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visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Nov 14 at 22:37

please delete me


Jun
2
comment What is the basic structure of British Politics?
Officially a constitutional monarchy and cabinet government, reality a president and murdoch = same as USA
May
24
comment What was the motivation for the Gregorian Calendar?
The protestant parts of the rest of europe didn't follow for a century - catholic countries adopted it straight away
May
23
comment What is the origin of the American stereotype that Polish people lack intelligence?
@stevvve - Polish is pretty much a US thing, in the UK it's the Irish, in France the Belgians.
May
11
comment When did navies stop giving out a drink ration to their sailors?
@MichaelF - If you are climbing up a 200ft tall mast to change sail, in a storm or under cannon fire - being "three sheets to the wind" is the last thing you want.
May
11
comment Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?
@TED - originally the title was just Indians + Railways - which to a Brit means India. I changed it to Native Americans just to avoid confusion - I wasn't making a political point.
May
11
comment Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?
@steven drennon - thanks I wasn't being overly PC, but using "Indians" and railways suggests an entirely different continent to the majority of English speakers in the world and "native-americans" was the existing tag
May
10
comment Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?
@T.E.D. Yes there is no difference in the UK between a marriage and a civil partnership as far as benefits. Although there was a question if a same sex partner 'married' an heir to the throne! Legally it wasn't called a marriage because of all the historical case law that would be invalidated - but in reality it was a nod to the churches.
May
10
comment How Likely Was a French Alliance with Italy or Japan in World War I?
France was allied with Italy in WWI. Or at least Italy waited until it could see who was winning and then joined them, it didn't have very much strategic effect.
May
10
comment Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?
@T.E.D. - I think they are technically called "civil partnerships" in EU as well (to keep the churches happy). Ironically there is a EU human rights appeal at the moment to allow mixed-sex gay marriage (!) since Civil partnerships are much easier and cheaper to dissolve than a civil wedding divorce.
May
10
comment Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?
IIRC Clinton personally supported gay marriage and yet was the President who signed the Defense of Marriage act - banning it.
May
10
comment Who was the first head of government to support same-sex marriage?
I don't know if the Dutch prime minister at the time voted for or against. You could also say that the leader who first supported it isn't necessarily the leader who got it passed - there might have been PMs 20years earlier who thought it was a good idea
May
8
comment Did the Germans have a team equivalent to the one from Bletchey Park in the UK during WWII?
The UK's central efforts made sense because the Germans had a single system, otherwise it made sense for naval experts to work on enemy naval codes and so on.
May
1
comment History of scientific regression
Probably just money - you need a lot more than the local village to pay for a aquaduct or a 1000mi road. But yes, I don't know of many big domes built after the Romans - that was probably a loss of senior engineers.
May
1
comment History of scientific regression
There was a lot of romanesque (ie using roman round arches) architecture built in the early middle ages. The end of the empire lost all the big funding and organisation for mega-projects but there were still local builders throughout the empire. And all you have to know is that if you make it round the finished arch will stay up when you pull the scaffolding out.
May
1
comment History of scientific regression
Pyramids was probably a matter of economics rather than lost knowledge.
May
1
comment History of scientific regression
I wouldn't say the roman arch was lost - it was used continually and unchanged until the superior gothic arch was invented.
Apr
29
comment When did navies stop giving out a drink ration to their sailors?
I'm not sure alcohol was ever to make up for the conditions - it was more that it was a storable and safe alternative to water
Apr
26
comment What can be considered to be the single most important reason for the decline of muslim Golden Age?
Also most of the Islamic golden age was driven by Persians - so although the Abbasid empire stretched to Spain - the cultural elite were very focused on Baghdad.
Apr
22
comment Why are the democracies of France, Israel and India rated “Flawed Democracies”?
Remember the EIU is owned by the economist newspaper and isn't exactly politically neutral. So France's low score on functioning government might be from the point of view of a foreign investment bank rather than a French citizen.
Apr
18
comment What calendar was used by the kingdom of Ireland?
The kingdom of Ireland was still run from Britain, catholics were excluded from any official office and certainly weren't in charge of making any decisions about calenders. Remember that date/time was vital for navigation and so was controlled by naval observatories with the same sort of military security that GPS has today. Any written history, court proceedings, laws, etc will almost certainly be written using British standards