View Full Version : Great Britain

28th Apr 2002, 21:16
On another thread, wino mentioned the British Empire and the fact that Britain is a tiny island. He is of course quite correct, but why do you think for such a small island, Britain has given the world practically everything?
For example: telephone, tv, jet engine, steam engine, Concorde, the jump jet, postage stamps, the wheel, fire, champagne, fish and chips, Charles Darwin, Will Shakespeare, Nelson, Churchill, Drake, Cook, Hudson, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles,
Wellington, radio, radar, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, golf, cricket, rugby, polo, traffic lights, cats eyes, Isaac Newton, George Washington, soap, shampoo, computers, photography, penicillin,
Mrs Thatcher, Elgar, Constable, Gainsborough, policemen, Alcock and Brown, Keats, Byron, Shelley, the submarine, the aircraft carrier, the tank, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope, Llaurel (or Hardy), Olivier, Connery, Hitchcock. . .

The list goes on and on. Is it something in the water?

This should start a lively debate.

28th Apr 2002, 21:26
I think its cos we are easily bored and are always looking for the next challenge!


tony draper
28th Apr 2002, 21:29
Its much simpler to list the things we didn't discover or invent, fills almost a whole line it does. :p

28th Apr 2002, 21:32
Well Great Scot...so that's why it's called GREAT Britain. ;)

28th Apr 2002, 21:43
The British have always been brilliant inventors and engineers, I just love that image of all those men in their brown coats tinkering away in their sheds in their back gardens. Threy just love doing that! Spending their free time pottering away coming up with the next big thing.

Isn't it at the Aston Martin factory, (you forgot that one in your list!) that the men wheel across the engines they've just hand built over the road for the next part in the assembly? Brilliant!

You also forgot the internet, what was his name?

28th Apr 2002, 21:49
Alcock and Brown - wasn't he an Olympic sprinter?

28th Apr 2002, 22:00
Here's a question for you, when do people think Britain became such a power? Was it with the Tudor's as many people believe, starting with Henry VIII and cemented by his daughter after she secured the throne. Or was it before this, or after?

Was it a combination of things starting before this and culminating in Victoria's reign? Or was the decline already happening before Victoria, in particular when the colonies were lost out west?

28th Apr 2002, 22:04
Good question one world

Bye the way I forgot to mention the aeroplane (chap called Pilchard I think).

28th Apr 2002, 22:04
Don't forget, we also gave the world Take That, Leo Sayer, Neil Kinnock, Stars in Their Eyes, Roland Rat, Marmite, Sarah Brightman, Rover, Eastenders, Bob the Builder, the Telly Tubbies, Frank Spencer, Real Ale, Steve Davies, the Welfare State, the cardigan, cockney rhymning slang, Chris Patten, the Wombles, Babycham, Elton John, Consignia, the Millenium Dome, flares, punk rock, Paul Danials, 2.4 Children, Butterflies, tofu, bus lanes, Claire Short, British Leyland, ruffled shirts, Blankety Blank, local councils, haggis, the Blairs, strikes, jellied eels, Two Jags... Doh!

28th Apr 2002, 22:06
Marvellous Jaffad I forgot those!!!

28th Apr 2002, 22:17
Oh that we could be so fortunate to forget them! Still, been to an awful lot of countries around the world and I know why we are called "Great Britain", no competition! ( except for all that stuff up there )

28th Apr 2002, 22:28
jaffad, you could add Vinny Jones and Little and Large to your list, what was wrong with Butterflies by the way??!! I loved the father in that programme.

What I like most about the British is they're not afraid to laugh at themselves or take the **** out of themselves. I mean you look at a venerable insitution like the BBC and the amount of comedians and satirists who viciously nail and take the p**s out of the establishment, that they put out on the airwaves and at prime time. Any country who can do that so freely is alright in my book and is is in avery healthy way. I can't imagine, apart from some cult shows that go out after midnight, similar shows going out at prime time, taking the p*ss out of George Bush in the US, can you?

He actually asked the singer Charlotte Church what "State" Wales was in!! Can you believe that? If he was British, Bremner and co. would have nailed to the floor!

Tartan Gannet
28th Apr 2002, 22:34
Antiseptic Surgery, Anaesthetics, Radar, Logarithims, Television (Low Definition Mechanical Scan), Separate Condensor Steam Engine, Pneumatic Tyre, Tarmacadam, to name but a few.

All inventions from a very small country:-


28th Apr 2002, 22:48
Well, yes - it is something in the water or, rather the water we are in. Our climate and geography have a surprisingly large effect upon our national character. We live on an island on the eastern edge of an ocean in temperate latitudes. Our weather is therefore very changeable, but not really very hazardous, and, to be honest, it is a little boring. This induces a phlegmatic nature, ready to take what is thrown at us, but we are not so in awe of mighty nature that we throw up our hands in resignation, as one might, say, in a hurricane or a drought.

We are a decent-sized island of a size that was just right in late mediaeval times to exist as a coherent nation; not so small as to be insignificant, yet not so large as to be ungovernable. So we formed a strong nation state well before our neighbours.

At the same time, being an island near a continent, our seafarers were at the forefront of trade and exploration. Finally, we were close enough to that continent to be influenced by the Roman Empire and Christianity. This unique European culture gave birth to the Reformation and the Enlightenment, a phenomenon no other civilization has equalled.

Are there any other islands like ours to disprove my theory at a stroke?

28th Apr 2002, 22:56
Nice thing about you Brits is the way you manage to be unabashedly proud if your rainy soggy wonderful Island without becoming pompous or bombastic or revoltingly patriotic about it!!
Good stuff that.

