2,579 reputation
1822
bio website dnselite.com
location China
age 37
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Aug 9 at 14:28

I am an English teacher, born in Scotland but I have been living in China since 2006. In my spare time I build websites and write articles about China. I am also a keen travel photographer and contributor to Getty Images stock library.


Oct
28
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
28
comment What is the basis for the claims that the word “Israel” means “Exiled for their sins”?
I think you're miss reading Davidovits. He doesn't think the table has anything at all to do with Israel. A recent BBC documentary I saw gives a totally different etymology for the word Israel. I've also seen the table used as evidence that Israel was invaded and thus proof that the bible is wrong. Basically, people read into the evidence want they want to believe and lack objectivity and scientific reasoning. If you believe the world is flat, you will only find evidence that proves your correct. If you question the shape of the world, you will find other possibilities.
Oct
27
comment Do any Egyptian hieroglyphics mention the ten plagues?
I had a feeling that he was a crack but not sure. My original source of this was a History Chanel show of the History of Israel. It claimed that the stele shows that Israel was a separate country from Egypt at this time. So does this mean that you read this stele as mentioning Israel or are both claims bogus?
Oct
27
comment How do new countries legally and without bloodshed declare themselves independent?
I'm not sure that any of the above examples qualify as "without bloodshed". In particular the independence of India and the resulting partition creating Pakistan caused huge death.
Oct
27
comment Do any Egyptian hieroglyphics mention the ten plagues?
There are claims of a stele that reads something like "Israel is destroyed and it's seed is no more." However, I can also find some historians claiming that this is a miss-translation. davidovits.info/496/…
Oct
27
comment Space Landing proving it happened
Yep, no answer to the conspiracy theories. They actually believe that it would be easier for half the worlds population to coordinate a huge conspiracy just to fool them, than that we made a big firework and travelled to the moon.
Oct
27
comment What happened to Mao Zedong's first wife?
Thanks for the link, I could just about read part of it. The source complains that Edgar Snow made an error in saying that, "...I never lived with her - and do not think she is my wife." However, could that have been a euphemism for saying the marriage was not consummated?
Oct
26
asked What happened to Mao Zedong's first wife?
Oct
26
comment Building of the pyramids
Ditto @MichaelF I find it odd also that the Egyptians needed some supernatural effort to build the Pyramids but every just accepts that the Chinese used millions of slaves to build the Great Wall.
Oct
26
revised Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
Added referances and also added a paragraph about Singapore.
Oct
26
awarded  Nice Question
Oct
26
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
26
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
Both French and English were originally brought into England via invasion and conquest.
Oct
25
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
@MichaelF As I said in my answer, Taiwan's status is one of great political debate. The People's Republic of China and the Pan Blue Alliance parties of the Republic of China will agree with you, however a great many other people will disagree. The island has seen control by the Japanese (1895-1945), The Kingdom of Tungning (1662-1683), partial Dutch control (1544-1662), partial Kingdom of Middag (around 1540-1544). Only in the periods 1683-1895 and 1945-1949 was Taiwan part of China. However, the qualifier for an answer to the question - the language change to Mandarin was post 1949.
Oct
25
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
@Tom Au - AK-47 and copies of the design can be obtained throughout the world cheaply. Even a farmer in Africa can afford one. To quote wikipedia, 'In some countries, prices for AKs are very low; in Somalia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Congo and Ethiopia, prices are between $30 and $125 per weapon, and prices have fallen in the last few decades due to mass counterfeiting. Moisés Naím observed that in a small town in Kenya in 1986, an AK-47 cost fifteen cows but that in 2005, the price was down to four cows indicating that supply was "immense".' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47#Illicit_trade
Oct
25
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
@ Wladimir Palant: While Mongolia was heavily influenced by the USSR, but it was not conquered by the USSR. It also was not a true part of the USSR. Mongolia is unlike ex-soviet states like Kazakhstan or Georgia which were fully part of the USSR. Mongolia can more be likened to the Easter European states or to North Korea. Very heavily influenced by, but not actually within, the USSR.
Oct
25
answered Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
Oct
25
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
China did redo its written language with new simplified characters, they also redid the spelling of the transliterated words using Latin alphabet forming Pinyin. Regional dialects and even minority laguages exist within China such as Mongolian, Tibetan. There is a movement to ensure everyone learns Mandarin (Putonghua - "Proper Speak") however this is in addition to, not instead of local languages. I taught at a school in Inner Mongolia where classes were all given in Mongolian and Mandarin was taught as a second language.
Oct
25
awarded  Critic
Oct
24
answered Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?