscure high-energy phenomena), so it must be implicated in any process that happens more often in one direction than the other. The formation of memories is one example of that. The mixing of unlike gases is another. The separation of oil and water is another. The trend toward increasing complexity in biological evolution is another (all multicellular organisms have unicellular ancestors, most unicellular organisms don't have multicellular ancestors). So is adaptation (species become better adapted to their niche over time, not worse). So is speciation (the genotypes of isolated populations drift apart, they don't drift together). The Second Law is far more than a statement that hot flows toward cold and clocks run down and everybody dies. It creates as much as it destroys. A universe without the Second Law would be unrecognizable.
  • I don't think special relativity has anything to do with it. All that you lose in special relativity is distant simultaneity (the idea that something happening here can be said to happen "at the same time" as something over there). Special relativity doesn't do anything to the notion of cause and effect; everything that happens to you (or any physical object) is still strictly ordered from past to future. This can hardly be said to "provide substantial evidence against the existence of a physical flow of time".
-- BenRG (talk) 16:40, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Thx all! 14:06, 7 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by PureRumble (talkcontribs)

[edit] November 6

[edit] Musical taste and recreational drugs

If a song is composed under the influence of recreational drugs, is it likely to be best appreciated by listeners under the influence of the same drugs? NeonMerlin 02:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC)No. 03:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Why not? NeonMerlin 05:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Because people like songs for all sorts of reasons – they like the lyrics, the rhythm, the melody, it means something special to them... liking music is very subjective and can't be simplified like that. --Richardrj talk email 08:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Had I never inhaled, likely I'd never have noticed the herbal influence in It's A Beautiful Day; so, at least for an academic sense of 'appreciated', I wouldn't say no. —Tamfang (talk) 05:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Any increase in 'appreciation' probably won't be a result of using the same drugs, it will be a result of being in that sub-culture, being part of that movement. If the singer/band and yourself are aligned to a similar sub-culture then it seems likely that their songs will 'speak' to you perhaps more than someone who isn't part of that sub-culture. There'll be a lot more to the sub-culture than simply a recreational drug though, so whilst the drug may be part of that connection I doubt it is a significant part of it. (talk) 08:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I have heard it said that ecstacy accessorized techno so that both its fans and critics alike could endure it. Julia Rossi (talk) 10:17, 6 November 2008 (UTC) You don't have to be on opium to appreciate the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. -- JackofOz (talk) 13:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC) It may be true that drugs give you the illusion that you can appreciate the art more. Drugs universally hinder neurological function in some fashion; they don't "heighten" your senses, or expose you to "alternate realities". They merely fuck your brain up in ways that make you think that that brain damage IS reality. If that sounds like a good time to you, well, via con dios... But in general, having full unfettered access to all of your senses is probably the best way to appreciate any music or art. I greatly enjoy works of art that were created under heavy drug use (the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the music of the Greatful Dead, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. etc.) and I have never used heavy drugs myself. A very wise man once said "Drugs doesn't make you more interesting, it just makes you content with being boring..." 18:12, 6 November 2008 (UTC) The concept of illusion doesn't always apply. Having music sound good is a subjective experience. If some music sounds better to you after (for example) smoking pot, it's meaningless to call that change of perception an illusion. Also, calling drug effects "brain damage" is not accurate. There are a great many drugs in common usage, whether medical or recreational. Most of them do not cause brain damage. Frankly, many of your comments sound like something straight out of some widely inaccurate 1930's anti-drug propaganda. Friday (talk) 18:33, 6 November 2008 (UTC) You are 100% correct. That is why I have always supported full legalization of all drugs. I have personally never used one, but it has never had anything to do with their "harm" or "benefit". It has never personally interested me. I was merely answering the OP showing that it is entirely possible to be 100% personally fulfilled with the exerience of life without using hard drugs. If the OP does not find his life personally fulfilled without hard drugs, he won't find any objection from me to using them. Thankfully, he won't be the first person to use hard drugs, so we have lots of data points on the effect of long-term, continued use of hard drugs in their lives, and thus he can at least make an informed decision over the issue. The question over whether any of his life is likely to be enhanced by the use of these hard drugs is entirely for him to make... 21:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I agree with Friday. It's subjective. Plus the OP was asking "is it likely to be best appreciated" so you could easily argue yes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I think the most accurate statement would be that "a listener would be a lot more open to liking, and subsequently becoming a big fan of, a particular kind of music while having any positive drug experience". I do have some personal evidence to support what the OP is implying though. I remember realizing how "awesome" Led Zeppelin was while smoking weed. And I have a good friend who hated electronic music but subsequently became a DJ after hearing it on E. NByz (talk) 00:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC) At a mundane level, the "beer goggles" principle seems to apply – the idea that drinking beer makes others around you look attractive... Julia Rossi (talk) 10:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Friedrich Nietzsche on cocaine?

My friend told me about a movie he saw in which Friedrich Nietzsche was shown to have used a good deal of cocaine in his life. I had never heard anything like that before and was wondering if it's true. Evaunit♥666♥ 03:09, 6 November 2008 (UTC)I'm not shocked. Before the 20th century, the concept of "illegal" drugs was pretty foreign. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a contemporary of Nietzsche, was a famous druggie, for example. And don't forget that originally, Coca Cola really contained cocaine. 03:14, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Hey, Jayron, I'm not quite sure how you define 'contemporary' but you might care to note that Coleridge died ten years before Nietzsche was born! :)) Emma Dashwood (talk) 23:34, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Well, they were both older than me ... ;) However, they were both born in an age with a pretty much "anything goes" attitude towards the ingesting of any old substance. The concept that the government could tell you what substances you could and could not take didn't really get going until the Temperance movements of the late 1800's... 03:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Cocaine#Popularization has a nice history of its hey-day among intellectuals in the 19th century. Remember that cocaine was very new to Europeans in the mid-19th century, and that its negative sides weren't recognized until after quite some time. It was not made illegal until the 20th century. -- (talk) 14:04, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Suing an abortionist for refusing to perform an abortion

Say hypothetically, an abortionist had a patient seeking an aborting. Upon recognizing her as the president of a "Pro-Life" group. He refuses to perform the abortion on her. Can the patient sue the doctor (in a court of law) for refusing to perform a legal abortion on her? Is it illegal to discriminate against "Pro-Life" people (by refusing abortions)? But surely such a doctor will get full support from the "Pro-Life" people to discriminate against the "Pro-Life" people! (talk) 04:11, 6 November 2008 (UTC)I don't know, but you'll almost certainly be interested in this article: "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion" - When the Anti-Choice Choose —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC) If this it legal advice, it shouldn't be here. Vltava 68 (talk contribs) 08:32, 6 November 2008 (UTC) It's clearly not a request for legal advice. --Sean 13:25, 6 November 2008 (UTC) It is so boring and irritating to have the "legal advice" mafia show up every time someone mentions a legal concept. -- (talk) 14:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC) In general a doctor is not obligated to perform a procedure on a patient if they don't want to. I'm not sure if there are exceptions for life-threatening cases. This has come up in the past in the US for other "morality" issues—e.g. should a doctor help save the life of a baby that would die without intervention if it thinks that its life is "unfit to live", as in the case of the Chicago doctor/euthanasia/eugenics advocate Harry Haiselden. (Ooh, a provocative red link on Wikipedia for an interesting historical figure! Jump to it, lads...!) -- (talk) 14:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC) In the UK, doctors are certainly not obliged to perform abortions, however that's intended to protect doctors from having to do something they consider highly immoral. If they are actually a specialist abortionist, that doesn't really apply. You certainly couldn't choose not to perform the procedure based on a protected characteristic like race, but I don't think there are any laws against discriminating against people for their choice of moral values, so the doctor in this example would probably be ok. I would hope that doctors aren't general so petty as to refuse treatment in such a case - I think doctors generally subscribe to the idea that you treat anyone that comes looking for your help regardless of who they are outside of the hospital. And, for completeness, I'll say (although no-one has asked) that confidentiality rules would certainly prevent the doctor from revealing the patient's hypocrisy. --Tango (talk) 14:36, 6 November 2008 (UTC) In the U.S. (pretty much) anyone can sue (pretty much) anyone else for (pretty much) any reason. How far it gets in the court system is another matter. ("pretty much" is a weird looking phrase is!) Saintrain (talk) 20:53, 6 November 2008 (UTC) (As an aside, can a judge make an award – attorney fees, etc – for "nuisance suit" to the defendant without a trial? Saintrain (talk) 20:53, 6 November 2008 (UTC)) (IANAL or anyone else with expertise in court procedure.) There would probably need to be a hearing on the claim for costs (assuming the loser objects), but I see no need for there to have been a trial on the main claims of the case - if the judge dismisses them as no case to answer, then you can just skip that bit. --Tango (talk) 21:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC) After a little research, it seems I have my terminology wrong - such a dismissal would actually happen part way through the trial rather than without a trial. --Tango (talk) 21:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Sorry about the legal advice thing; I looked up the contributions of the asker after typing that, but didn't want to bother crossing my comment out or something like that (I was in a bit of a hurry.). Cheers! Vltava 68 (talk contribs) 20:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
In NZ, I suspect any doctor could refuse for that reason and not be subject to any civil penalty. There's a slight chance they may be sanctioned by the medical council or their employer but I doubt it. However the District Health Boards are required to provide abortions to those who meet the criteria, so they will need to find someone to perform the abortion. (see the end) If they can't find someone in NZ they may send you overseas, as I believe has happened before when there were insufficient staff willing to perform fairly late-term abortions for the demand Nil Einne (talk) 10:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Naval attire