28th Apr 2002, 22:57
That's why I asked about Elizabeth brakes..beer, when she came to power Britian was in dire straits. They had no money, no army to speak of and no real sea fleet. The Spanish and the French were far more powerful. Also the country was dangerously split along religious grounds and verging on civil war. Yet at the end of her reign....So was she the kick start that spurred Britain forward? Ably assisted by a lot of other people of course like Raleigh etc.

28th Apr 2002, 23:06
Brother Gannet, you forgot curling!:D

Bally Heck
28th Apr 2002, 23:31
A timely reminder gentlemen that "Great" Britain is the mainland. The sundry islands surrounding (Orkneys, Shetlands, Hebrides, Wight etc) are the British Isles. And of course the northern part of the island of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island.

This definition has always troubled me somewhat in that the lesser islands (ie smaller) are apparently not included in this definition. So I suppose Lindisfarne (for example) could declare UDI on the grounds of non inclusion in the first place.:rolleyes:

29th Apr 2002, 07:37
But dont forget England gave us shirt-ties, bureaucracy, P.A.Y.E. tax, strap-up boots, concentration camps ( Boer war), warm beer, Morris 1100s, prime ministers, opium wars, keel-hauling, and Viscount-700s.

But all that was forgiven once they invented the Spitfire! :D

29th Apr 2002, 07:59
I might just be wrong, but I was under the impression that we also invented the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.

Anyway, Scotland invented more cool stuff than anywhere else so for the second time in my life, I find myself in agreement with TG !

:D :D

29th Apr 2002, 08:11
Why did the sun never set in the British Empire? Because God couldn't trust the poms in the dark.:D :D

29th Apr 2002, 08:52
Marmite is German.

However deep fried Pizza is a purely Scottish invention.:p

29th Apr 2002, 09:04
I thought the reason you POMs invented the sports of cricket, rugby, golf and soccer(football) was because after you taught them to we colonials; we ended up beating the cr*p out of you and therefore you had to invent new games so you could win for a while; until we learnt how to play the new sports and then the cycle started again.:D :D :D :D :D :D

tony draper
29th Apr 2002, 09:08
Credit where credit is due, the southern hemisphere did invent the upright shepherd position. ;)

29th Apr 2002, 10:31
A few more thing's for the impressive list


tony draper
29th Apr 2002, 10:34
Don't forget electric light bulb.
Joseph Swan

29th Apr 2002, 10:43
Nice try tony but the yank's will claim it was Edison.

29th Apr 2002, 10:50
Crumpet. :p

29th Apr 2002, 11:36
Can we include some more good things?

Morgan cars, Triumph motorbikes, Mosquito fighter/bombers, Carl Fogarty (w%^&ker, but rides bikes quite well), PG Woodhouse, Boris Johnston and Deep Purple, and some sound thrashings at War, the ultimate sport (forget cricket and all that stuff). :D

There are a few things that maybe we could gloss over, such as haggis and bagpipes, course fishing (not a sport), darts and snooker on the television, Jim Davidson, The Leyland Princess (don't know if it was ever exported; I hope not) and Westlife. :(

29th Apr 2002, 11:53
I wondered how long it would take for some bitter and twisted Ozzies to stick the knife in.......not long at all.

Granted, our sporting standards have dropped in some areas - but I'd be keen to read a list of things Australia have contributed to the world....apart from backpackers.

29th Apr 2002, 11:58
I suppose we can credit them with the boomerang,and you can't deny they can swim a bit!!!
But Jason and Kylie YUUUCK!!

Lima Tambo
29th Apr 2002, 12:02

and Bowler Hats

29th Apr 2002, 12:20
Australias contributions to the world:


* Good cricket (most of the time)

* Aussie Rules

* Melbourne Cup

* Roo meat

* Boomerangs

* Orbital engines

* Uranium (the 1st-grade stuff)

* Colorful language

* For you sheelas Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe

* For us blokes Nicole Kidman


PPRuNe Radar
29th Apr 2002, 12:49
And we can thank the Ozzies for the following as well ..

*the bionic ear (cochlear implant) So that even deaf people can hear them talk about whinging Poms, moan about European weather, taxes, costs, the JAA, etc, etc

*Police car radio to allow co-ordinated action against pilots who fly for free

*in vitro fertilisation and frozen embryo implantation Hey, even sheep probably get tired of being shagged all the time !!

*self-twist yarn spinning Now rebranded as the Dunnunda/Godzone Forum

*speed packer garbage collector For collecting the tinnies after a session with yer mates

*artificial rain For acclimitisation to European weather, most Ozzies seem to end up here anyway

*mechanised brick production To save time on the dunny

*stripper harvester Or as we know him, Slasher

*shearing machines Well no one likes to date an untidy sheep do they ??

*infra-red chicken brooder For those areas where sheep are in short supply and you have to resort to chooks

*modern milking machine Specially designed to help Slasher with his insatiable sex drive

*sound-proof windows Allows citizens to perfect their whinging without being distracted by their neighbours

*water meter (direct measurement) Allows Oz lager to be made to the correct consistency so that no one can guess it's 99% water

And lastly ... they have a sense of humour .... or else I'm for the high jump !!!

:D :D :D

29th Apr 2002, 13:40
When are they going to take their stars off of our flag ?

