Graham
  • Member for 5 years, 6 months
  • Last seen this week
4 answers
35 votes
6k views
Why weren't pickled fruits and vegetables part of (European) rations during the Age of Sail?
Accepted answer
49 votes

You do not need know or understand Vitamin C and scurvy to want to bring along fruits or vegetables with you. Why would you want to bring them? Vegetables were what you ate when you couldn't get ...

View answer
6 answers
26 votes
13k views
How did archers judge distance before range finders?
43 votes

They mostly didn't care. In combat, the purpose of an archer was not to land aimed shots on specific targets. It was to put large amounts of pointy wood-and-steel in the air, in the general ...

View answer
8 answers
53 votes
17k views
Why didn't Great Britain give the colonies voting rights?
23 votes

Because residents of Great Britain also had "taxation without representation". Britain in the 1700s was not a democracy. Members of Parliament were not members of the general public, and were not ...

View answer
4 answers
52 votes
18k views
Why does Ngram show an extreme spike in use of "LOL" in mid 1600s?
21 votes

In addition to the previous answer... "Lol" is a nonsense syllable frequently used in mouth music. Other similar syllables are "fa", "la", "fiddle", "diddle", and so on - think of the song Deck the ...

View answer
10 answers
40 votes
15k views
Does any country have an official celebration for the annexation of foreign territory?
15 votes

Not a complete country, but a faction within the country. William III invaded Britain, with popular support from the majority-Protestant population. Northern Irish Protestants still celebrate the ...

View answer
9 answers
16 votes
8k views
Were there often intra-USSR wars? If not, why not?
9 votes

Because of the examples of what happened to anyone who tried It's easy to forget just how repressive the Soviet regime was. In the Baltic states, a guerrilla insurgency operated throughout WWII and ...

View answer
4 answers
19 votes
5k views
How were the West Berlin air corridors negotiated?
8 votes

In particular, why didn't the Soviets refuse to allow air corridors? "Refusing to allow" would have required the Soviets to enforce that refusal. In other words, having just completed a war ...

View answer
3 answers
13 votes
4k views
Do we know the situation in Britain before Sealion (summer 1940)?
4 votes

The most interesting misconception from that author comes down to dates. The evacuation of Dunkirk happened in May-June 1940, so the map is from before Dunkirk. Before that point, the bulk of the ...

View answer
3 answers
23 votes
4k views
Why didn't pre-Norman English kings build stone town walls?
3 votes

in troubled areas. This is slightly to miss the point that these were troubled areas because of the Normans. In modern times, consider the defensive perimeters around the Green Zone in Iraq, or ...

View answer
12 answers
63 votes
17k views
Is it true that slavery was endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa previous to the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?
3 votes

True slavery was still common in Western Europe until early medieval times. Most peasants were serfs and were not at the time considered slaves. However whilst serfdom and slavery have some ...

View answer
5 answers
44 votes
7k views
How were smallpox vaccines enforced in the US?
1 votes

According to this article, the authorities in some areas did literally go door-to-door to check whether people were vaccinated. Isolation was also taken far more seriously. Infected people were not ...

View answer
6 answers
19 votes
8k views
Was there significant interbreeding between Romans and Native Britons?
1 votes

Your first link is easily answered by asking another question: "Is there even such a thing as Roman DNA, distinct from other European DNA?" The evidence says almost certainly not. This is a good ...

View answer