While watching a swashbuckler, I noticed the main characters wearing armor at sea during a boarding. Was this accurate or were people more worried about falling into the water and being dragged down by the weight? And if they did wear armor, what kind (in say the Elizabethan era)? Clarityfiend (talk) 05:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Off the top of my head, I'd say the defining factor was cost: if you could afford it, you wore it. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:57, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I seem to recall hearing somewhere that, surprisingly, most sailors "back in the day" couldn't swim. That is, if they fell overboard, they were pretty much out of luck, especially during a fight when it's unlikely others are going to stop to fish them out. Adding armor wouldn't change that much, and certainly saved them much pain against sword injuries, which were probably more likely to happen when boarding a ship than falling overboard would be. -- (talk) 16:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Admirals typically had fancy armor; see the picture at Sebastiano Venier or admiral's armor from Battle of Gibraltar in 1607 [2]. In Loutherbourg's painting of the Spanish Armada [3] there appear to be some men with helmets and armour, but most of the men seem to be wearing nothing more than shirts; but an image of Battle of Lepanto (1571) [4] shows armored Venetians on the right storming unarmored Turks on the left. It probably depended on your rank and the wealth of the navy you served in.--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 16:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC) I seem to recall reading that boarding armor was rigged for easy removal if the boarder went overboard. --—Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Military healthcare law change

My step son and his mother were having a discussion about his healthcare situation because he was in the military several years ago and had an injury during this time which ended any career posibilities in the military. Years after he left he realized that his healthcare benifits had been canceled for failure to reply to a letter explaining this. He has moved around to pursue his academic disipline.
His complaint was that there was legislation passed that required him to respond to contact atempts from the military in order for him to keep these benifits. I can find no such legislation that has been enacted that would change this unless it has always been this way.
Where can I go to look for this information or who knows anything about this? Dumboldtruckdriver (talk) 14:37, 6 November 2008 (UTC)(turning off preformattext in your question) If this is in the United States, check with your local VA office. They provide benefits for veterans and know what the laws and rules are. -- kainaw 15:18, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] what do they mean?

Somebody wrote to me "if the Lord is your shepherd, what does that make you?" what did they mean. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 6 November 2008 (UTC)From Shepherd: "A shepherd is a person who tends to, feeds, or guards sheep . . ." So if God is your shepherd, what are you? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 17:43, 6 November 2008 (UTC) "The Lord is my shepherd" is a famous Old Testament quote often said by Christians (and Jews?). The comment makes fun of it. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC) It makes you a sheep. For the non-Christian, this is an uncomfortable idea; that sheep are supposedly mindless and not in control of their own lives. For the Christian, it is about being intentionally obedient to God, to turning your problems over to Him and to agree to let Him manage your life. It's not about being "mindless" as we think of sheep are, but it is about being intentionally, and mindfully obedient. Its an easy concept for the non-believer to make fun of, but it is one of the central, core aspects of being a Christian. 18:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC)It's more specific than just being mindless, it's that they blindly follow each other. Calling someone a sheep means they just do what everyone else is doing. --Tango (talk) 18:06, 6 November 2008 (UTC) The only problem is that anyone who knows about sheep knows that they don't just follow their shepherd or each other blindly. They are very difficult to keep together and guide. They have a mind of their own. Shepherds in the Middle East in the time of Christ knew each of their sheep by name. Sheep followed their shepherd only, not just anybody who wanted to lead them. They knew who their shepherd was because they recognized his voice and knew that he would lead them to good things (water, grass). Nowadays sheep are guided by sheepdogs and men on horses or four-wheelers, but that is not how it was in Biblical times. Knowing the context, it is very clear that biblical sheep did not follow blindly, they weren't just part of a crowd. They knew their shepherd and he knew them, personally. They followed him based on past experience that he would lead them to good things. That is why, when people call me a sheep in a Christian sense, I feel like saying "Thank you!" Wrad (talk) 19:28, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Also, the quote also connotes the rather unpalatable idea (pointed out by Christoper Hitchens in a debate) that a sheperd does not keep sheep primarily as loving pets, but rather as commodities to be fleeced and ultimately slaughtered for meat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Which, again, is more of a modern idea than a biblical one. Interpreting Psalm 23 in the context of its time brings no such connection. Wrad (talk) 19:35, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Some parts of the Middle East still hold to the older "Shepherd tradition". I heard a story about a western man who ran over one of these shepherd's sheep. The shepherd was obviously distraught about it, so the westerner offered through a translator to pay for the man's loss. The man refused. The translator explained that such Shepherd always refuse. The sheep means more to them than the money. They have small flocks and to lose one of them is to lose something that is personally known and deeply cared for. This is not the attitude of someone who merely keeps his sheep for the monetary rewards of slaughter and fleecing. Wrad (talk) 19:46, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Really? That seems curious. Do you mean that in ancient times it didn't occur to anyone to consider the purpose of a shepherd? Or that the term had a somewhat different meaning at the time? APL (talk) 20:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Nowadays companies own livestock, not people. The "processing" process is very impersonal. How many shepherds do you know that stay up all night throughout the year with their animals, protecting them from predators? Sure, sheep were sheared back then, but the relationship between shepherd and sheep was still much deeper than it is today. Wrad (talk) 20:20, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Another thing, there is no doubt that there were, even in biblical times, both good and bad shepherds. In the context of Psalm 23, though, when it says "The Lord is my shepherd" and then lists all the good things he does for the writer, it is clear that the Lord, to the poet, is a good shepherd, possibly better than even the best shepherd that ever lived. Such a shepherd would not lead his sheep to anything bad (slaughter, for example). The metaphor only serves so far. Wrad (talk) 20:26, 6 November 2008 (UTC) "All we like sheep have gone astray." Isaiah 53:6. So we sheep are definitely independently minded. When Handel set this text to music in the Messiah, he portrayed the will of the sheep with some wonderful melismatic semiquaver runs for the phrase that follows, "We have turned every one to his own way."GBViews (talk) 19:59, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Indeed. If sheep were so easy to persuade, there would be little need for a Shepherd, wouldn't there? Wrad (talk) 20:20, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Unless we, as sheep, ARE easy to lead astray into dangerous places, and the Shepherd is there to make sure we remain where it is safe... 23:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Apropos nothing, I prefer the Pink Floyd take on it: Sheep (song) --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC) That confirms my observations, that sheep are stroppy. Julia Rossi (talk) 21:16, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Haha. That's a very different take! Wrad (talk) 21:21, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Heaven

Does the Jewish faith have a concept of going to Heaven after death, or was this started by Christians (and taken up later by Islam)? If it does, then how does it differ from or resemble the Christian idea of Heaven?Have you read our articles on heaven and Jewish eschatology? They provide an excellent starting point. — Lomn 20:59, 6 November 2008 (UTC) Is that you, Givnan? Julia Rossi (talk) 09:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] what am I?

This is more a question of terminology regarding philosophical opinions. I want to know what my opinion is called by describing it.
I do believe in the existence of the physical universe, and that we all are minds that have (real) bodies (existing within this world) with senses that can perceive this physical world and its phenomenons. Now, if I had stopped talking here, it would have been materialism...
BUT: I do not believe that anything in this physical universe (no kind of matter, energy, process, phenomenon, etc) can give rise to our consciousness; our ability to be self-aware; having a feeling of existence. So I DISREGARD from the theory that the workings and design of the human brain (and a limited number of other animals) is so complex that it can give rise to consciousness, and when it dies the feeling of self-awareness disappears.
As you can see, I'm not an idealist either.
That being said, I also completely disregard from religions based on scriptures and their "theories".
In my quest of learning a bit more about this, someone putting a word on this would make things easier.
Thanks, PureRumble (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2008 (UTC).What you are is a person with a question. Where did the consciousness you believe in come from? If you believe that it could not have arisen naturally from the material universe, something outside the material universe must be the cause - i.e. something 'supernatural' (meaning outside the natural). I guess that makes you a "supernaturalist". So your next question is, what does that supernatural thing look like? Did it create the material, or does it exist alongside the material? Is it intelligent? Incidentally, why would you discard scipture based religions? You may not consider the existence of scripture sufficient evidence for the truth of a religion, but it would not be sensible to discard a theory just because someone wrote it down before you. DJ Clayworth (talk) 22:46, 6 November 2008 (UTC) You're a dualist. See Dualism (philosophy of mind). —Kevin Myers 23:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC)Dualism is very hard to support philosophically. In modern times it is mostly associated with religion rather than serious academic philosophy. --S.dedalus (talk) 01:45, 7 November 2008 (UTC) thanks to all of you! PureRumble (talk) 14:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] November 7

[edit] In our midst

Who is the highest-ranking United States Presidential cabinet member of an opposing political party to that cabinet's President in the last 100 years or so? For this question, I mean "highest-ranking" in its commonly understood sense (State near the top, Agriculture near the bottom). I've had a bit of ale, so if my meaning's not clear, I mean something like George Bush appointing Barney Frank as Secretary of the Treasury. --Sean 00:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)G.W. Bush would have been about as likely to appoint Barney the Dog as Barney Frank to be a member of his cabinet. Edison (talk) 00:45, 7 November 2008 (UTC) See List of United States political appointments that crossed party lines. Clinton's appointment of William Cohen as Secretary of Defense is a recent high-ranking appointment of this type. —Kevin Myers 01:17, 7 November 2008 (UTC)In terms of say, highest crossing of party lines ever, I would say that it probably goes to republican Abraham Lincoln's choice of democrat Andrew Johnson as a running mate in 1864. 01:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC) They both ran for the newly formed and shortlived National Union Party (United States). PrimeHunter (talk) 02:50, 7 November 2008 (UTC) And once the Civil War ended and Lincoln was shot, it became painfully clear that Johnson was a Democrat in a government run by Republicans; it led to his impeachment, which he survived by a single vote... Well, officially it didn't lead to his impeachment, but realistically... 03:46, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Actually, he didn't survive his impeachment (unless you're talking about the entire process). He was impeached by the House of Reps, but he survived the consequent vote in the Senate. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:03, 7 November 2008 (UTC) The most senior Cabinet departments are State, Treasury and War Defense, in that order. The list cited shows two transvestite such Secretaries of the Treasury: C. Douglas Dillon and John Connally. —Tamfang (talk) 03:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] South Caucasus = Middle East?