29th Apr 2002, 14:13
Nude Australian PinUp (http://www.thehumorarchives.com/humor/0000787.html)

29th Apr 2002, 14:15
Has no one mentioned gin and tonic? Pimms? Short skirts? Rigby & Peller's lingerie? Wimbledon? (OK, we can't win it but its the best tennis tournament in the world by far)

And of course everyone knows God is an Englishman even if he doesn't do many gigs these days.

29th Apr 2002, 14:20
I'd rather hoped we would of heard from our American cousins by now, perhap's they are still preparing the list!!

29th Apr 2002, 14:35

29th Apr 2002, 14:41
Here's two to start the Americans off.


29th Apr 2002, 14:54
The DC-3.

29th Apr 2002, 15:01




29th Apr 2002, 16:01
What about the Romans ? What have they ever done for us ?

29th Apr 2002, 16:10
They were quite big on taxation, weren't they?

29th Apr 2002, 16:18
The Americans did the only thing that matters on this board

The Aeroplane Dec 17th 1903 Kill Devil hill. Everyone here should take a pilgrimage to the holy land in North Carolina.

But that's not important

After 3 years of living in England I have but one question for everyong in Great Britain, and it is this:

If you ruled the world for 200 years, why do you still live there?

I finally understood the British summer Holiday mania. People save their whole lives so they can be warm for a fortnight before they die:D When I left England, hell was starting to look good to me, atleast there I would be warm.


SET 18
29th Apr 2002, 16:19
And another thing; just why do Australians call us Poms? I was always taught that the name came from the acronym "Prisoners of Mother England" or "Prisoners of His Majesty" which was written on the convicts' clothes.

If these people are the descendants of the prisoners, doesn't that make them POMS, not us? We got rid of all our POMS to them over there.

Anyway, having spent some time there I must say I did rather enjoy it. The did whinge a bit though, and there are lots and lots of homosexuals there too.

To complement the list; refrigeration was invented by a Scot as was the US Navy and The Bank of England formed by one.

29th Apr 2002, 16:30

About time where have you been?

Now about your ridiculous claim to the flying record, I am sure a New Zealander got of the ground about a year before the wright bros.
And our own Percy Pilchard , showed early promise as well?
What is all this 200 year business your on about?
And as for the weather, you may have a point.

Send Clowns
29th Apr 2002, 17:15
Slasher - was "cold beer" supposed to be a positive or negative contribution from Aus? Can't think of anything positive to say about Aussie beer so ...

And Wino, much as I have enjoyed my several visits to the States, it is always a pleasure to return to England. Though I would happily live in many places in the world, especially Canada or New Zealand, I would always return to "mother England" after a couple of years. We really do love the place, yes even the weather.

In the words of the song by the Sundays "England my country, the home of the free, such miserable weather, but England's as happy as England could be ...".

29th Apr 2002, 17:50
Thank you Denmark, thank you Vikings.

Never underestimate the value of a diverse gene pool.

I. M. Esperto
29th Apr 2002, 17:57
The British had the good sense to build, maintain, and use properly the Royal Navy.

With domination of the seas, the Anglo/Saxon/Celt minds could work relatively unhindered to produce the inventions and quality of life mentioned.

It's basically racial traits, IMO, that makes a nation great or weak.
A combination of intelligence, work ethic, nationalism, and relatively good government made it happen.

Unfortunately, these things are looked down upon today.

29th Apr 2002, 18:05
Actually I am gonna go with this theory (prepare the fireworks)

Since England had conquered/colonized most of the world for hundreds of years, they were able to CLAIM they invented all the stuff, but its really stolen :D :D

WinoDucks into foxhole, pulls helmet down tight, places fingers in ears


29th Apr 2002, 18:11

You are going to have to do better than that:o Can you give an example?

tony draper
29th Apr 2002, 18:16
Quite willing to concede we didn't invent the airyplane, that honour belongs to one Richard Pierce a Native of New Zealand,
31st march 1902, first powered flight. ;)

I. M. Esperto
29th Apr 2002, 18:49
I think you will all have to admit that all of this would be for ought, had it not been for that great Irish invention, WHISKEY!:D

29th Apr 2002, 18:59
Yeh but Wino how do you know England invented all the stuff? Maybe England stole some real neat stuff invented by locals in the colonys. I mean look at what bloodey Frank Drake went and done! :p

29th Apr 2002, 19:02
A name to conjure with:

Isembard Kingdom Brunel

OK, he was half French, but its still a great name.

29th Apr 2002, 19:02
slash, I think thats what he is saying as well.

I. M. Esperto
29th Apr 2002, 19:20
Many of the inventions listed can be attributed to Scotts, and remember, Scotland itself was an Irish invention.:p

29th Apr 2002, 19:38
Erm.....yeh ok Nostra. Its 2.40 in the am here and Im onto my 7th scotch, so um..... ;)

29th Apr 2002, 19:47
is that better slash?

Blue Boy
29th Apr 2002, 19:52
I.M. Esperto -

Since when did Scotland become 'invented' by the Irish?

tony draper
29th Apr 2002, 20:03
Think they would have though of trousers. :rolleyes:

29th Apr 2002, 20:09
Yeh actualy it is better Nostra since you pointed out my fatigue and alcohol-induced lack of reading comprehension.....[hic!] :D

Tartan Gannet
29th Apr 2002, 20:10
Blue Boy, as a Scot of Ulster descent , that's NOT such a daft idea.

The original Scots were an Irish tribe who landed and invested what is now Scotland and founded what was called Dalriada. Hence Irish -Scots

Now the twist in the tale was that James I of England and VI of Scotland sent Scottish Protestant settlers to Ulster, the Northern Province of Ireland in 1607 in the Plantation of Ulster. Hence the strongly Calvinist Protestant influence in Ulster and I wont bore you with the history, its too subjective. Hence Scots -Irish.

