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29

States Borders First off, most Canadian or American states' borders are not particularly straight. Even when they are supposed to be straight, there are often nooks and crannies. But indeed there's a tendency to use simple straight borders when creating a territorial entity from scratch, especially on the basis of longitude and latitudes. We see this in ...


20

Natural borders such as bodies of water prevailed where there were PEOPLE living around them. For instance, much of the eastern end of the U.S. Canadian border was defined by the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. On the Maine-Canadian border, it was defined by forests used by Maine (or Canadian) loggers. In such instances, "strong fences make good ...


14

It depends on what you consider worse. Time magazine lists an incident that occurred on December 18 1970 at Yucca Flat Nuclear Test site where radioactive debris from the underground test of a 10 Kiloton Nuclear detonation was vented into the surrounding atmosphere. However the Department of Energy stated afterwards that the 86 workers who were exposed did ...


11

The Soviets did not know they were supplying the CIA, because Americans are adept at corporate shenanigans. From the book Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of my Years at Lockheed: Our supplier, Titanium Metals Corporation, had only limited reserves of the precious alloy, so the CIA conducted a worldwide search and using third parties and dummy ...


8

The only place you really have the large straight-line International border is West of the Great Lakes (up until Vancouver)1. Probably the most succinct reason it was made that way, rather than at natural boundaries like everywhere else, was that neither side actually had any citizens settled in that area yet. Originally (post-Louisiana Purchase), the USA ...


8

Yes. SL-1 is estimated to have resulted in a release of about four to five times as much I-131. SL-1 may have been made public because the scale and location of the event made it difficult to hide. It may also not have been considered sufficiently sensitive to warrant extreme secrecy, unlike projects such as aircraft nuclear propulsion.


8

I suppose you could consider Castle Bravo to be a 'nuclear accident.' While we did intend to nuke the atoll, we didn't intend the blast to be anywhere nearly as large as it was, contaminate islands more than 100 miles away, or irradiate a Japanese fishing boat. If you count Castle Bravo, it's almost certainly the largest in U.S. history, much worse than ...


6

Hard to say, military-related nuclear incidents tend to be classified. But I'll wager a guess as to why New York Times felt the need to specify TMI was the worst commercial nuclear incident: Commercial nuclear facility operators generaly operate under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency. Among other things, this agency defines an ...


5

It's going to depend on how you define "nuclear accident" and how you define "worst." USS Thresher (SSN-593) went down with all hands in 1963. The cause (we think) was a significant sea-water leak (flooding casualty). The reactor was scrammed (emergency shut down), and without its main source of propulsion the submarine sank. Everyone on-board was ...


5

The shape of borders reflects the history and commerce at the time. In the eastern US, borders are often formed by geographic features because transportation at the time was very relevant - and transportation largely depended on waterways. For instance, the northern border of Indiana is straight - but it's about 10 miles further north than it would be as an ...


5

From the thesis linked by CGCampbell, American anti-tank doctrine was based around dealing with concentrated groups of German tanks on the offense, ie. a repeat of the invasion of France. To deal with this, dedicated anti-tank battalions were formed of tank destroyers: heavy anti-tank guns mounted on lightly-armored mobile platforms. The thesis cites Field ...


4

Today when we talk about "taxes" usually what is meant is Income Taxes. The US did not have much in the way of income taxes during your period; during the Civil War a 3% tax was introduced for incomes over $800 in the Revenue Act of 1861, and that went away after the war; 1894 saw a 2% tax, but only the richest 10% paid it, and that one got declared ...


3

The youngest that I can find evidence of was Irving Hanchett, executed in Florida at 15 on 5/6/1910. Irving Hanchett, barely 15 years of age, was executed by Florida in 1910. Only three months elapsed between his crime (the murder of a teenaged girl who rejected his advances) and his execution. Hanchett had just moved to Florida from Connecticut ...


3

Hanford, right on the Columbia River which flows through my city of Portland, OR, is probably the largest non-commercial nuclear disaster in terms of cost and scale of environmental damage. Its a former top-secret nuclear processing facility for the US military. Hanford was used for decades for nuclear processing with nine reactors and five plutonium ...


3

Sigh… The turret design is indeed USN and was used on three classes of heavy cruiser (NOT battleship), Pensacola class, Northampton class, and 2 of the Portland class. Of these 10 ships: 4 were lost to enemy action in WW2 (Northampton, Chicago, Houston, and Indianapolis) 2 were used in Operation Crossroads (both survived tests able and baker) and were ...


2

The New York Times article is undoubtedly referring to the deaths of Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin. Since noone died in the Three Mile Island accident, the Daghlian and Slotin deaths could be considered worse accidents. There were also 2 deaths and a critical injury due to a non-nuclear chemical exposure at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1944 as part of the ...


2

At the time Hitler declared war on the U.S. there was no existing plan for how to win it at all. In fact, based on all the information I have studied, I have come to the opinion that the timing of the whole thing was more about the German military situation in Russia at that moment. I really don't think Hitler had any plans of a serious German war effort ...


2

The Demon Core was a 6kg sphere of Plutonium that was involved in two criticality incidents in the forties at Los Alamos, each time resulting in the death of the scientist involved in the experiment.


1

Fairly simply, the Federalists had a majority in both houses of Congress at the time, and held the Presidency. So they had the power to do it. They were suffering withering attacks from Jefferson and Madison's newly organized Democratic-Republican Party, which had just run its first presidential campaign in the previous cycle, and had developed its own ...


1

Treatment of snipers varied by country and time. The Germans and British both mixed solo snipers and snipers in squads (both dedicated and mixed). American snipers were poorly trained due to their quick deployment times and a lack of camouflage instruction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sniper#World_War_II


1

CGP Grey has a video about this nice border between Canada and the USA, and how it isn't that straight as you think. https://youtu.be/qMkYlIA7mgw edit: In this video Grey explains why the border between Canada and the US is supposed to be straight, why it isn't and some rather odd analogies.


1

Just about all the serious accidents and deaths have occurred in US military facilities (land or sea based). Ditto in the old Soviet Union. This is because of the military cultural tendency to play fast and loose with safety protocols (and the same reason is why ex-military pilots don't make good airline pilots - they'll push on when other pilots will turn ...


1

It boils down to simple mathematics. The US electoral system is mostly based on a winner-takes-all approach (BTW, that's mostly not written into the Constitution, but rather evolved ad-hoc, for similar mathematical reasons). In a winner-takes-all system, only the two biggest vote-getters will ever have meaningful influence, so it is natural for a dualism to ...



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