Is the South Caucasus generally considered to be part of the Middle East? I see the category in the article and it's relatively close by, but I'm not sure if it's simply just a separate region that's merely north of the Middle East. Note that the South Caucasus includes Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Master&Expert (Talk) 02:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)Not at all. At least I have never heard of it being considered part of the Middle East. I think the region must be known as the south-east corner of Europe. In soccer, they are regarded as European, not Asian. --Omidinist (talk) 05:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC) (ec)Usually the South Caucasus is considered to be part of Europe, whereas the Middle East is usually associated with Asia (with the exception of Egypt, which is partly in Asia and partly in Africa.) --Lgriot (talk) 05:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC) There's some political, cultural, and economic reasons to associate Muslim Azerbaijan with the Middle East, a region which is as much defined by religion as by geography (e.g. "Azerbaijan joins the middle east"[5]), but not Armenia or Georgia which are culturally European and Christian.--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 14:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC) The simple answer to the original question is no. The South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, is not considered part of the Middle East, as it is usually defined. Also, even if soccer teams from the South Caucasus play in a European league, this region is conventionally considered part of Asia, which is almost always defined as the part of the Eurasian landmass east or south of a line running off the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, through the Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, and Bosporus, through the Black Sea, along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, through the Caspian Sea, and along the crest of the Ural Mountains to the Arctic Ocean. According to this definition, the South Caucasus, lying south of the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, is part of Asia. Marco polo (talk) 03:01, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Prime Minister of Canada

What are the requirements for a Canadian individual to become a Prime Minister of Canada? Sonic99 (talk) 02:38, 7 November 2008 (UTC)The article Prime Minister of Canada says: Legally, any citizen of Canada of voting age (18 years) can undoubtedly be appointed to the office of Prime Minister, these being the requirements to gain election to the House of Commons. Since it is not legally necessary for the Prime Minister to be a sitting MP, there is some question as to whether there are technically even age or citizenship restrictions to the position. The article is sadly lacking in citations and references, so I would not bet my job on its accuracy. ៛ Bielle (talk) 02:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Neither would I. Practically speaking, in this day and age it would be virtually impossible for a non-Canadian to ever become PM of Canada. That's because under the Westminster system it's virtually impossible for a non-MP to become a Minister, let alone Prime Minister, and MPs must be citizens. -- JackofOz (talk) 03:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Is there a requirement for a Prime Minister of Canada to know how to speak English and French? Any educational and work experience requirements? Sonic99 (talk) 04:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC) It is not an official requirement that the PM be bilingual, but it's generally considered an unofficial requirement. An English-speaking politician who seeks to go places will spend many hours trying to better his/her French. Because the position of prime minister comes from the unwritten part of the Canadian constitution, there are no formal requirements so far as I know for the position, but generally the person must be able to command the confidence of the House of Commons, that is, get at least half of the house to at least tolerate your presence. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 05:21, 7 November 2008 (UTC) The Prime Minister is appointed to form a government by the Governor-General and is almost always the head of the political party which has won the most seats in the House of Commons in the most recent election. To become the head of a political party, you must be the candidate that the party thinks has the best chance of leading the party to this position in the House, or of maintaining this position, in the next election. It is extremely unlikely that such a candidate would not be bilingual, would not be a Canadian citizen and would not be of sufficiient years to have had success in a career. However, as seems clear from all the preceding comments, there do not appear to be any written requirements. ៛ Bielle (talk) 06:18, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Canada takes a different approach to the US. While the US lays down constitutional restrictions on who can be President, the Canadian system assumes that if someone can command the confidence of a majority of MPs then that's all the eligibility they need. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Religion in Japan

What are the percentages of Japan's total population that is Shinto, Buddhist, or both? —Preceding unsigned comment added by AlbertEinstein1978 (talkcontribs) 03:12, 7 November 2008 (UTC)See Religion in Japan. Cheers! 04:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Does that have numbers? I didn't see any on a casual looking-over. —Tamfang (talk) 06:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC) It's difficult to work out, because Japanese religious traditions allow a large degree of synchretism - religious practices from Shinto, Buddhism and even Christianity and other religions are used on and off, but not necessarily regularly. There may be some data, though, as to regular participation in specific religious ceremonies. Steewi (talk) 11:04, 9 November 2008 (UTC) I once read in a book about Japan (about 20 years ago) that 127% of Japanese agree to having a religion. This is not a joke answer. This number was derived from the % that say they belong to each religion added up, suggesting that Japanese would agree to actually belonging to more than one. On a side note, I found generally that for happy occasions (such as the consecration of land for a new house) a Shinto ceremony is used, for sad occasions (such as a funeral or annual remembrance ceremony) a Buddhist ceremony is used, while for weddings people usually go to a Christian chapel and have a white wedding. This is the general trend, at least in the last eleven years I have been living in Japan.--ChokinBako (talk) 12:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] national bankruptcy - article in wikipedia missing

cant find an explanation on the topic national insolvency in wikipedia (en)
word seems to exist: quote: REYKJAVIK, Iceland – This volcanic island near the Arctic Circle is on the brink of becoming the first "national bankruptcy" of the global financial meltdown.

in german it exists: --Stefanbcn (talk) 04:08, 7 November 2008 (UTC)WP:SOFIXIT. Seriously. Everything at Wikipedia exists only because people, like you, saw that it was missing and deserved to be here. 04:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC) I don't think it really makes sense to call a country bankrupt. When people talk about Iceland being bankrupt they are taking figuratively. --Tango (talk) 14:03, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Au contraire. See Habsburg Spain. Spain declared bankruptcy several times in the 16th and 17th centuries; their numerous wars and attempts at empire building meant that their heavy indebtedness made the government unable to operate locally. Banks just stopped lending to the Spanish gov't; they had to declare bankruptcy in order to function. 14:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Were there actually bankruptcy proceedings or did the government just default on its debts? Bankruptcy is different from insolvency. --Tango (talk) 15:02, 7 November 2008 (UTC) There's some discussion in Sovereign bond. (talk) 14:50, 7 November 2008 (UTC)We have a small stub about the Danish state bankruptcy of 1813. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:18, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I think bankruptcy implies 1) the eventual dissolution of the organization 2) eventual cessation of operations and 3) and the liquidation of assets to - at least partially - return capital to creditors. A country can certainly do the third thing by "renegotiating" it's debt (declaring that bonds are only worth 50 cents on the dollar or something like that), or reducing it's assets. And it's easy to see the sitting government being removed after that (hopefully in an orderly and democratic way in any of our great western democracies), but most of the same civil infrastructure and power structures would still exist. As long as the legal right, and practical ability, to tax citizens remains - it's hard to call a government debt default or renegotiation a bankruptcy.NByz (talk) 00:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Actually, bankruptcy is simply the declared inability to pay one's creditors. NByz's description of bankruptcy appears to describe something like a corporate bankruptcy, though many corporate bankruptcies fail to result in the dissolution of the corporation or the cessation of operations. Instead, the corporation reorganizes, makes a deal for partial repayment of creditors, and then emerges from bankruptcy to resume business more or less as usual. Likewise, personal bankruptcy does not result in a person's dissolution and cessation of operations, but involves a forgiveness of at least a portion of the person's debt and a path back to a normal financial state. A nation such as Iceland could certainly go through a similar process. Marco polo (talk) 02:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I agree and stand corrected. (talk) 03:35, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Indeed, the idea behind bankruptcy, and what seperates it from mere insolvency, is the notion that a bankrupt entity organizes some sort of deal whereby the terms of its debt are restructured to remove the state of insolvency. From the point of view of the lender; its always better to recover some value from a bad loan than no value at all, a country which has become insolvent has NO means to pay back its creditors; once it enters a state of bankruptcy it just means that it has negotiated some means by which to repay its creditors under alternate terms, such as paying back only a portion or paying back over a longer term. This sort of deal is not tied to a legal proceeding in any way (though bankruptcy courts do exist to negotiate and enforce the terms of bankruptcy), and it is entirely possible for a government to declare bankruptcy and to renegotiate its debt in order to maintain some semblance of being able to operate. 04:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I would say that bankruptcy is a legal state, you're not bankrupt until a judge says you are. It is possible to renegotiate debts without going into bankruptcy (in the UK, individuals usually do this via an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), which is distinct from a bankruptcy). Governments don't generally renegotiate debt, they just declare that they are going to only pay a certain portion of it and there's nothing anyone can do about it. The idea of bankruptcy is that the courts enforce an arrangement that protects the debtor and gives them a chance to rebuild their life and is fair to all the creditors, no part of that applies to a government defaulting on debt. --Tango (talk) 15:06, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] LaRouche Democrats