So in a sense the Irish went a long way towards founding Scotland and the Scots hundreds of years later founded Ulster, Geographically at least part of the Island of Ireland.

Send Clowns
29th Apr 2002, 20:40
But Draper if we just go for powered flight, before manned, controlled flight, that was English. Don't remember the date or the name, but it was a little steam-powered thing made with fine, elongated copper boilers in 1840s or so. Saw a Discovery or History channel thing about some Rolls Royce (aero-engines, not motors) apprentices recreating it recently. They failed to get it working properly in the time, even with their resources and knowledge, so shows he was a decent engineer, 'cos he did. Lovely looking little toy though.

DC Meatloaf
29th Apr 2002, 20:43
I think we can claim http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='6,368,227'.WKU.&OS=PN/6,368,227&RS=PN/6,368,227 as a distinctly American innovation. After all, we've apparently patented it.

My favorite bit from the patent description:
Lastly, it should be noted that because pulling alternately on one chain and then the other resembles in some measure the movements one would use to swing from vines in a dense jungle forest, the swinging method of the present invention may be referred to by the present inventor and his sister as "Tarzan" swinging. The user may even choose to produce a Tarzan-type yell while swinging in the manner described, which more accurately replicates swinging on vines in a dense jungle forest. Actual jungle forestry is not required.

29th Apr 2002, 20:59

29th Apr 2002, 21:02
Think Thomas crapper was a german, however we can add the PRINTING PRESS.

Further research sais he was a yorkshireman born in 1836

Send Clowns
29th Apr 2002, 21:04
Unfortunately Lobotumi no-one else seems to use proper Thomas Crapper lavatories. European ones leak, as they don't have the siphon system to flush which gives a perfect seal when not in use. There was an alleged Euro-plot a few years back to standardise bogs, using the mainland model as this was cheaper and more widespread. Outcry in the UK due to water wastage that would involve. Still not sure whether it was true or not, but that never worried the tabloids :D

Don't be absurd, Nostradamus. If nothing else, only we use them!

29th Apr 2002, 21:23
Thomas Crapper was from Doncaster (where?). However there is some argument as to whether he really invented the syphonic flush.

However, much more interesting is this:

The Thomas Crapper Memorial Plumbing poll (http://www.theplumber.com/poll.html)

I'm not sh*tting you :D try Crappers Poll :rolleyes:

Nostradamus: apparently the German 'krape' means a vile and inedible fish. Not many people know that. :p

I. M. Esperto
29th Apr 2002, 21:46
The steam powered "aeroplane" was an early attempt at flight.

The designer/builder, Langley, was an American.


Send Clowns
29th Apr 2002, 23:17
Entirely different project from the one I mentioned. This one was around the time this Langley character was still in school. It is an obvious method to try so was attempted a few times, and I'm sure in the end someone would have made a manned, steam-powered flying machine, had a more practical powerplant with a higher power-to-weight ratio not been developed.

30th Apr 2002, 03:27
More on Thomas Crapper and his famous inventions!


30th Apr 2002, 04:16
Wino says:-
I finally understood the British summer Holiday mania. People save their whole lives so they can be warm for a fortnight before they die When I left England, hell was starting to look good to me, atleast there I would be warm.

The British weather does tend to sort the men from the boys.
Surprised nobody has mentioned the tank or the SAS yet.

30th Apr 2002, 06:05
Actually Nostro old chap and the rest of you, you're all wrong. The Chinese invented absolutely everything. They left it to the rest of us poor barbarian hordes to perfect it.

China would have been number one nation eons ago if it wasn't all so bl**dy Boring. Such marvellous bullsh*tters, the Chinese - even the Aussies could learn a thing or two up in Beijing, what?

Through difficulties to the cinema

30th Apr 2002, 07:56
I remember some years ago my history lecturer lending me a copy of a book called "The Soviet Version of History" which claimed to be a translation of a standard history text book using in schools in the old USSR.

This book claimed quite categorically that most of the major scientific advances of the late 19th/early 20th century were all made by Russians. And, it seems needless to add, they were good communists to a man (no women).

So you're all wrong.:p :p :p :p :p

edited for early morning spelling by Caslance

30th Apr 2002, 10:19

I will concede paper money, and gunpowder (fireworks)
but thats all from the chinese, unless of course you want to chuck in the take-away!!

What does suprise me though, is the lack of things invented by welshmen, obviously being part of GB they get a free ride, but the scot's are ahead in general.

:D :D :D :D :D

30th Apr 2002, 10:45
... and here was me thinking that the poms were a bunch of dirt grubbing farmers sleeping with their livestock, until Willie the Frog came along in 1066 and gave 'em some real leadership! :D

30th Apr 2002, 12:09
A few years ago I remember some student from a Singapore University proudly announcing their "discovery" of making a road covering, like tarmac, using recycled car and lorry tyres mixed with tarmac. The mixture produced a layer at the top that allowed water to sink below the top surface and drain away.

At about the time these student were announcing their discovery, claimed as a 'first' all the taxyways, most of the runways and most of the major roads in and around Amsterdam were already covered with just such a 'discovery' made years earlier in the Netherlands! :rolleyes:

I. M. Esperto
30th Apr 2002, 12:37
Some Congressional idiots decided that we Americans use too mush water flushing our toilets, so they passed a law which restricted the size of the tank to a very low level. This was a Federal Law, and all states had to comply with it. A deadline was set.

