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Reaperbryan

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In 1797, a mob began to gather around the French seat of government in Paris. It was the middle of the French Revolution and things were tense.

 

A young artillery lieutenant noticed that an old cannon was atop the entryway, though, and he somehow laid hands on a can of grapeshot and a charge of powder. When the mob tried to storm the building, he fired on them, routing them on the spot.

 

It earned the artilleryman a promotion from Lieutenant to General overnight. And that's how General Napoleon Bonaparte got his career rolling...

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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2 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

In 1797, a mob began to gather around the French seat of government in Paris. It was the middle of the French Revolution and things were tense.

 

A young artillery lieutenant noticed that an old cannon was atop the entryway, though, and he somehow laid hands on a can of grapeshot and a charge of powder. When the mob tried to storm the building, he fired on them, routing them on the spot.

 

It earned the artilleryman a promotion from Lieutenant to General overnight. And that's how General Napoleon Bonaparte got his career rolling...

 

Not quite. Napoleon was, in fact, a Brigadier and is promoted to General de Division after "the whiff of grapeshot". 

 

To be pedantic, he is in fact an ex-brigadier as the French Revolutionary Council ("The Committee of Public Safety ") had recently removed him from the army, because they think he has political ambitions. (And they aren't wrong.).

 

And it was 40 cannon, not just one.

 

And Napoleon is already well on his way to fame as the commander who broke the defences of Toulon and recaptured that city for the Republicans in 1793.

Edited by paintybeard
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When I was writing, grumbling about the amount of snow on my farm compared to everywhere else I thought of this. My farm is located on the continental divide. Generally when thinking of the continental divide we think of the high mountains. Here we have big hills and fairly high elevation. Roughly 1 km (3300 feet) above sea level. The water on part of my land flows north east, theoretically to the rivers connecting to Hudson's Bay. On the other side of the hill the water makes a fairly quick trip to the Missouri river and then on to the Gulf of Mexico. 

 

The area where my farm is is the 2nd highest elevation in Canada between the Laurentian mountains in Quebec and Rockies in Alberta. We're actually only a few meters lower elevation than the highest point of the Laurentians. The Highest point on the canadian prairies is the Cypress Hills which are located about 300 km west of me. The two areas are actually a continuation of a long long range of hills with their highest point in in South eastern Alberta that gradually get lower and lower the farther east they go disappearing in south east Saskatchewan. The Geography and topography of this long ridge was formed during the last ice age. This area was were the last glaciers stopped when pushing south. Further east the last glaciers continued on into the american plains. 

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One of my favourite Napoleon stories, that gives a good idea of what he was like:

 

After he appoints himself Emperor Napoleon recreates many of the trappings of the Bourbon kings, including the Royal Hunt. This becomes a terribly grand affair with all the new French nobility obliged to attend and take part. However, despite being one of the greatest generals ever, Napoleon is in fact an absolutely rotten shot. On one of these hunts Napoleon actually manages to shoot one of his own Marshals (Andrea Massena) in the face, blinding him in one eye.  

 

Accidents can happen, but Napoleon refuses to take responsibility for this, telling everybody that Berthier, his Chief of Staff, was responsible. And Berthier meekly lets this pass...

 

And yes, I know the story about the rabbits as well...

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Napoleon is at least partially responsible for the start of the computer revolution! 

 

During his reign they needed lots of fabrics such as Brocade, woven with special patterns for his armies.

That forced through automatisation of the French weaving industry and the creation of the Jacquard loom(uses linked punch cards for programming. ), and that in turn is said to have been a big influence on Charles Babbage. 

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Oranges are an infertile complex crossbreed of the mandarin and pomelo which reproduce asexually. All varieties arise through mutations.

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So today at work, I saw a horrible movie about Johnny Appleseed, as played by Martin Short. Even the kids thought it was awful. 

1. The pot Martin Short wore for a hat was like no pot I have ever seen. It seemed to be specifically tailored for wearing as headgear, as opposed to cooking.
2. The apples Johnny tended to plant weren't for eating; they were way too tart. They were fine for animal feed... and for making applejack, a popular alcoholic cider drink.
3. Unlike in the film, he was not regarded as a criminal, and was no weirder than any number of trappers or mountain men. Rob Reiner played a local magistrate who wanted to hang him for some reason.
4. Johnny Appleseed wasn't really a wanderer; he plotted his path in a rough circle so he could maintain his orchards. Furthermore, since planted orchards were regarded as "settled ground," he could and did sell apple orchards for good money, which is one of the reasons he planted them in the first place.
5. Johnny Appleseed did breed several new varieties of apple that were as good for booze as they were for snack; the Golden Delicious, in particular, was said to be his creation.
6. Johnny preferred seeds and natural selection to grafting, and consequently bred varieties of apple that were particularly well suited to North America (and to the settlers' use and taste).
7. There was and is no proof or account that Johnny Appleseed could or ever did talk to animals, Doctor Doolittle style. Still, I guess Martin Short needed the paycheck...

Apparently, there is still at least one tree in Ohio that is known to have been planted by him. Its fruit is too tart for eating, but is still used for a source of buds for grafting, as well as applesauce and cider.

....planted by Johnny Appleseed, that is. Not Martin Short.

 



 

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Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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Tumbleweed, the iconic plant from western movies, is actually an aggressive invasive species from Eurasia, brought to the US accidentally by Ukranian farmers when the US south west was settled by the Europeans.

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