What are some books and website sources about LaRouche's attempts to influence the Democratic Party? Also what was the legal reasoning that allowed the Democrats to oppose his followers who managed to win delegates? --Gary123 (talk) 04:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)Hello Gary! For the long answer, see this article: Lyndon LaRouche U.S. Presidential campaigns. Now the short answer: Since 1999, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has denied LaRouche delegates in primaries due to the fact he is a felon and as a result, not registered to vote. Before this the DNC ruled in 1996 that votes cast for LaRouche would not be counted when allotting delegates [6]. In the 2000 primaries LaRouche won delegates on paper in Arkansas [7], [8], [9], [10] but these weren't seated. There have been lawsuits between LaRouche and the DNC about this over the years. As for books, the main one I know on LaRouche is Lyndon Larouche and the New American Fascism by Dennis King. The book American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists & Others by John George and Laird M. Wilcox has a very good section on LaRouche. I first came to know of this guy when I was doing research on who to vote for in a Virginia Senate race in 2002. LaRouche was mentioned in the bios of one of the candidates running and it peaked my interest. In short, this is a weird guy! - Thanks, Hoshie 09:05, 7 November 2008 (UTC) "Weird" is putting it lightly, but I'll refrain from further commentary... -- (talk) 14:04, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Good answer, Hos, and FYI one's interest gets piqued, not peaked. --Sean 14:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Though one's interest may well peak in this candidate after one has barely peeked at a book written about him. ៛ Bielle (talk) Sean, Thanks for the comment and the correction in my grammar. Bielle, the candidate in question was named Nancy Spannaus; she claimed during the 2002 campaign to the Democratic candidate, much to the annoyance of the real Virginia Democrats. See [11]. She ended up getting 9% of the vote. See [12]. Two more things I forgot earlier. In 2003 a Democratic consultant remarked about LaRouche: "We're a pretty big tent, but the tent doesn't include lunatics and criminals". See [13]. Also in 2003 he was repudiated by Don Fowler, a former DNC Chair during the Clinton presidency. He said: "Not only is he not a registered voter but he has an extensive written record of racist and anti-Semitic opinions". [14] As for this year LaRouche's group backed Hillary in the primary and decided no one was worth voting for in November. To me, LaRouche is to the Dems as David Duke is to the GOP - extremist losers who latch on to the major parties to further their agenda. - Thanks, Hoshie 23:32, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] On Proving Princess Diana's Importance to the World

I am currently working on a year-long history assignment. Our goal is to prove that our person was the most important person in the world. I am currently trying to prove that Diana, Princess of Whales was the most important person in the world. I need to find out what she did that it infected the world as a whole.. and not just the US or England. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
--Devol4 (talk) 11:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)Assuming you mean "affected the whole world"; if infected was what you meant, perhaps Typhoid Mary would have been a better choice for subject... 11:36, 7 November 2008 (UTC) It might help your (ludicrous) assignment if you got her title right. She was Diana, Princess of Wales, and had no dominion over whales at all. Malcolm XIV (talk) 11:40, 7 November 2008 (UTC) You've set yourself a tricky task, though. It would be easier if you chose someone actually important. Algebraist 11:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Maybe the OP was allocated Princess Diana rather than choosing her. Whichever, I agree this is a near-impossible task. Love those typos, though. --Richardrj talk email 11:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC) I think her importance, such as it is, lies in the way people now relate to public figures, and specifically to their deaths. I was living in London in 1997, and I have never seen anything like the outpourings of public grief when she died. Her death led to a whole new way of grieving for people you have never known. The whole "book of condolence" thing, for example, was completely new (yes, I know there were books of condolence before, but how many were there for public figures, signed by hundreds of people?). Why did she kick off this reaction? I was no big fan of the woman, but you have to admit that she had something special, otherwise the public grief would not have happened to the extent that it did. She was beautiful and there was a sense that she had been wronged by the stuffy formality of Charles (his affair with Camilla) and the rest of the Royal Family. I always think of her as essentially being sacrificed to the needs of the British establishment. Charles needed a wife who could produce him an heir. He had dithered around various women for years but had never taken the plunge with any of them. Time was running out and along came the beautiful, photogenic (but far too young for him) Diana. Plus, of course, there was the tragic and entirely unnecessary manner of her death. --Richardrj talk email 11:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC) It's an entirely subjective topic, you're never going to be able to "prove" it (even to such an extent that's ever possible outside of mathematics). You can give all kinds of examples of important things she did (see Diana, Princess of Wales to get you started) but that's about it. That will show she's important. To show she's the most important person you need to compare her to everyone else, I don't see how that's really possible. You certainly can't do it one person at a time, you'll have to try and categorise everyone that has every lived and then show how she is more important that everyone in each category. How on earth you do that, I don't know. (It would be easier with a major world leader or something, but even then I don't think you would get very far.) You would be better off just telling your teacher to set a realistic assignment (they won't take it very well, but I found teachers usually just gave up when confronted with any real argument - if they try to punish you just appeal it and they won't be bothered to fight you on it). --Tango (talk) 12:50, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Another note to help... The term "most important" does not limit itself to positive importance. Negative importance can be "most important". For example, Hitler is still a very important influence in the world - just in a negative way. As for this assignment, you have to get around the vagueness. What do you mean by "important"? What makes one importance more important than some other importance? Use of "the world" is still vague. Do you mean important to every person in the world? Do you mean important to every government in the world? Do you mean important to every teenager in the world? Do you mean important to every sedimentary rock in the world? You can start by heavily limiting the scope of what is important and who it is important to, then go from there. -- kainaw 13:29, 7 November 2008 (UTC) That's the wrong approach. If the question were to work out who is/was the most important person in the world, then you would want to start by defining importance. However, the question is to prove some specific arbitrary person is most important - the only way to do that is to define importance in whatever way makes Diana most important. The difficultly comes in convincing people that that is a reasonable definition. So, the first step is to find out everything you can about Diana, and everyone else in the world (good luck!), and then come up with a definition of importance that gets you the answer you want. --Tango (talk) 13:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC) There are various surveys conducted periodically of the most well-known, most recognised, or most famous person in the world. The likes of Jesus, Mickey Mouse, and Michael Jordan often do well, but I suspect in her heyday Diana would be well up there (and not just among whales). You could probably prove she was more important than Michael Jordan or Mario, and more alive than Jesus. QED.--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 14:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC) From what I remember of various people arguing for Diana's importance was that she shook up people's view of the British Monarchy, causing them to become more "in touch" with the people, more involved with the underprivileged (such as AIDS victims and landmine victims). Having given you that hint you'll have to do the rest of the research yourself. If you get a chance to choose a different person to argue for I would do that. There are plenty of people who have had a much bigger significance. But if the point of the assignment is to make a case for a proposition, rather than decide if you agree with it, then you'd better just do it. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Age and cause of death is also significant. Remember that, although Diana was popular, she died at a young age in a tragic accident, attempting to escape the paparazzi. These factors lend themselves to the image of a victim, but can only be subjectively interpreted. She and her image image have become a heck of a lot more famous now that she is dead, so proving that she was "the most important person in the world" before she died is going to be extremely difficult (bordering on impossible, and I say this because in my subjective view, she was not the most important person in the world, however one can measure that importance). PeterSymonds (talk) 16:30, 7 November 2008 (UTC) To my mind the answer lies somewhere amongst (a) don't drink and drive (b) keep to the speed limit and (c) wear a seat belt. Kittybrewster 08:16, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Hi Devo14, by "most important person in the world" I take it you mean "a world-famous person"? I guess you'll include what effect she had on the royal family, the public's perception of them, how she radically exposed her own life and theirs, the way she used her celebrity to bring attention to previously unpopular causes (land-mines, aids victims f'rinstance), that she knew and was influenced by or influenced other celebrated people (like Mother Teresa) and her popularity with celebrity artists (Sir Elton John). As well as others here, Kittybrewster's point is worth including and it's an interesting article. For myself here in Australia, my uni lecturer took class time to remember her and what Diana meant to her as a role model (?!) etc etc. So, yeah, she got to people. Julia Rossi (talk) 08:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC) And PS, you'd have a harder job proving charles was important after he picked a supermodel for a wife, with great media/PR skills who turned out to be more popular than him even after her death. JR09:05, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] us presidentcy

If before the president is sworn into office he and the vice president elect are killed who becomes president? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bigdaddygiz2 (talkcontribs) 16:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)See United States presidential line of succession. -- kainaw 16:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC) It's slightly different to the above if it happens before the electoral college has voted (December 15 this year), in which case the electoral college may be able to choose new candidates. There was a recent discussion here on deaths of presidential candidates, which could be extended to this case.[15] --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 17:36, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Missed the "before sworn in" part of the question. The 12th Amendment doesn't handle deaths of candidates - only how to handle ties in electoral elections. The 20th Amendment says that Congress will either choose new candidates or set up a system to choose new candidates if, for any reason, the elects cannot be sworn in. -- kainaw 18:06, 7 November 2008 (UTC) If Obama were killed after the electoral college votes, but before the swear-in, would the constitution demand that Biden take the presidency, or would it require that "Congress either choose new candidates or set up a system to choose new candidates". I ask because, if the presidential candidates weren't of the party that controlled congress, it could result in a real power struggle. I suppose the Supreme Court would decide which course the constitution intended, eh?NByz (talk) 00:54, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Read the text of the 20th Amendment which was linked above. Rmhermen (talk) 01:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Happiness and motivation in Marxism

In Marxist theory, what are the sources of happiness, unhappiness and human motivation? NeonMerlin 17:30, 7 November 2008 (UTC)Marx's theory of alienation and Marx's theory of human nature will help answer this. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 17:39, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Or, you might try reading the class assignments. DOR (HK) (talk) 03:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] United States Presidents and visual/hearing impairments

A recent discussion of Franklin Roosevelt and his confinement to a wheelchair led to thoughts about others Presidents with handicaps. I know Wilson's stroke gave him problems, and Reagan had hearing aids later in life, thuogh I'm not sure about at the start of his presidency. What is the wrost hearing that any U.S. President had at the time they took office? What about the worst vision? (Without looking, I seem to recall Theodore Roosevelt was quite nearsighted without glasses, but am not sure how badly.) Thanks.Somebody or his brother (talk) 20:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)I'm pretty sure Reagan was mostly deaf for his entire presidency. He lost his hearing in one ear on a movie set, when a prop gun was fired next to his head. The hearing in his good ear may have gotten worse over the course of the 8 years, but he was definately hearing impaired at the start of his presidency. 21:52, 7 November 2008 (UTC) You could argue that Richard Nixon had a legal impairment - "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal". And JFK and Clinton had sexual impairments. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC) lol, good one; Harding, too. Wow, I didn't know that about Reagan; that's amazing. Also, checking on Teddy Roosevelt, I read that he was quite sickly as a child; nothing about his vision but I suppose it's possible. Then again, he was in the military in Cuba, so...who knows.Somebody or his brother (talk) 23:06, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Our article doesn't mention it much, but this page: [16] notes that "It has been speculated that Reagan's hearing loss, and eventual use of hearing aids bilaterally, was caused by exposure to gunshot noise while filming numerous Western movies in Hollywood [8c]. At the time of his 1980 election, the hearing loss was described as "moderate" [16]. The hearing loss may have been asymmetric to some degree. Reagan's chief of staff, Donald Regan, once tried to deliver a message to Reagan during a press conference, "but Reagan could not hear since Regan was talking into Ronald's deaf ear" [8f]. Reagan was fitted with a $1000 custom-made hearing aid in 1983 [5]." Cheers... 02:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Holy crap. That is a good site, I realized. Check it out: Medical History of the Presidents of the United States Its got TONS of stuff, and its ALL crossreferenced. AN excellent source for anyone wanting to answer the above question! 02:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC) [edit] November 8

[edit] NY Drug Case Law.

