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The "Facts" Thread

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by Southpaw, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. The British Are Coming

    The British Are Coming Loaded Pockets

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    There are 650 Members of Parliament, representing an average of about 95,000 people per constituency.

    There are currently 11 parties with MPs (sort of 12, some Labour MPs also represent the Co-operative Party) and 4 independent MPs, including one who was suspended then resigned from the Labour Party for getting drunk in a House of Commons bar and headbutting a Conservative MP (no, I'm not kidding).

    There is also the Speaker of the House who resigns their party affiliation on election as Speaker. By tradition, when they are elected they are 'dragged' to the Speaker's chair. This is a reference to the days when being elected Speaker was a bad idea because it came with a serious risk of being executed for treason.

    7 MPs have been awarded Nobel Prizes, Randal Cremer (1903), Austen Chamberlain (1925), Arthur Henderson (1934), Robert Cecil (1937), Philip Noel-Baker (1959) and David Trimble (1998) all received the Peace Prize. Winston Churchill won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature.

    Several have been Olympic medallists. John Boland won gold in tennis in 1896 then went on to become MP for an Irish constituency, prior to Irish independence. Philip-Noel Baker won silver in the 1,500m in 1920 (Olympic medallist, MP and Nobel Laureate is a pretty impressive resume). David Cecil won gold in the 400m hurdles in 1928 and silver in the 4x400m in 1932. Colin Moynihan took silver in 1980 as cox of the rowing eight. The most successful Olympian to become an MP was runner Seb Coe, who won gold in the 1,500m in 1980 and 84 and silver in the 800m in both years. Though that success is somewhat eclipsed my member of the House of Lords and former Paralympian Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson who won a bronze in 1988, 4 golds and a silver in 92, a gold and 3 silvers in 96, 4 golds in 2000 and 2 golds in 2004. The only MP to win an Olympic medal while a serving MP was John Gretton who won 2 golds in sailing in 1900.

    The first ethnic minority MP to be elected was Dadabjai Naoroji who was elected in 1892.

    The first woman to be elected and take her seat was Nancy Astor, elected in 1919. Constance Markievicz was elected in 1918 but refused to take her seat as she was a member of Sinn Fein (Sinn Fein members still refuse to take their seats when elected as they are unwilling to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen).

    One British MP has been made a saint, Thomas More was executed for treason for refusing to take an oath supporting Henry VIII's schism from the Roman Catholic Church.

    One has been a holder of the Victoria Cross, Sir Henry Havelock-Allan was awarded the VC for service during the Indian Mutiny, was later elected MP and then killed on active service in Afghanistan while still an MP.

    He is far from the only MP to have died on military service. Serving MPs died in both World Wars, in the Wars of the Roses, the English Civil War, the French and Indian Wars, during the Peninsular War and several other conflicts.

    A couple of MPs have been elected posthumously, for instance, Edward Legge was elected to Parliament in the 18th Century, nearly 3 months after he died in the West Indies.

    MP William Huskisson holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first person to be killed in a railway accident, he was run over by Stephenson's Rocket.

    Several MPs have died in duels, the last in the early 18th Century.

    Several have been murdered. Of those, Airey Neave deserves special mention. During WW2 he was one of the few Allied PoWs to escape from Colditz and after WW2, because he was a lawyer and fluent in German, he was the officer chosen to read the indictments to the accused at the Nuremberg Trials. He was murdered by an INLA bomb in 1979.

    A few dozen have been executed. Most of these have been in connection with the English Civil War, both sides executed several MPs for supporting the other side and then many of the people who signed the death warrant for Charles I were executed after the Restoration.

    And finally, the MP with the unfortunate record of being the shortest serving. Alfred Dobbs was elected on July 26 1945, then on July 27 1945, while driving, he swerved to avoid a child in the road, hit another vehicle and was killed instantly.
     
  2. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    ^^^ Thanks. My kind of interesting info. Continuing for a moment in the military theme, here's one that I've always found interesting.

    We Americans have grown up learning about General George Armstrong Custer of Custer's Last Stand fame. Not so well known ... his younger brother Thomas Custer, an officer in the Civil War ("brevet" Lt. Col. at war's end, age 20) . His claim to fame? Recipient of the Medal of Honor — not once, but twice. One of nineteen people in history to be two-time recipient. Story has it big brother George — as we know, a competitive individual — resented his brother's accomplishment.

    Two father/son teams have been MOH recipients. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (WWII) and his father (Civil War) and President Teddy Roosevelt and his eldest son Theodore.
     
    Last edited by xbanker, Jun 28, 2013
  3. ATF

    ATF Loaded Pockets

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    Similarly, the bottle opener wasn't invented until two years after the crown cork (bottle cap). It was said that during that time you could tell how often someone drank by looking at the scars on their hands.
     
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  4. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Whoa! That's not going to happen with our politicians. :rolleyes:

    But continuing with the politics theme: Finland was the first country in Europe to give women the right to vote, in 1906. In the parliamentary election held in 1907, 19 women were elected, the first female MPs in the world.
     