Hydraulics engineers and plumbing manufacturers got their heads together and came up with a design that met the spec's, but unfortunately it did not work. A high percentage of flushes ended up in back-ups. One very large housing project that installed them actually had to be torn down because of the faulty toilets backing up.

Today, they seem to be functioning quite well. Somebody finally got the design right, but in the meantime, there is a black market for Canadian toilets. Truckloads of these illegal toilets sneak across the border as if they were carrying Heroin, or something. :mad:

30th Apr 2002, 12:44
Checkboard has a point, thanks to the rich melting pot of Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Normans and god knows who else - us Brits were raised from our humble "farmers who sleep with their animals" roots to a more civilized community.

Now if only some ****** would invade Australia the locals might benefit from a similar cultural improvement.:p

30th Apr 2002, 12:47
:D :D :D :D :D :

tony draper
30th Apr 2002, 13:05
A russian does actualy have a good claim to have invented Television, can't recall his name though.
A old idea is that when its steam engine time in history, lots of people come up with similar ideas at the same time,or anything else that has just become technicly possible, tends to be the one with the best PR that gets the credit.
Nevertheless ,it is almost supernatural the amount of stuff that has come out of this small island of ours.

30th Apr 2002, 13:08
Here, Genghis; if you're going to use recycled tyres for roads and runways, why not make wheels out of concrete........no more tyre changes!!!!!

30th Apr 2002, 13:18
Talking about the Dutch, I read somewhere, that their may have been a colony of Dutchmen in Australia, long before Cook etc...

30th Apr 2002, 14:19
Right on Nostradamus, but unusually for the Dutch, they did the right thing and died.

Unlike the current colonists... :D

P.S. I believe it was the beer that did for them, poor b*stards :(

Through difficulties to the cinema

30th Apr 2002, 15:16

The british being very pragmatic, just nipped abroad and grabbed a king when it suited us prior to 1066, then willie the frog just saved us the journey that particular year.

Lots of people have tried to invade us since, notably PHILIP OF SPAIN, NAPOLEON, and HERR SCHICHELGRUBER oh dear!!!!

30th Apr 2002, 18:33

The Welsh have their part to play, they are our poets and actors!

Send Clowns
30th Apr 2002, 18:48
Even "Willie the Frog" was not French - he was a Norman = Norseman = Scandinavian. They'd only been in France 80 years when they crossed, so hadn't got into Gallic isolationism.

The French are so fond of blocking the rest of the word out that they don't get to invent much. Did you know that more Nobel Prizes have been awarded to members of Trinity College Cambridge than to Frenchmen?

30th Apr 2002, 19:12

LE FRENCH,mmmmmmmmm well now I suppose they can be credited with the Guillotine, and the Curies did have a go at Radiation, but in general not a lot else, unless of course you include socialism and communism(neither of which work).
Tomorrow of course is the big day, the riot police, CRS haven't had a decent batton charge for ages!! Tomorrow being a traditional day for the right wing, and the left wing protesters,out in force,mark my words it will be a BIT OF A DO.

Interesting and GOOD to see them out in force over Fascism, something they failed to do in 1940 of course.

I. M. Esperto
30th Apr 2002, 21:42
Please - The French are quite inventive, and original.

For instance:



30th Apr 2002, 21:54
No doubt all the world have much for which to thank the British. Mecanno sets come to mind. Yet it seems whenever in a self-congratulatory mood our Brit friends seem to feel the need to lampoon their Australian betters....possibly because of (it's an English thing really) a well deserved inferiority complex.

Our Oz inventions may be relatively few, yet the benefit to humanity they provide dwarfs that in the myriad lists of Brit techno-gizmo late-night tv kitchen clutter mentioned in other posts above.

For example, us Australians, alone and unassisted invented:
The Fair Go.
Changing Underwear Each 24 Hours.
Bathing/Showering at least Once A Day.
Intermarriage Of Protestants And Catholics.
Disrespect for Authority.
The Beach.
Hot Christmasses.

Beat that!!

Lima Tambo
30th Apr 2002, 22:01

I have just compared myself to the 'Australian Nude PinUp' and you are right ...

my equipment is inferior.


30th Apr 2002, 22:01
Great link Mr. Expert!

Europe, sans Perfidious Albion, sends her thanks to the US of A for such able representation! ;) ;)

I. M. Esperto
30th Apr 2002, 22:03
The RA changes underwear daily. They line up for drill, and the Drill Master barks out "Reginald, you change with Jeremy;
Jeremy, you change with David; David, you change with .............


Lima Tambo
30th Apr 2002, 22:07
We all know the FRENCH invented EVERYTHING. I hope nobody posts a 'What should we thank the French for' link or Danny's bandwidth will collapse.:o

Send Clowns
30th Apr 2002, 22:27

But Marie was a Pole and I have already included Pierre Curie, as one of the few French Nobel Laureates, before he was run over.

Not only does socialism not work, neither does the Guillotine : I don't mean that it fails to silence the politically-incorrect client, but that it was invented to give painless execution. Since it has been adequately proved that the victim so beheaded remains alive long enough to answer questions by arranged signals involving facial expression, I imagine it is not entirely painless.

Any other inspired French inventions? The CAP perhaps (a way for German taxpayers to subsidise French farmers. I'm not kidding, that's how it started). Was the French Letter actually French? The French fry isn't, so they can't claim that.

1st May 2002, 02:18
The Guillotine was in use in Scotland several hundred years before France, not sure if they invented it or not, but it wasn't the French!