Hello. I remember reading a while ago about a NY State Law case, but I can't seem to find the case reference anymore. I hope someone can remind me. Here's the details I remember.
As a result of Rockefeller's draconian drug laws, an upwardly mobile high school girl faced 20 years for "transfering" drugs when she gave her boyfriend a joint. The judge decided to translate transfering as sale, and so the girl narrowly escaped facing pretty severe penalties for a small amount of drugs. As a result, a generation of judges were able to do the same. This would have been well more than 20 years ago.
It was in my case law book, which I've since sold, and now I'd like to use it in a paper. Anyone can help me? Thanks. Llamabr (talk) 00:31, 8 November 2008 (UTC)I took a look on Lexis using various searches and sorry I couldn't find it. However, though I'm not sure what you're going for exactly in your paper, you might find some of the following cases I found using a tarrgeted search on point: Carmona v. Ward, 576 F.2d 405 (2nd cir. 1977); People v. Thompson, 83 N.Y.2d 477 (1994); People v. Broadie, 37 N.Y.2d 100 (1975).--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Thanks. I couldn't find it in lexis either, so I was just hoping this would jog someone's memory. Thanks for your help, so far. Llamabr (talk) 00:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I recall reading about this case, probably in the New York Times. I suggest a search of the NYT's archives. Also, if Lexis/Nexis and WestLaw don't show anything, perhaps a Google search of NY newspapers will retrieve some news articles. It is weird that Lexis/Nexis shows nothing.75Janice (talk) 01:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)75JaniceI suspect that I have some detail wrong, which is why I can't find it. That's why I was hoping to job a wiki reference desker's memory. You guys know everything. Llamabr (talk) 01:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Not asking for legal advice!

Over at another reference desk question, the FTC's methods came up. In short, if advertising fails to meet legal expectations, the FTC initially takes some sort of action. Is this a "warning letter" type action or is it a binding administrative authority? They obviously have the power to invoke civil prosecutions of some sort, but what do they do before it gets to that? SDY (talk) 02:52, 8 November 2008 (UTC)And the FTC is what and where? ៛ Bielle (talk) 04:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC) In the context of the original thread, the US Federal Trade Commission. --Anon, 07:22 UTC, November 8, 2008. See False advertising#False advertising regulations in the United States. -- kainaw 19:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Madras Presidency

I am working to expand an article on the Madras Presidency. But I don't have enough statistical information. I need stats of different religious denominations, different languages and their speakers, number of buses, bus depots and operators, kilometres of roads and railways, the length of telegraph lines, the number of post offices and telephones in the Madras Presidency in the year 1947 when India became independent.
I also need districtwise census details for the Madras Presidency for the period 1911 to 1941. Could someone suggest an online or offline source for the same? Thanks-RavichandarMy coffee shop 04:19, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Surname

Are there any real people with the surname Švejk? Does the surname mean anything? Vltava 68 (talk contribs) 07:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
The discussion here: [17] suggests it originates from the German surname, Schweik. Unfortunately there aren't any citations in this online discussion. Again, a search at a website called (here: [18]) returns a few results for people of that name (actually, not exactly, it returns svejk and not Švejk, if it makes any difference: I'm not too much of a czech speaker). I can't gurantee the credibility of the results, however.Leif edling (talk) 12:44, 8 November 2008 (UTC)This [19] (a dictionary of German names from 1914) says that the surname (and quite a few similar ones) is a derivative of the Gothic word swinÞs, having meant "strong and fast" (presumably related to "swift" in English). The current German word "geschwind" (fast, colloquial) is also based on it. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Love worth the pain? (a reading list)

Why should one love when love inevitably brings pain, either through death/separation or else fear of these? Obviously this is an age old question. Fellow Wikipedians, could you please recommend some works of literature, philosophy, film, or other art which deal directly with this issue and argues one side or another? Thanks, --S.dedalus (talk) 08:38, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Because... it's unavoidable? It's part of the human condition, that attachment and separation are part of the rhythm of life? If we approach it as stages of personal development, we might say (after) it makes us wiser, stronger, more experienced, braver. How we relate to it reveals who we are. For origins of the impulse to attach, there's always Freud, and anything with obsession/love and death themes (Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain; the Sid and Nancy film). I went to the article unrequited love for starters – suggested reading Love in the Time of Cholera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame – where there's a column of wikiproject Love topics, but nothing quite along the lines of "why should one love when [it] brings pain". It's such a big question, one could have a panic attack in the face of it. I'm off to think more about it now, Julia Rossi (talk) 09:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC) I think a Buddhist would disagree. Four Noble Truths :) --S.dedalus (talk) 19:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC) For a painting there's Edvard Munch's Dance of Life. Julia Rossi (talk) 10:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Woody Allen's Annie Hall deals with exactly this question. Woody does a cameo introduction and outroduction in which he talks about the problem using cheesy jokes. His conclusion is that we keep on because we "need the eggs", you'll have to watch the film to see what that means. (talk) 12:50, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Because it matters, and it doesn't matter. Try The Unbearable Lightness of Being. (talk) 14:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Let's say you're stranded on the cold, cold desolate island that had been a military base. There is more food than you can eat in your lifetime, entertainment, etc, but unfortunately, only fifty years worth of firewood, and no way to extend the store. Should you not use the firewood, because it will run out eventually, and then you will have only the memory? Nonesense: you will eventually die anyway, why live fifty of those years chilled to the bone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:52, 8 November 2008 (UTC)What's your problem with possibly having some pain? 'I spent the day avoiding pain' - is that really how you would like to describe even a single day of your life? Dmcq (talk) 15:56, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Except that Buddhism argues for exactly that as far as I understand it. --S.dedalus (talk) 19:46, 8 November 2008 (UTC) It would be far more difficult (maybe even impossible) to mention any work of art which does not deal with love. I guess you could read / watch / listen to almost anything from classics to pulp. As a balance to the answers above I suggest King Lear and some of the bleaker insights of Samuel Becket. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Very true, but I’m looking for works that specifically address this problem. --S.dedalus (talk) 19:46, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Since you bring in the buddhist position (non-attachment and the problem of desire), then maybe Mark Rothko speaks volumes for you. However, the passive positioning of buddhism is met with a nice foil (eg the death drive) because possibly to define itself, it requires the contrast of samsara/maya which it may be argued, projects it's opposite (nirvana). Q: What is yin without yang? A: no eggs. :) Julia Rossi (talk) 21:44, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Hey man, where did the buddhist bit come into it? – it wasn't in your question. Julia Rossi (talk) 09:07, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Buddhism seems to be one of the few proponents of avoidance of pain through non-attachment. Thanks for the excellent answers! --S.dedalus (talk) 19:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC) On the side of the value of love, Amelie (Le Destin Fabuleuse de Amelie Poulain) is a lovely example. See also Simon and Garfunkel's I Am A Rock, this quote from Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Kindly Ones. Steewi (talk) 11:13, 9 November 2008 (UTC) This is a huge and powerful question, and one can find interpretations and answers in the scriptures of many religious traditions. Personally, I like reading Dante's Divine Comedy as addressing this question: only by loving, and risking or experiencing the pain of loss, can one attain the Ultimate. Only by having loved Beatrice, and experiencing her death (in 1290, when he was 25), was Dante able to attain salvation, which is his case was his vision, while yet alive, of Paradiso. The heresy of including Beatrice in a work about God and Heaven and Hell has not escaped centuries of commentators, and is an example of what Harold Bloom called the essential canonical "strangeness" of all great masterpieces. (In Dante she is second only to Jesus Christ in the Christian hierarchy -- it's pretty amazing when you think about it. Bloom calls it "sublimely outrageous.") If you haven't read Dante, do. Antandrus (talk) 00:00, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Oldest Roman Arch

What is the oldest survivng roman arch?
According to one website I looked on, the first arch the romans built was in around 200BC, which has since been destroyed. It looks like the survivng arch of the Pons Aemilius is the oldest, having been built in 142BC, but the article on this says that it was restored in 12BC, so is it really the same arch? In the list of Roman aquaducts the earliest listed to be supported on arches is the Aqua Appia, which was built in 312BC, significantly before the supposedly first ever roman arch. And I might even be missing others that I haven't found out about yet.
So, does anyone out there know the answer to this? (talk) 14:15, 8 November 2008 (UTC)This [20] site claims that the Arch of Augustus - Rimini, Italy is the oldest, having been built in 27 BCE. This [21] has a photo of the Gate of Jupiter in Falerii Novi (same picture in colour) dated after 241 BCE. Further back, there is the Porta Rosa in Velia / Elea from around 350 BCE. As to the Aqua Appia: Most of it is underground and only a short stretch in the vicinity of the Porta Capena (the gate to the Appian Way) is raised on arches. It was also extensively repaired around 145 BCE. The original substructure may have long disappeared. As the Romans pinched the idea of the arch from the Etruscans, it may be impossible to determine what is the oldest "original" Roman arch. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 17:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC) According to Banister Fletcher, the oldest "true arch" remaining in Rome dates from the 4th century BCE and is over drain in front of the Temple of Saturn. A similar one known as the Cloaca Maxima has been altered and filled in. They might be considered as Etruscan rather than Roman. It can be hard to draw a clear line, as some architecture of the early Roman period has Etruscan details, for example the Arch of Augustus in Perugia, 2nd century BCE. Amandajm (talk) 11:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC) There may be a particular arch in the Cloaca Maxima you were thinking of but the thing itsef is a sewer system and still in use (not filled in). Rmhermen (talk) 21:16, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Leap years and bachelors

