Michael Seifert
  • Member for 5 years, 11 months
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  • New London, CT
How long would it take to cross the Channel in 1890's?
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57 votes

Google Books has a copy of Bradshaw's Guide from 1887. To get to Paris, they recommended one of four options: The numbers in the three rightmost columns are, respectively: approximate first-class ...

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Has there ever been an instance of an active nuclear power plant within or near a war zone?
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56 votes

The Ten-Day War, in 1990, was Slovenia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. During this war, at least a few battles took places within 10-20 km of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, which had been ...

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Who was the last leader of a country to call himself a dictator, or the last regime that called itself a dictatorship?
32 votes

Alexander Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus since 1994. He called himself "the last and only dictator in Europe" in a 2012 interview. Q: Some Western politicians call you a ...

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Did any black athletes other than Jesse Owens win any medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics?
18 votes

Limiting ourselves to the USA team, there were 18 African-American Olympians on the 1936 USA Olympic Team. These athletes won a total of 13 medals. And in winning these 13 medals, the African-...

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Is there a primary source for Black Monday, April 13, 1360?
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16 votes

Apparently a couple of the chronicles from the time are available online. From the contemporary French Chronicle of Jean Froissart: ... for an accident befell [Edward III] and all his army, who were ...

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Have there been any efforts by the countries of Europe to restore their monarchies?
13 votes

There was a referendum to restore the Albanian monarchy in 1997, following a period of severe unrest. The official results of the referendum had the motion failing by a 2-1 margin; the monarchists ...

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Why would chickens be blue in the Soviet Union?
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12 votes

If a chicken doesn't have much fat, its flesh takes on a bluish-white tinge: Raw poultry can vary from a bluish-white to yellow. All of these colors are normal and are a direct result of breed, ...

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How did the people of Massachusetts react to the territory that is now Maine being split off from Massachusetts?
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12 votes

TL;DR: Maine's desire for self-governance arose independently of the Missouri Compromise, and was only tied to the statehood of Missouri due to the politics playing out in Congress at the time. Maine ...

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What happened in Kazakhstan that its population dropped from 16m to 14m between 1992 - 2001?
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11 votes

The dissolution of the Soviet Union, which led to economic upheaval & hardship as well as a significant amount of emigration. From p. 9 of this 2012 conference paper, found by Googling "...

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What were Lord Macartney's original words about Chinese under the Qianlong Emperor's brutal regime in 18th century?
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9 votes

The quotes in question can be found in Macartney's Journal of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China. This journal was later (re?)published in Some account of the public ...

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Why do Eastern European countries have the greatest female-to-male ratio?
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9 votes

War, an aging population, and alcohol. From an article from Pew Research: This region has been predominantly female since at least World War II, when many Soviet men died in battle or left the ...

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What were all the countries of the First, Second and Third Worlds, when WWII ended?
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9 votes

The phrase "Third World" was first coined in 1952 by Alfred Sauvy, so asking "what were the countries in each 'world' at the end of WWII" is a bit of an anachronism. It's also a ...

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Do we know where in Clermont was the second Council of Clermont held?
5 votes

According to the account of Robert the Monk, the famous speech was given in an "open space", different from where the business of the council was conducted: In the year 1095 of our Lord's ...

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When did the Hudson Bay get its current name in French?
5 votes

Poking around in Google Books gives references to la Baye d'Hudson from as early as 1730, substantially predating the Seven Years' War: The reference is from Le grand dictionnaire geographique et ...

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Where was Canterbury College (Oxford) located?
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4 votes

The National Library of Australia (of all places) has an electronic version of an 1884 publication from the Oxford Historical Society, entitled "Old Plans of Oxford". It includes Agas' 1578 map of ...

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How long would it take to travel from England to western Africa in the late 1890's?
3 votes

According to Bradshaw's Through Routes to the Capitals of the World and Overland Guide to India, Persia, and the Far East (from 1903, so a bit later than you're looking for), it would take about 16 ...

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How was financial profit viewed in Medieval Europe?
2 votes

Peter Adamson's podcast The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps recently did a summary of medieval thought on economics. I present a brief summary of this podcast episode; I'm not an expert on ...

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Was anyone a notable participant in both the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence (as a liberator)?
2 votes

Francisco de Miranda comes close. Born in 1750 in Caracas, Venezuela, he became an officer in the Spanish Army in 1773. In 1779, Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez and entered the American ...

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