1st May 2002, 06:55
Never mind the guillotine, as an Avionics specialist I'm more fascinated by the thought of a carbon arc smoothing iron. That sounds like a more humane way of executing people than either the guillotine or the electric chair.

"OK Crippen, the clemency appeal failed. Now its time to iron your shirt."

Through difficulties to the cinema

1st May 2002, 08:54

I bet your french get the biggest score in absolute chaos today!
Thousand's of wierdo anachist's have been plotting to bring paris to a standstill for weeks. I notice that Mayfair and parklane in good ole london has been boarded up as well.

I think Australia opened up today's score with a couple of dozen injured in Brisbane.

The first Movement in london has been your "LOONY" GREEN cyclists in Camberwell.

Berlin has reported in with some damage but nothing big yet.

So where are our correspondents?


1st May 2002, 09:05
In Ha Noi today everything was of course peaceful and warm and friendly. The freshly-battered and beaten-up democracy-supporters of course wont get a mention because there is no such thing here in the Workers Paradise as violence to a fellow worker.

1st May 2002, 10:12

PARIS: Frenchman seen taking a shower.......RUETERS

1st May 2002, 10:33
Nothing to get excited about Nostra - it was probably just that time of the month.

Through difficulties to the cinema

1st May 2002, 10:37
Mayday mayhem continues:

NEW YORK: Man spotted buying a world atlas.......chuck spamsky

New York times.

Tricky Woo
1st May 2002, 10:42
More Brit authors, poets, etc, to add to the pile:

Chaucer; Sir Thomas Mallory; William Shakespeare; Francis Bacon; The Bronte sisters; Jane Austen; Charles Dickens; William Blake; Lewis Carroll; Samuel Coleridge; Daniel Defoe; George Elliot; Thomas Hardy; Alexander Pope; Mary Shelley; Jonathan Swift; Tennyson; Anthony Trollope; H.G.Wells; Oscar Wilde; William Wordsworth; William Thackeray

More modern times...

D.H.Lawrence; Somerset Maugham; Rudyard Kipling; Aldous Huxley; E.M.Forster; Rupert Brooke; Virginia Woolf; P.G.Wodehouse; Evelyn Waugh (who she?); Robert Graves; William Golding; Anthony Burgess; Kingsley Amis; Martin Amis; Iain Banks; John le Carre; J.B.Priestley; Douglas Adams; J.G.Ballard; A.S.Byatt; Sebastian Foulks; John Fowles; Nicholas Mosley

The only real fly in the ointment, is that the greatest writer of English literature was born a Pole, educated in French, and didn't learn to speak English until he was in his late teens. Any of you JB philostines know who I'm referring to?


1st May 2002, 10:49

Joseph conrad?

1st May 2002, 11:09

so which march will you be attending today?

Not very clever this one?:o :o :o :o :o :o

Send Clowns
1st May 2002, 11:14
Who would believe the writer of The Heart of Darkness was not a native English speaker? Maybe now they have a free, sovereign nation the Poles will show the world what they are really capable of.

1st May 2002, 11:21
Cammy do you and ang share the same braincell?::o

FLAPS where are you when I NEED you?

1st May 2002, 12:35
PPRuNe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D :D :) :) :p :p

1st May 2002, 12:43
Send clowns

Talking of poland, I suppose their biggest person in history to date must be CHOPIN.
The british have been a little slow in the composing world.

Send Clowns
1st May 2002, 12:47
Agreed Nostradamus, great composers are lacking in Britain. Great compositions, yes - Elgar's Cello Concerto, Holst's Planets for example, but no consistently great composer like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mahler or Chopin.

I recently mentioned Marie Curie as a great Pole. She was, in fact, the first holder of two Nobel Prizes. Not bad for a woman at that time!

I. M. Esperto
1st May 2002, 12:47
Rudyard Kipling was indeed a giant among writers, IMO. My favorite among British authors.

Irish writers also have a great tradition - 4 nobel Prizes in literature.

Not bad for a nation of 3 million.


Tuba Mirum
1st May 2002, 12:47
Brass bands. (Though we have a Belgian to thank for many of the instruments.)

1st May 2002, 12:58
Greatest piece of classical music ever written?

For me it is Beethoven's 9th

Modern times:Elgars 1st , Shostakovich's 10th , sibelius 5th

1st May 2002, 13:04
SC, it is clear that you are not familiar with much of the work of either Elgar or Holst, nor Bax, Bliss, Benjamin Britten, Byrd, Coates, Finzi, Gardner, John Ireland, William Mathias, Stanford, Tallis, Taverner, Tippett, Sir William Walton, to name just a few.

And btw, although Conrad was Polish by descent, he was a native of the Ukraine.

And have to disagree with Nostradamus as well over the greatest piece of music ever written (but it's just a matter of opinion ;)):-

Bach B minor Mass
Mozart Requiem

Send Clowns
1st May 2002, 13:04
Agree with the Ninth (as would Alex, to mention the most famous/infamous character from another great British writer!).

1st May 2002, 13:13
Sorry folks, for me it's got to be Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams.

1st May 2002, 13:18
Shoot - I missed Vaughan Williams out of my list! Thanks X-Q. And good choice as well! (However, I prefer Dives & Lazarus)

Send Clowns
1st May 2002, 13:38

Yes they were all good composers, and some of them wrote great pieces of music (I said this in my original post). But they did not write prolifically and consistently great pieces that will always be the really important works, as did Beethoven, Bach and Tchaikovsky. Have to disagree with you about Mozart as well - the Requiem is not a bad example of his work, but he never struck me as inspiring or emotive in the way Beethoven is. He's too fluffy and sometimes plinky. Compare any of Mozart's piano music with Beethoven's Piano Concerto Number 5 for example.