Humanities (HUMANITARIANS)--Reference Desk - Important Wikipedia Info
I found the image of a post card on the right on Commons. Could someone please explain to me why leap years would be "unsafe" for bachelors? --Kr-val (talk) 14:20, 8 November 2008 (UTC)As the article points out, ... it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. My Swedish is too minimal to know if the reason for the image´s title is given in the text. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 14:43, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Yes, that would seem to be the reason. The article shows these two rather misogynist postcards, which would confirm the theory. Belisarius (talk) 18:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC) The appropriate way for the "poor batchelor" to decline form marrying a woman who proposed to him was to buy her a pair of white gloves. I know, because my Grandmother told me, and she was born in the 19th century. Amandajm (talk) 11:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] When religions 'borrow' ideas from earlier religions

Is there a word for this? Like how Christianity seems to have assimilated some themes/motifs/dates from Egyptian and Greco-Roman mythology. Probably transomethingorother. I swear there is a word, but can't remember or find it through copious amounts of googling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC) ??--Digrpat (talk) 21:08, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Historical congressional district maps

Is there anywhere online where you can see historical congressional district maps for US states? I've only been able to find examples quite sporadically. --Lazar Taxon (talk) 20:56, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] famous soldiers before Napoleon

Hello. I am wondering who would be well-known as a famous soldier (in a pop culture sort of sense) in England about 1800. I don't mean a contemporary, but someone from the past. In the same sense that say 50-100 years after Napoleon, he'd be famous enough that people would say things like "a modern Napoleon" or "the Napoleon of crime". Was there a towering popular figure from a war a generation or two earlier? Thank you very much. (talk) 20:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington is the most important one I can think of. In terms of War in general, Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson would be another. PeterSymonds (talk) 21:51, 8 November 2008 (UTC) James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth? George Monck? Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 22:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Everyone would have had their opinion of Oliver Cromwell (the Irish would say "the curse of Cromwell upon you", such was he hated there). The Duke of Marlborough would have been famous for defeating the French at Blenheim in the early eighteenth century (the closest I can think of to two generations earlier). 1800 was in the middle of "The Great Terror" of 1797-1805, during which France threatened invasion: the popular literature of the time often invoked meadieval soldiers such as Edward III, Edward, the Black Prince, and Henry V in their battles against the French. But I think Cromwell is the closest you can get to a Napoleon-like figure.--Johnbull (talk) 22:52, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Thank you, that was very helpful. It didn't need to be two generations particularly - the medieval kings in the popular literature sound like the closest to what I was getting at. Thank you everyone. (talk) 02:41, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Don't forget Clive of India. Rmhermen (talk) 21:12, 10 November 2008 (UTC) [edit] November 9

[edit] Child labor laws in Ohio?

Would anyone be able to tell me the maximum number of hours a sixteen-year-old can work in Ohio during the school term? --Brasswatchman (talk) 01:56, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Researching and telling you the law would be legal advice which is wisely forbidden. I will explain how you may find the answer for yourself. If you go to and choose the professional version, select Ohio under Statutes. Once you are there search for "Child labor laws." This will tell you the statute. There may be court cases (I'm certain that there are) interpreting the statute. Check for Ohio cases. Also, google for local law libraries, usually law schools or county court houses, and see if there is public access for pro se (self represented)clients. If there is, a law library can help you find the information. The law librarian cannot give legal advice. I've beem impressed with how willing the librarians are to assist the public. Other laws may impact the relevant statute so a lawyer is the best way to get a comprehensive, correct answer. I'd telephone the local school board, too.75Janice (talk) 02:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)75JaniceActually, researching and telling him the law would not constitute legal advice anymore than discussions of anatomy constitute medical advice. Legal advice would mean that you are, um, advising him on a course of action. Merely pointing out the text of a law doesn't really constitute legal advice... 02:44, 9 November 2008 (UTC) To the contrary, identifying and picking specific law out of the often complex, convoluted, and large universe of laws within a jurisdiction is a primary function of legal advice. Trickrick1985 (talk) 16:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Just look it up. Title 41 of the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 4109: employment of minors. Took me 90 seconds to find it. And I don't live in Ohio. --- OtherDave (talk) 02:35, 9 November 2008 (UTC) (restored) Just to be clear, I'm not asking for the purpose of seeking legal advice. I'm asking because I'm writing a story with a sixteen-year-old protagonist, and I'm trying to figure out whether or not he'd be allowed to work 40 hours or not during the school year. And - according to OtherDave's link - it looks like he'd be limited to eighteen hours a week. Thank you all very much. I really appreciate the help. --Brasswatchman (talk) 02:50, 9 November 2008 (UTC) For the record, no one else decides whether or not I believe something is legal advice. In my prelaw days, I believed everything on its face was clear only to cringe throughout law school as I found out that it is rarely as simple as I thought. I will always err on the side of caution. Sometimes it not worth trying to help me when other members are nasty. I'm not referring to you, Brasswatchman. (talk) 05:23, 9 November 2008 (UTC) 75Janice

[edit] U.S. Federal Personal Income Tax Revenue

I'm trying to find a table(s) that shows the total amount of Federal Personal Income Tax Revenue paid by taxpayers in various income brackets. The information in "income tax" shows rates, history, legal authority, etc. but nothing about the revenue raised.
I'd appreciate it if you would point me in the right direction.
John J. Landers Bethesda, MD —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)It looks like the first one on this page might be what you're looking for. I didn't look too closely, but I'll bet you can get what you're looking for from one of these NByz (talk) 06:01, 9 November 2008 (UTC),,id=133521,00.html

[edit] Independence of Cambodia and Vietnam

Why did France just allow Cambodia to remove itself from the Empire? I understand they fought for Algeria because it was so extensively populated by French but that's the same case with Vietnam. So why was there such a long struggle?
Lotsofissues (talk) 06:25, 9 November 2008 (UTC)If you're interested in the Cambodia question, there's Colonial Cambodia; for Vietnam there's First Indochina War and more. Historians please, Julia Rossi (talk) 10:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] 1969 Moon Landing

How was it possible to film Neil Armstrong's first step off the spacecraft onto the moon from a camera positioned several metres away from the spacecraft? Did the spacecraft have a robotic arm to put it out there? Also, when the spacecraft takes off again shortly after, why does the camera follow it from the 'land' and part of the way up into space? Did it have a motion sensor? I am not talking about conspiracies here, I am wondering if there may be a rational explanation assuming the landing was true.--ChokinBako (talk) 13:44, 9 November 2008 (UTC)I don't know for sure, but I expect the camera was on one of the landing struts, they probably extended a fair distance from the hatch. As for the takeoff, they would have been able to calculate what speed the craft would move, so it wouldn't have been difficult to set up the camera to pan up at the right speed. --Tango (talk) 14:08, 9 November 2008 (UTC) just so you know, the real conspiracy is that although mankind went to the moon, it wasn't when the world was told it was: at that time it was just staged. you can look into it if you don't believe me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Apollo_Moon_Landing_hoax_accusations - Kittybrewster 14:20, 9 November 2008 (UTC) That article is about as good as International_law_and_the_Arab-Israeli_conflict. Take it with a grain of salt the size of your head. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC) You are welcome to improve it with reliable sources. Kittybrewster 14:31, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Or you know I could just write in a lake with a stick. If you want to know what I mean, just fix the obvious problems with either article. You'll be reverted within the day. At the risk of answering the question... see Apollo TV camera - it specifically states, "For each lunar landing mission, a camera was also placed inside the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) in Quad 4 of the Lunar Module (LM) Descent Stage, so it was capable of broadcasting the first steps of the astronauts as they climbed down the ladder of the LM at the start of the first moonwalk/EVA." -- kainaw 16:24, 9 November 2008 (UTC) On another point, there was no broadcast of the Apollo 11 lander taking off; this was done for one or more of the later missions. I don't remember the camera rotating upward but it would have been easy enough to arrange if they wanted to go to the trouble. --Anonymous, 20:27 UTC, November 9, 2008.

[edit] Collective Unconscious

Could anyone recommend some good books on Collective Unconscious, please? --BorgQueen (talk) 17:49, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Of course, we all could. Unfortunately, the Collective of WP referential deskopedians has succumbed to sudden unconsciousness. Medical advice is required urgently! Aaaaaarghhhhh... As to your question: I suggest The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of Carl Jung Vol.9 Part 1) as a starting point. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 21:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC) As well as the "Definitions" chapter of Jung's Psychological Types, the article gives this reading list:
Jung, Carl. (1970). "Psychic conflicts in a child.", Collected Works of C. G. Jung, 17, Princeton University Press, (p. 1-35).
Whitmont, Edward C. (1969). The Symbolic Quest, Princeton University Press.
Gallo, Ernest. "Synchronicity and the Archetypes," Skeptical Inquirer, 18 (4). Summer 1994. Come to think of it, the article could be better and seems skewed to ADHD in children but not clear why...Details for Cookatoo's ref is The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. (1981 2nd ed. Collected Works Vol.9 Part 1), Princeton, N.J.: Bollingen. ISBN 0-691-01833-2 Julia Rossi (talk) 23:28, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Goering's Desk

In H. R. Trevor-Roper's book, The Last Days of Hitler, he describes Goering's desk as "twenty-six feet long, of mahogany inlaid with bronze swastika, furnished with two big golden baroque candelabra, and an inkstand all of onyx, and a long ruler of green ivory studded with jewels" (p. 23)
Does anyone know what happened to this desk? Does it still exist? Jacobsen's Ladder (talk) 19:01, 9 November 2008 (UTC)According to this page, it is in a fancy New Orleans house. I imagine some modifications were made. -- (talk) 21:48, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Help thinking of an original name for a website about the british monarchy...