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  5. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    ^^^ Speaking of facts from Finland, is it true that the law requires you to drive automobile with headlights on all the time *and* the amount of the fine for a speeding ticket is based on one's income?
     
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  6. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Yes to the lights, yes and no to the fines. There are fixed fines for minor offenses and what translates as a "day-fine" for ones that could also result in incarceration, if serious enough. The latter is income-based. The idea is that if the crime was punished by incarceration, that would prevent a person from working and thereby deprive them of income. The number of days one would spend behind the bars is not dependent on income, but the amount of money they'd lose in that time would be, so the fine reflects that. AFAIK, most people here consider this a just system. Sometimes it results in massive fines for the big business execs, which provides good entertainment to us regular people. :)
     
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  7. The British Are Coming

    The British Are Coming Loaded Pockets

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    Teddy Roosevelt also has the distinction of having been awarded his country's highest award for valour and the Nobel Peace Prize. Which makes him a freaking legend by any standard!
     
  8. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

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    The first parking meter was used in Oklahoma City.


    Sent by Owl Post
     
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  9. scbubba
    • In Omnia Paratus

    scbubba Loaded Pockets

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    The first insurance company in the United States was The Friendly Society for the Mutual Insurance of Houses Against Fire was founded in Charles Town (modern day Charleston, SC) on February 3, 1736.

    The company went bankrupt by 1740 because of a great fire that destroyed 300 houses.
     
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  10. scbubba
    • In Omnia Paratus

    scbubba Loaded Pockets

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    And continuing the South Carolina facts: Today is Carolina Day!

    Carolina Day is the annual commemoration of an important part of United States, South Carolina and Sullivan's Island history - the Battle of Sullivan's Island on June 28, 1776.

    The colonial's victory at the Battle of Sullivan's Island, fought on the site of what is now Fort Moultrie, was considered by many historians as the first significant American victory over the British during the American Revolution.

    The colonists' victory was vital to South Carolina and the nascent American Revolutionary cause. Defeat on that fateful day would have given British troops control over the vital port of Charleston and, essentially, the entire state of South Carolina at a critical time. A mere six (6) days later the colonists issued their national Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776). It would be take four (4) years of battling South Carolinians before the British were able to occupy Charleston (1780). For these reasons, all South Carolinians consider Carolina Day as the state's "Independence Day."

    USA - you are welcome! :smile_coffee:
     
  11. The British Are Coming

    The British Are Coming Loaded Pockets

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    One Parliament fact I forgot to add! Eating and drinking in the House of Commons is not permitted, with the sole exception of when the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the top economic bloke in the government) is delivering the annual Budget speech during which they are allowed to drink, including alcohol.
     
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  12. The British Are Coming

    The British Are Coming Loaded Pockets

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    Random fact: There are approximately 50 times as many muscles in an elephant's trunk as there are in the entire human body.

    Random fact 2: Most people know there are 206 bones in the human body. But, that's a bit of a simplification. Congenital abnormalities and lifestyle can change this. For instance, the acromion is, normally, a bony process on the shoulder blade that starts as a separate bone and joins with the scapular during adolescence. When this doesn't happen it remains a separate bone called the os acromiale, osteo-archaeologists use this (and other bone abnormalities) to identify medieval archers in mass graves, the immense force used to pull war bows accounts for this. On a personal note, I'm one of the freaks with an extra bone. I have a little bone called an os tibial externum in my left foot (I found out when I had a suspected fracture).

    And no, there is no bone in the human penis, though most mammals do have penis bones. The scientific name for this particular bone is the baculum.
     
  13. boyo17

    boyo17 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Every second of every day ,,,a woman in Africa gives birth



    We've got to find her and give her some help
     
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  14. Sharpshooter11000

    Sharpshooter11000 Loaded Pockets

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  15. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    It is a fact that many things called facts are not facts at all.
     
    Last edited by JonSidneyB, Jul 2, 2013
  16. evolutionglitch
    • In Omnia Paratus

    evolutionglitch Loaded Pockets

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    Surely you jest!
    (Don't call me Shirley...)
     
  17. Dok J

    Dok J Loaded Pockets

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    Barring some archeological remains from the second Age of Iron and Roman Imperium, the folding knife was popularized during the XVI century in Spain, as a way around the law by the late king Carlos I, wich forbid owning and using swords or bladed weapons to non military or noble origin citizen. Cheapness and ease of concealment made it popular and spreaded its use to Europe and America.
     
  18. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Strawberries are not really berries. (In honor of the strawberry season, just ate a bunch of them.)
     
  19. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Fact- I miss our friend Gnarly. Since he has been off living his life and missing out on the fun here, I'll post this for him. It was on the bottom of a recent email he sent me.

    "Interesting Fact………

    The United States is ranked 3rd in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out Chicago,Detroit,Washington DC & New Orleans, the United States is ranked 4th from the bottom, for Murders. These 4 Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the United States.

    Does this tell you anything?"

    WOW! That was almost like he was here... wasn't it?

    :nah_disagree:

    Now maybe someone can post up a Mooshi fact and things will seem more normal around here.
     
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  20. r-ice
    • In Omnia Paratus

    r-ice Loaded Pockets

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    is this why I can't message him?