1st May 2002, 13:48
Nahhh - can't accept that. Tchaikovsky wrote some real howlers.

If you want a "Top Ten" then Beethoven has to rank very high indeed (if not #1). Mozart not far behind. Most musicologists will pour huge amounts of scorn upon you for your dismissal of him. Any half-way decent performance of the Requiem, say, or the "Magic Flute" will always send shivers up the spine of anyone with any musical appreciation whatsoever!

Incidentally, a wonderful story about Sir Thomas Beecham:-
One evening he arrived in the orchestra pit at the Royal Opera House, slapped a score down on the desk, turned to bow to the audience, and turned back to the orchestra. The leader of the orchestra got up and whispered in Beecham's ear that his score was for "The Magic Flute", when the performance that night was actually of "The Marriage of Figaro". Beecham said "My dear fellow, you amaze me!", slammed the score shut again and conducted the whole of the opera from memory!

However, the original point was that Britain lacks good composers. It patently does not. How you can claim that Benjamin Britten did not consistently turn out great music is beyond me. As I say, it is clear you are not familiar with his work.

1st May 2002, 13:55
Has anyone mentioned Delius yet?:)

Or was he not British?:confused:

1st May 2002, 13:58
GOOD one Caslance, He lived in Bradford, But died in France!!

What do you think Killed him?

1st May 2002, 14:04
Errr.....wasn't it syphilis?

1st May 2002, 14:21
Yes casalance, but for the car, the holiday , and the cash can you tell me who invented syphilis?

I. M. Esperto
1st May 2002, 14:32
Here's my favorite:

Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed
(Kinky Friedman)

You uppity women I don't understand
Why you gotta go and try to act like a man
But before you make your weekly visit to the shrink
You'd better occupy the kitchen, liberate the sink

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed
That's what I to my baby said
Women's liberation is a-going to your head
Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed

Early every morning you're out on the street
Passing out pamphlets to everyone you meet
You gave up your Maiden Form for Lent
Now the front of your dress has an air scoop vent

Every single great man that's ever come along
Had a little woman always tellin' him he's wrong
Eve said to Adam, ñHere's an apple, you hoss
And Delilah defoliated Samson's moss

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed
That's what I to my baby said
Women's liberation is a-going to your head
Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed

Mean-minded harpies are breaking all the laws
Tearing up their girdles and a-burning up their bras
Now the air is dirty and the sex is clean
And your coffee makes my hair turn green

So damn emancipated in your mind and your body
Gonna have to cancel all your lessons in karate
If you can't love a male chauvinist
You'd better cross me off your shopping list

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed
That's what I to my baby said
Women's liberation is a-going to your head
Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed


1st May 2002, 14:37

While your here, can you think of any Spanish invention's?

1st May 2002, 15:00
Ok, Nostradamus, I'll try....

Was it the 16th century poet Fracastro in a poem about a shepherd called "Syphilius" or similar?

Shepherd, eh?.....oo-err missus!:D

I. M. Esperto
1st May 2002, 15:00
Nost - Actually, I am not Spanish. As far as Spanish inventors, I shall look into it.

Meanwhile, back to music. The ballet, THE RITE OF SPRING was so awful, it provoked riots.


1st May 2002, 15:07

Goat herder but near enough!!!!

the key's to your Bentley are in the post, where would you like your holiday?

I. M. Esperto
1st May 2002, 15:10
Spanish invention:

A washing machine for pets, from Spain. Sounds to me like a lawyers dream come true.

Then of course, there are the Tapas. Viva!


1st May 2002, 15:17
Ooooh, thank you Bruce!!!

Let me see....how about South Island, New Zealand? Newport Sound has always appealed to me, and a nice stopover in Bali wouldn't cause any pain whatever.

They had proper educations when I were a lad!:D

1st May 2002, 15:59
The Spanish Inquisition

I. M. Esperto
1st May 2002, 16:07
Caslance - Syphilus means to make love.

According to the poet, anyway.

1st May 2002, 16:10
Main Entry: syph·i·lis
Pronunciation: 'si-f(&-)l&s
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Syphilus, hero of the poem Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus (Syphilis or the French disease) (1530) by Girolamo Fracastoro died 1553 Italian poet, physician, and astronomer
Date: 1718

1st May 2002, 16:26
Sound's nasty what are the symptoms?

Speaking fluent french and wearing a beret?

1st May 2002, 16:39
Well, what (some of) the Brits call a French Letter, they call a "Capôte Anglaise" - no relation to a Dutch Cap (but similar intention)! :D

1st May 2002, 20:38

I have been asked by E mail to point out, that the greatest engineering projects ever achieved by man are Concorde, and the Chunnel, both Anglo French.

were they both a 50/50 split ?

Quite where this leaves the Pyramids and the Great wall of China,
Heaven knows!!

2nd May 2002, 08:49
50 years today since the worlds first JET airliner BRITISH!!!!

Tricky Woo
2nd May 2002, 10:15
Nostradamus, Send Clowns,

Yep, Joseph Conrad (or Josef Conradski) gets my vote as the greatest ever writer of the English language.

To paraphrase Send Clowns: who can believe that the writer of Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, etc is a Pole. Huggy is right, by the way, he was Ukrainian by nationality, but brought up in a very Polish environment due to ultra-nationalistic mum and dad.