Any creative, modern ideas are welcome. Preferrably domains that aren't already taken! :) Thank yooouuuu! -- (talk) 19:04, 9 November 2008 (UTC)That's not really what the ref desk is for. However, my advice would be to think about what makes your site unique (if there isn't anything, then there's no point making the site!) and choose a name based on that. --Tango (talk) 19:29, 9 November 2008 (UTC) The Casket Letters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] The Trial

In Kafka's The Trial, why does K refuse to leave the village even though the end result of such an action would clearly save him a great deal of trouble? Vltava 68 (talk contribs) 20:35, 9 November 2008 (UTC)It would also have saved Kafka the trouble of writing his novel! With Kafka there is little point in looking for rational explanations. Just go with the flow of absurdity. Emma Dashwood (talk) 07:02, 10 November 2008 (UTC) I think Vltava 68 should have written The Castle instead of The Trial; the plot doesn't match with the trial. (talk) 09:26, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Vltava, do you mean The Castle? Antandrus (talk) 16:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Yeah, I typed The Trial by accident as I read it very recently. Vltava 68 (talk contribs) 08:41, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Update - Census and the Oregon Trail

This is an update of a question asked a few months ago. It was asked about how they counted people in the West. Actually, according to an e-mail I got from the Census Bureau after a couple months, they didn't really bother with that; their concerns were more for established places, even if they were just territories, and established people. A good point was made that people on the trail might settle anywhere, bound for one spot and then deciding to put down elsewhere. So, there were no people who just wandered the Westward trails just counting people.
There were people in the territories, though, that counted established people. You can read a few interesting remarks if you scan the census pages at a library somewhere; like for instance in Montana in 1870, where the official remarks about how he'd been told of how many had come and gone, and whether anyone died in the last year, and would even write there were "very few here but Indians in this whole area," or words to that effect.
Just thought I'd post for future reference. If the original was in Miscellaneousinstead of here, feel free to move it. I forget where it was.Somebody or his brother (talk) 20:58, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] rewriting request

Can someone who speaks good English read International_law_and_the_Arab-Israeli_conflict fast and rewrite the intro paragraph to conform with this guidline Wikipedia:Lead_section. Thank you very kindly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Reference desk is not the place for asking this question. Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 21:54, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Go on the article's talk page to make that request. --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 22:07, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Absurdism

Besides, Absurdism...what other (if any) Philosophical Concept(s) are/is relative to both Existentialism & Nihilism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by L3tt3rz (talkcontribs) 23:30, 9 November 2008 (UTC)Doing your own homework, for one! Belisarius (talk) 11:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Surely not doing your own homework is more appropriate to the topics. Atheism, anti-foundationalism, fictionalism, relativism, empiricism, instrumentalism, skepticism, or anti-realism may be relevant. However, existentialism takes many forms, so not all topics will be relevant to all existentialists. Nihilism is an even vaguer concept, so you should probably decide what exactly you mean by nihilism (moral? epistemic? other?) and go read the relevant entries. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 17:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Corruption

Hi, I have some questions regarding government and administrative corruption. I have always heard liberal-democracies have more administrative corruption than single-party states. Is it true? China is a single-party state, but corruption in China is growing in an alarming rate.
  • Can anyone please provide some information regarding the situation of government corruption in North Korea? I have heard the North Korean administration and its people work like robot and any deviation from state policy can result in death, and if this is the case, administrative corruption will be very low in North Korea.
  • Were there administrative corruption in Germany during Hitler and in U.S.S.R. during Stalin? If yes, then were those level similar to present day liberal democracies like Venezuela or Unites States? If there were corruption in Hitlerite Germany and Stalinist U.S.S.R. with strict law enforcement, what may be the reason behind it? The article Political corruption states lack of government transparency is a cause behind corruption, but it does not cite any reference for this and does not explain it in detail. If lack of government transparency is the reason, then why there is corruption in liberal democracies? Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 23:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
What are we defining as "corruption"? -- (talk) 23:52, 9 November 2008 (UTC) The use of governmental powers by government officials (mainly low and middle ranking government officials) for illegitimate private gain, primarily in the form of bribery. Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 23:57, 9 November 2008 (UTC) This has been a major topic in development economics. The World Bank, especially, has become actively involved, recently denying or limiting loans to countries with high rates of bribery and cronyism. This [[22]] study seems to try to address your question using modern data. It uses correlation analysis between "corruption" and "government size" or "liberty." It's $30 through that site though. Maybe you can find it through a university's "academic paper" account (if you know someone who has one.)NByz (talk) 01:00, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Be careful not to confuse a rapid rise in corruption reported by the media with a large amount of corruption. Sometimes, releasing controls over media outlets permits a lot more reporting of the same amount of corruption. DOR (HK) (talk) 03:24, 10 November 2008 (UTC)I'm surprised by and question the "always heard liberal-democracies have more administrative corruption" premise. Transparency International's 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index shows just the opposite for bureaucratic corruption. Interestingly, Swedish, Australian and Canadian businesses were more likely to pay bribes in developing countries than Taiwanese, South Korean or Chinese!? Saintrain (talk) 02:22, 11 November 2008 (UTC) [edit] November 10

[edit] Rights to works in the public domain?

According to Number Seventeen, this Hitchcock film was in the public domain, but its rights have been obtained by a French company. How is this possible? (Can I get the rights to Shakespeare's plays, or is this perchance a dream?) Clarityfiend (talk) 01:04, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
same way it's possible that you can't take a picture of the Eifel tower at night and print a book with that on the cover (without paying royalties) -- you see, the pattern of lights is copyrighted in France. Yes, they're that gay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 10 November 2008 (UTC)Um, no. -- (talk) 04:09, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Um, yes. Straight from the horse's mouth (official Eiffel Tour site): "Q. Are we allowed to publish photos of the Eiffel Tower? A : There are no restrictions on publishing a picture of the Tower by day. Photos taken at night when the lights are aglow are subjected to copyright laws, and fees for the right to publish must be paid to the SETE." Listen, I know it's hard to believe, but I know the French personally, and believe me, they really are that gay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Please stop using the word "gay" as a pejorative. Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 22:31, 10 November 2008 (UTC) If it is in the public domain then it is in the public domain. The reference in that article gives no information about copyright status. I suspect is just the case that the French company is distributing it (for a profit). I suspect whomever made that edit was incorrect. -- (talk) 04:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)It does happen occasionally that a work is believed to be public-domain but then it is realized that this was erroneous. In some countries (not the US, I understand) it may also be possible for a change in copyright law to make a previously public-domain work copyrighted. Finally, a work may be copyright in one country but public-domain in another. I do not assert that any of these cases applies to the movie in question; I have no idea of its status. --Anonymous, 05:55 UTC, November 10, 2008. The source does indeed mention copyright status. It said that there were only public domain prints available and then the company licensed it an made a decent copy. Public domain and licenses don't usually go together. The remastered copy could well be independently copyrightable, but I don't see where licensing comes into it. --Tango (talk) 11:24, 10 November 2008 (UTC) The article is pretty unclear; I suspect the author of it really did not know or did not care about the copyright question. Media companies, of course, try to find every way to try and claim they have generated a new copyright. If the company is claiming that their remastering was creative (and generated a new copyright), then only the remastered aspects would be copyrighted (not the acting, not much of the cinematography, not the script, etc.). The article is confused on this, making it sound like they "found" better clips and so somehow the copyrights were "recovered", which shows little legal understanding of the basic issues. -- (talk) 14:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC) I changed it to something that seems more likely to be true. -- BenRG (talk) 12:40, 10 November 2008 (UTC)At the risk of adding personal opinion, it's not surprising to me that some group would claim copyright on the image of the Eiffel Tower at night. The lighting, which I assume has been added within the period of copyright protection, is a particular visual effect, a kind of performance -- what U.S. copyright refers to as a fixed expression. You could make the argument that it's similar to the copyright that a major league baseball team claims on the broadcast of its games. These take place in public, but the copying and distribution of copies is an infringement of the rights of those who created the performance. (I'm not saying this is how things should be, just explaining what seems to be the principle behind the French claim.) --- OtherDave (talk) 00:49, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Polish Prisons Conditional Release

An acquaitance of mine who is in prison in Poland says that he is going to be released on "licence". What does this mean and or actually entail? He has also applied for parole as a separate application so it is not parole as we would know it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] God's fate

Did God quit, or did he get fired? (talk) 06:48, 10 November 2008 (UTC)Clearly you have not heard the news: God is dead. Emma Dashwood (talk) 06:55, 10 November 2008 (UTC) I hear that the other guy is shacking up in Perth Belisarius (talk) 11:01, 10 November 2008 (UTC) He is still on the throne; He simply chooses to give us people free will to choose to do what's right, follow Him, etc.; that way, we're not a bunch of mindless robots doing things because we have to, instead we follow Him because we want to. (talk) 13:15, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Or because we're not too keen on fire and brimstone... --Tango (talk) 13:27, 10 November 2008 (UTC) What would you do in his place? He decided to help people by answering their questions anonymously on the internet. :) Dmcq (talk) 14:39, 10 November 2008 (UTC) The question presupposes that there is / was a god. DOR (HK) (talk) 02:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


can anyone help me find the definition of 'literature of resistance ' or 'literature of conflict' and any information/link to its history? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:02, 10 November 2008 (UTC)The best I can imagine, a great book about resistance literature: [23]. --Omidinist (talk) 11:23, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Dear Sir, i have already tried that one. I want something specific about the definition and History —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Queen dowager - exist anymore?

