Tag «cgpgrey»

The (Secret) City of London, Part 2: Government

The (Secret) City of London, Part 2: Government

The City of London is a unique place — it’s the city in a city (in a country in a country) that runs its government with perhaps the most complicated elections in the world involving medieval guilds, modern corporations, mandatory titles and fancy hats, all of which are connected in this horrifying org chart. Why …

Canada & The United States (Bizarre Borders Part 2)

Canada & The United States (Bizarre Borders Part 2)

Canada and the United States share the longest, straightest, possibly boringest border in the world. But, look closer, and there’s plenty of bizarreness to be found. While these sister nations get along fairly well, they both want to make it really clear whose side of the continent is whose. And they’ve done this by carving …

Social Security Cards Explained

Social Security Cards Explained

Americans love their independence… a nation of pioneers living out from under the eye of government … (except for all the government). As such, unlike many other countries, Americans don’t have a national ID card… …and even the idea of creating one is a political hot topic every election cycle. The results are always the …

Copyright: Forever Less One Day

Copyright: Forever Less One Day

The origin of copyright law takes us back to the 1710 and Queen Anne, the Monarch who had just overseen the Unification of England and Scotland into then, brand-new Great Britain. Also on her busy schedule was the Statute of Anne: the very first copyright law. It gave authors control over who could make copies …

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Every year some countries move their clocks forward in the spring only to move them back in the autumn. To the vast majority of the world who doesn’t participate in this odd clock fiddling – it seems a baffling thing to do. So what’s the reason behind it? The original idea, proposed by George Hudson, …

Americapox: The Missing Plague

Americapox: The Missing Plague

Between the first Europeans arriving in 1492 and the Victorian age, the indigenous population of the New World dropped by at least 90%. The cause? Not the conquistadors and company — they killed lots of people but their death count is nothing compared to what they brought with them: small pox, typhus, tuberculosis, influenza, bubonic …

Humans Need Not Apply

Humans Need Not Apply

Every human used to have to hunt or gather to survive. But humans are smart…ly lazy so we made tools to make our work easier. From sticks, to plows, to tractors we’ve gone from everyone needing to make food to, modern agriculture with almost no one needing to make food — and yet, we still …

What are Continents?

What are Continents?

How many continents are there? If you grew up in the English-Speaking world you might think that the answer is obvious: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. But not everyone count continents the same way. The usual deffiniton, that they’re large land masses separated from others by oceans is fine, until you actually start …