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visits member for 2 years, 8 months
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7h
comment Are there any scientific estimates for Mycenaean Greece population?
Good question. I went to my typical source thinking I had that for sure, only to find out that it indeed had no estimate prior to roughly 415BC (between Xerxes and Alexander)
9h
comment Who were the first humans to move at speed (i.e. faster than running)?
@DarthSatan - That's debatable. We only can say for sure that they were domesticated by 2100-1700 BCE, and writing is much older than that.
2d
comment Were there any Frankish/French kings who probably had no extramarital sexual relations?
It isn't that I can't imagine a source saying that. The problem is that I can't imagine any such source that could possibly be both knowledgeable enough about a king's private activities to make blanket statements about what he'd never ever done during his own private time, and independent enough to be trustworthy.
2d
comment Were there any Frankish/French kings who probably had no extramarital sexual relations?
I'm not sure how we could possibly know this.
Dec
17
comment How did the Scottish lowlands get their Gaelic name?
fred2 - Do you have better backup than that one link? Frankly, I don't buy it. Pictish is very closely related to Old Irish, and Roman is not. A word that clearly was in Old Celtic could easily have been in Pictish as well, and it would be really tough to tell which it came from first (or even if if came from a common ancestor) at this remove.
Dec
17
comment How did the Scottish lowlands get their Gaelic name?
I've got issues with the etymology presented in that link. For one thing, it seems to be implying that the Celtic languages are derived from Latin, which is just way wrong (people used to think they were closely related within Western Indo-European, but that theory is out of favor now). Secondly, I can't find anyone else saying that. I'd really like to see their work on that one.
Dec
16
comment Did Goebbels really say “Truth is the enemy of the state”? If so, when?
The title and the body appear to be asking completely different questions. Please fix this.
Dec
15
comment In the USSR, what if any was the formal, ideological response to the Cultural Revolution in China?
1+ for an interesting answer. IMHO this may be a case where it would be OK to link a Russian-language source if you can't find an English-language one.
Dec
14
comment Why is literacy difficult?
@MarchHo - Hangul has a very interesting history (It was created around 1440 to be a system the common folk would be capable of using, and was so effective that it ended up getting banned fifty years later for being subversive). However, you have to admit that Korea's literacy numbers in the 20th century were probably heavily affected by the various imperialist wars and occupations being carried out in their territory. Being in a war zone isn't very inductive to a good education.
Dec
13
comment How historically accurate was the movie “Charlie Wilson's War”?
We generally prefer our answers to have more than two words. Even if they are big ones with lots of Zs.
Dec
13
comment Morse code is a ternary human-optimised code, is there a binary, non-machine optimised code?
There's the smoke signal that the Vatican Council uses to communicate when they are voting. Black smoke means they haven't elected a new Pope yet, and white smoke means they have. I'd imagine a lot of other smoke signal systems can be thought of a binary communications as well, as the medium has many similarities to telegraph.
Dec
9
comment Who is Heckler?
@fdb - Or "boogie fever". We had a really nasty outbreak of it in 1976.
Dec
9
comment Who is Heckler?
@fdb - Sadly, in a lot of cases the internet just makes this kind of error happen faster. I've lately been shocked and appalled how much various websites brainlessly copy verbatim from each other.
Dec
8
comment What was the death toll of Plague of Justinian?
Are you sure that wasn't just meant to be 40% of the population of Constantinople? Infectious diseases tend to hit cities the hardest.
Dec
4
comment Why did the senate of Carthage not sent reinforcements to Hannibal in Italy?
@JuanAntonioGomezMoriano The Carthaginian navy was essentially wiped out in the First Punic war. By the time of the second, you had a situation where Carthage had a badass army, but Rome ruled the seas.
Nov
27
comment Why did the Allies let Hitler break the Treaty of Versailles?
This is in a large part what Churchill's first volume in his WWII history is about.
Nov
25
comment Has any culture primarily worshipped an evil deity?
@Rajib - That's the revisionist position. It is not universally accepted, the chief problem with it being the extensive documentation of the group that would have to be explained away. A better critique is that the relation to Kali was probably at best a foundation myth for the group. Most of the captured Thugs turned out to be Muslim, not Hindu. This was probably more in the nature of a biker gang calling themselves the "Hell's Angels".
Nov
24
comment Language of Franks vs later French
@fdb - I'll clarify.
Nov
22
comment Are there cases of U.S. Founding Fathers burning flags of other nations?
@TylerDurden - Quite. In fact, burning the flag is traditionally one of the two acceptable methods of disposing of a flag (the other being burial).
Nov
22
comment Identifying a ship in Sydney Harbour
There's a nice shot in the video starting at about 8:01 that looks to me like the same ship underway near the same bridge.