Probably why he legged it to France and then the sea.

I suppose the lesson to be learnt here is that while we Brits have an amazing literary heritage, unsurpassed by any other nation, although those pesky Russkies give us a good run for our money, we don't have a monopoly of great literature.

Not even in our own sodding language.

I guess that in modern times, our Cousins from across the Atlantic also have a vibrant literary scene. Paul Auster and John Irving spring readily to mind. There are plenty of others, but I don't want to make the Yanks blush with pride.



You're correct is saying that we've had our fair share of excellent composers, but I honestly believe that we've yet to have a truly great composer, of the stature of Beethoven or Amadeus Mozart. The closest we've come was Handel, and he was an import!

Still, such greatness is like a random strike of a meteor: it's hard for a country to claim such genius... which leads me back to why we Brits shouldn't bang too many drums over Shakespeare. Such people are so very, very great, and have had such a huge influence on human culture, that we should be thankful that they existed at all. They actually belong to the whole damn planet!

Hmm, that reads a bit pompously, but you know what I mean.


p.s. Isaac Newton, Alan Turing.

2nd May 2002, 10:30
Dr Hunter S Thompson

2nd May 2002, 10:35
The best literature in the world is French. Everybody know this.

2nd May 2002, 13:21

I think HUGGY may argue that Elgar qualifies as our greatest composer?

LOBOTUMI Hunter s who?

HUGEMINGIS give us an example?

ps David livingstone, the dictionary, fletcher christianson.

2nd May 2002, 14:04
What has happened to my friend Huge?

I. M. Esperto
2nd May 2002, 14:05
Nostradamus - Bravo for the Comet and it's anniversary! A giant step in our industry.

While searching data for this I came across this in item #18:

"Canada also produced the worlds first jet airliner, but it never went into production. The worlds first commercial movie was also produced in Canada."

Can anyone enlighten me on this?


PPRuNe Radar
2nd May 2002, 14:17
[account removed] Admins see it anyway:

What has happened to my friend Huge?

HogMunster ... why not ask him, you're both good and close friends ain't ya ??

2nd May 2002, 14:56
Conrad is overrated. For my "O" levels all those decades ago, one of the works we had to study for Literature was his "{Heavily pigmented gentleman from Africa} of the Narcissus. If you ever had that book inflicted on you, you might agree that an American piano called Steinbeck is much better at writing allegorical novels in English. And they are readable too!

Through difficulties to the cinema

2nd May 2002, 15:38
you can read [account removed] threads anyway, well about 5 lines of them, if you know how to.;)

Who has control?
2nd May 2002, 15:39
Lets face it, we must be the best country in the world, because all the others learn our language.

Send Clowns
2nd May 2002, 16:37

I would say that the Americans can hold their own in modern (19th century on) literature - Edgar Alan Poe, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Heller, Harper Lee to add a few names (was Aldous Huxley American? "After Many a Summer" was set in California, but I'm not sure). I would still agree that the Russians are the greatest threat to British claims of literary pre-eminence.

2nd May 2002, 16:39

I have looked everywhere to find the canadian Airliner, or the commercial movie?

Guess we will have to wait for SC HUGGY OR TONY DRAPER!!

Send Clowns
2nd May 2002, 16:42
Sorry - can't help much :( The Jet Airliner was I think a de Havilland, developed from a military type but never going into production. Saw it on one of the documentary channels while I was on my recent enforced semi-idleness.

2nd May 2002, 18:42
SC, do you mean the Avro Jetliner?

You'll find a picture Here (http://collections.ic.gc.ca/highlights/preview/jetliner.htm)

Didn't think it was developed from a military type, though.

2nd May 2002, 22:58
Tartan Gannet - The pneumatic tyre was invented in Belfast by John Boyd Dunlop. One of the reasons why it's G,B. & N.I.!

Send Clowns
2nd May 2002, 23:02
Don't think it was that one Caslance, I seem to recall a twin, but it was some time back and I may be mitaken. There are always so many claims for firsts in aviation, it is hard to keep track of them!

3rd May 2002, 00:28
Who has control?

"Let's face it we must be the best country in the world, because all the others learn our language."

It must make you swell, fit to bust, when you think of the man who made it possible for "all the others" to learn "our" language. Doubtless, they, like everybody else, gain their knowlege of English from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Thank God for Sir James Augustus Henry Murray the first editor of "A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles" - now, of course, known as the Oxford English Dictionary.

Sir James was a Scotsman.

3rd May 2002, 00:30
Oops - didn't check my Oxford on the last one.

Bally Heck
3rd May 2002, 01:15
To go back to the guillotine....http://www.woodberry.org/acad/hist/FRWEB/TRIAL/details/hisofguil.htm

And of course the good Mr Dunlop was a Scotsman. :rolleyes:

3rd May 2002, 01:33
The Avro Jetliner (C-102) which flew in August 1949; this was the first jet airliner in North America.
Despite the Jetliner's innovative design, and interest from foreign buyers, it never went into production; government Cold War priorities pushed instead for high CF-100 production.

Typical, unfortunately.

More here:


3rd May 2002, 09:33

Back to the thread of GB, The British Foriegn Secratary sets of for Gibraltar today to DISCUSS ownership of the Rock yet again.

This is one of the few remaining parts of the EMPIRE, I say we should keep it.

A lot of blood spilt in the Faulkland's , Should we fight for it to stay British? send over the Navy to stop a spanish invation?

I dont think we stole it , we won it in a fair fight?