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Recent Posts

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Art and literature / Re: Did Shakespeare have Syphilis?
« Last post by Duffield1 on 16 April, 2019, 03:11:54 PM »
The answer is that nobody knows!  The evidence suggesting he did includes an increase of mention in his later writings, as well as a signature towards the end of his life which showed signs of a tremor - a common side effect when the disease was treated with mercury.  But this is all circumstantial, according to the Smithsonian Institute, which suggests that exhumation would be the only way to know for sure.
Miscellaneous / Re: Are there really more sheep than people in Scotland?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 11 April, 2019, 04:13:32 PM »
The answer is that there ARE more sheep than people in Scotland, over a million more sheep than people. 

At the last count Scotland had a population of 5,424,800 people outnumbered by 6,701,376 sheep. Bring on the mint sauce, Jimmy!!


PS  I noticed that here are a staggering three times as many sheep as people in Wales. So it's true then about sheep and the Welsh?
As a life long hay fever victim, of course I am feverishly interested in finding trends in the pollen count - but spread over the whole year rather than just today's and tomorrows in the weather report.

Is there a website that gives average pollen counts over the year?
Miscellaneous / How many newspapers are there in Britain?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 08 April, 2019, 03:43:07 PM »
I have this feeling that newspapers are a dying breed, being slowly knocked out by the Internet.
So, the question is...How many real, printed newspapers are there in Britain?

Are there over a hundred?  Less than a hundred?  How many?   If you can tell me I'd be very grateful.  And if you can tell me who they are I'd be very very very grateful!
Miscellaneous / A question about skyscrapers...
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 08 April, 2019, 03:19:16 PM »
We were chatting about how London's city skyline seems to be being taken over by skyscrapers - and there was one point we could't agree on..

How many floors does a building have to have before it can be called a skyscraper? 

Is there  minimum limit?  Is a 15 storey building a skyscraper? A thirty storey building? More? When does a 'tall' building deserve to be called a skyscraper?

Miscellaneous / I am planning a trip to Italy and I wondered if..
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 08 April, 2019, 03:06:27 PM »
Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona. But I don't know whether Shakespeare was just being a bit 'creative'.
Is there anything in Verona linked to the play worth me seeing?  Your answer, no matter how vague, might help me plan my hols a bit better!
Science and nature / Re: Is there anything a laser beam CAN'T cut?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 05 April, 2019, 07:27:39 PM »
It's three years and a half years since I originally asked this question - and I'm sure Lasers have come on in leaps and bounds while this question has gone unanswered.

So, are there any things lasers STILL can't cut through?

This is either too a difficult question to answer - or maybe it's just too boring for anyone to bother with?

Call me Geek of the Year but I am still wondering if there really are any things that lasers can't cut through.
Good news, peoples!  At long last, after having lain unanswered on the books since Remembrance Day last year, I have finally stumbled upon the answer to this question while looking for something else entirely on Reuters' website.

So here is the answer Reuters give - although there is stacks more info and commentary on the Reuters site, so it is well worth a couple of minutes of your time browsing it. Do click on it. The Reuters' web site contains massive amounts of items of interest apart from the answer to this particular question. Their web site is to be found at...


Reuters say...

"The centenary of the outbreak of World War One has caught Germany off guard, while Britain, France, the United States and others mark it with battlefield tours, television programs, exhibitions and plans for ceremonies on the day, in August.

"Germans aren’t sure how, or even if, they should commemorate a war that cost them 13 percent of their territory, all their colonies, huge reparations and 2.5 million lives. The government is under fire for its inactivity.

 “Most Germans don’t want to have anything to do with the militaristic past,” said Stefan Scheybal, a mason who tends graves at the Invalids’ cemetery where Manfred von Richthofen was buried, a plot of land now bisected by a busy cycle path.

“We were brought up to scorn patriotism and everything about our belligerent history, so no one really feels a connection to World War One,” said Scheybal, 51.

“Most Germans don’t care who the Red Baron was. Only English people come to see his grave.”

The reasons for modern Germans' apathy run far deeper than the obvious fact that they lost the war and hate anything to do with spiked helmets - and Reuters' analysis of the situation is quite eye-opening for anyone even vaguely interested in present day Europe.
Miscellaneous / Re: Removing of flagstones in 1960s question
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 04 April, 2019, 01:00:53 PM »
My immediate guess is that (especially if the flagstones were beautiful centuries old York stone paving slabs) they probably got flogged off .
In which case the dosh was probably swiftly trousered by a beady-eyed Councillor.
I might be wrong of course.
The flagstones could now be gracing some Councilor's property. Oh. what a lovely new path, Councillor!
Having said that, the 1960's were notorious for not not appreciating the finer things (such as time-worn and beautifully agéd York stone paving slabs) so they probably ended up as land fill - or, worse, as crazy paving.
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