Hello! I wonder about something. Is the title Queen Dowager used anymore about a king's widow in Europe? It seems, that nowadays, you ave replaced it with the title Queen Mother. Is that true, or is the title still used in some countries? If it is abolished, then why? And when was the title abolished in the different monarchies? When did each country have its last Queen dowager? When did England? It seems, that in history, the title Queen dowager was much more normal than Queen mother. Perhaps England is an exeption, but in regards to other countries; is this a new title? I hope someone want to answer! -- (talk) 10:33, 10 November 2008 (UTC)I think the term still exists. See Queen mother. It looks like a Queen mother is a special case of a Queen Dowager. If, for example, the King died without issue, his wife would be Queen Dowager, but not Queen Mother (she might be Queen Aunt, if such a title existed, which I don't think it does). --Tango (talk) 11:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Tango beat me by about a minute. Countries could drop the title, but there'll always been a need for a term to indicate "queen consort, now a widow." --- OtherDave (talk) 00:55, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Longest court-action in british history?

For inscrutable, six-degrees-of-wikipedia reasons, I wound up at the article McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel. In the opening paragraph, it states that the case "lasted seven years, making it the longest-running court action in English history". Surely that's not true. I mean, hello, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce? Yes, I realize that was fictional, but it was based on real cases that dragged on for decades in the court of Chancery, was it not? Doesn't the article really mean that it was the longest criminal case in the UK? And is it? Because seven years doesn't seem to be that long? I mean, hasn't there been like some corporate case where some building company poisoned thousands of people with asbestos or something? Those cases drag on forever! It seems strange to me that 7 years would be the longest criminal trial in all of English history. I mean, that's a LONG history, after all. Belisarius (talk) 10:55, 10 November 2008 (UTC)The McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel wikipedia article's statement is justified by this: [24] and this:[25]. But again, there is this: [26]: a case that ran for 43 years, it says. But most related searches do return only the McDonald's case as results. I guess we need a legal history expert on this one (which, unfortunately, I'm not; excuse me if I muddled matters up further).Leif edling (talk) 12:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Additionally, you may take a look at this :[27]. It's stated that : "But the so-called "McLibel Two" refused to pay at the end of the 314-day libel trial - the longest civil or criminal action in English legal history. " Leif edling (talk) 13:03, 10 November 2008 (UTC)Another example of a long-running court case involved the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways (the "Met" and the MDR or "District"), the private companies that built the train route then called the Inner Circle and now the Circle Line of the London Underground system, in 1863-1884. The existence of two separate companies was intended as a short-term tactic (hence the deliberately similar names), but it didn't work out that way and they became bitter rivals although they had to operate the Circle jointly. Or as H.P. White put it in A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Volume 3, Greater London (1987 edition, ISBN 0-946537-39-9): "though respectively controlled by two personal enemies, the two London companies were locked in indissoluble wedlock sealed by the ring of the Inner Circle." The District owned the south side of the Circle from Gloucester Road in the west to I think Tower Hill in the east, the Met owned the rest, some trains were operated by each company, and they had agreements on how to split the revenues and expenses. But in 1884, without Parliamentary authorization, the District built their own tracks (the "Cromwell Curve") alongside the Met's tracks from Gloucester Road to the next station, High Street Kensington. They then routed their own trains over these tracks (originally in both directions of travel, even though this meant crossing over the Met's track twice) and claimed a corresponding adjustment in the revenue from the joint operations. And according to White, "the dispute dragged on until 1903, when the courts ruled that the Cromwell Curve was not part of the Inner Circle and thus that the District could not claim mileage for using it." --Anonymous, 17:57 UTC (copyedited later), November 10, 2008. I think the confusion here is between a case (.i.e.: the whole action) and a trial. the case, to me, includes appeals, retrials, etc.; I can see that as the longest trial, but I would replace "action" with "trial." However, that's just how I'd do it; Wikipedia may have its own way to use such terms, including the possibility that the "trial," in UK language, is the "action." And, anything after could be some other term. (talk) 13:20, 10 November 2008 (UTC) I agree, a trial is a particular part of a case. The case also includes all the discovery, etc., that goes on before the trial, in addition to the various things after the trial that you mention. --Tango (talk) 13:25, 10 November 2008 (UTC) The Tichborne Case used to be cited as the longest trial in UK history, although it may have been surpassed now. There were 2 trials: one to establish the claimant's identity, which lasted 10 months and resulted in him being exposed as an imposter; and his consequent perjury trial, which lasted 6 months, the judge taking 18 days just to sum up. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:49, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Browsing Microsoft's digitized books?

Is there a website anywhere, where it is possible to browse the list of Microsoft's digitized books (I mean the ones available for free), in the same way that one can browse Project Gutenberg? Thanks (talk) 14:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Mergers & Acquisitions

What is the common goal of all mergers and acquisitions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Poppazoid (talkcontribs) 16:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC)The common goal is to answer the homework questions that your teacher has given you yourself by doing your own research on the topic. Perhaps Wikipedia's article on Mergers and acquisitions would be a good place to start, though I would also recommend reading the class notes that you wrote down the day your teacher discussed this, and also to read through your text book; those sources given directly by your teacher are likely more focused on answering this specific homework question than anything else... 16:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Follow on question from Queen Mother/Dowager

Hello I notice from the article referred to in the earlier answer, GB seems to have had 3 queens alive at the same time in 1952 - 3: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, widow of the late king George VI, and Queen Mary, widow of the late king George V. Indeed, I remember seeing a picture of both old Queens (so to speak!) at the Coronation of Elizabeth II.
What title did Queen Mary adopt on the death of her son George VI? She was now no longer the Queen Mother. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 10 November 2008 (UTC)According to our article, she never was "the Queen Mother" but was Her Majesty Queen Mary after her husband died until her own death. (Mary_of_Teck#Queen_Mother) Rmhermen (talk) 21:00, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Our Queen Mother page says the same. Here's a contemporary source: BBC transcript of newcast of George VI's funeral on Feb 15, 1952. "Dressed in black, the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal were in the first carriage….George VI's mother, Queen Mary, watched from Marlborough House." WikiJedits (talk) 21:30, 10 November 2008 (UTC) And that was the photo you remember. She did not attend Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation because she had died 10 weeks earlier. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:38, 10 November 2008 (UTC) I think Queen Mary would have been Queen Dowager (and even Queen Mother at one point), but as long as she was referred to as Her Majesty Queen Mary, rather than just Her Majesty The Queen then there was no need to disambiguate it with "Dowager" (or "Mother"). --Tango (talk) 23:04, 10 November 2008 (UTC) Indeed. The reason for the common use of the title 'Queen Mother' was that calling her simply 'Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth' would have been too confusing. Algebraist 23:39, 10 November 2008 (UTC) [edit] November 11

[edit] Quotation marks in the Bible

Most translations of the Bible don't use quotation marks; it isn't just the King James Version. Even modern translations of the last 50 years don't use quotation marks. Why?--Psuit (talk) 03:51, 11 November 2008 (UTC)See [28]. Wrad (talk) 03:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC) I don't know why the Bible in Basic English [29] doesn't use quotation marks whereas the NIV does.--Psuit (talk) 04:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC) It's because there are no quotation marks in the original languages in which the Bible was written. This is only occasionally confusing, as in John 3, when no one is able to discern where Jesus finishes talking and John picks up. MelancholyDanish (talk) 08:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)MelancholyDanish

[edit] Orwellian Rhetorical Devices

I've just written an article for my campus newspaper on the contentious issue of freedom of speech, suggesting that as we can trust President Obama not to misuse his authority as president, his second act (after the passage of the delightfully named Freedom of Choice Act) needs to be jailing political extremists. I explained that he needs to frame the matter as one of protecting our First Amendment rights. "Obama needs to go before the nation and explain that radical extremists threaten the integrity of our First Amendment rights by corrupting the purity of our freedom of speech... In any society where subversion and radicalism are tolerated for any great length of time, the end result is a loss of civil liberties, as the ruling authority swoops in like an eagle to crush the radicals. This simply cannot happen in America, and we will not let it happen, not while we are free. Ring the alarum-bells throughout our mighty land, and let the people know this for a fact: if freedom of speech does not remain pure, it cannot remain free. Remember that. You remember that."
So in the process of writing the article I realized that I'm really fond of these Orwellian rhetorical devices. President Bush (or President Bush's friends) were really fond of using them as well, I've noted, and Sarah Palin had a fun time during the election trying to convince her audiences that the media was violating her "first amendment rights" by asking her questions. See the brilliance of it? My question is, can you tell me the writers who have used these devices the most? George Orwell of course is the first who comes to mind, but Jonathan Swift is his accomplice in crime in this respect.
Oddly, the place where I've seen them employed the most, if you can ignore the political distortions of the last eight years, is Christian end-times fiction. There's a series of books called the Christ Clone Trilogy, which was never as popular as Left Behind, alas, whose Antichrist is such a clever rhetorician that all of my friends who have read the novels have complained to me that Christopher Goodman almost made them want to follow him. He manages the massacre of 14,000,000 religious extremists, and while this would be a wildly implausible circumstance in almost any other novel, and while I probably number among the people who would be killed if this ever actually happened, in the course of the third novel I found myself half-cheering for their swift demise. The author is a political science professor (who ran against Al Gore for the Senate in 1980 and lost), and who's worked with the CIA, so he understands propaganda and knows how people can be manipulated into doing things.
Lastly, I remember a little movie we had to watch in elementary school, that was based on a short story by [[James Clavell]. It was called The Children's Story and, along with The Wave, it demonstrates the power inherent in the manipulation of language better than almost anything else I've seen or read.
So, any others? All recommendations are appreciated! MelancholyDanish (talk) 08:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)MelancholyDanish