Re: spam and debian-curiosa [ot]
> > > The Europeans and Americans drive on the right side of the road.
> > >
> > > We British drive on the *correct* side of the road.
> > >
> > > After all, here people to our right have right of way.
> > >
> > Yes we all know the British have the tendency to do everything
> > different. While the entire world uses standards british ppl use their
> > own standards (*g* where did I hear that before) like driving on the
> > other side, distances, weight.....
> Stolen from http://www.amphicars.com/acleft.htm
> Why do the English (and sometimes even the Scottish and the Welsh!) drive
> the left but in many other countries, including most of Europe, they drive
> on the right ?
> In days of old logic dictated that when people passed each other on the
> they should be in the best possible position to use their sword to protect
> themselves. As most people are right handed they therefore keep to their
> left. This practice was formalised in a Papal Edict by Pope Benefice
> 1300AD who told all his pilgrims to keep to the left.
> Nothing much changed until 1773 when an increase in horse traffic forced
> UK Government to introduce the General Highways Act of 1773 which
> a keep left recommendation. This became a law as part of the Highways Bill
> in 1835.
> Reasons to travel on the right are less clear but the generally accepted
> version of history is as follows: The French, being Catholics, followed
> Boneface's edict but in the build up to the French Revolution in 1790 the
> French Aristocracy drove their carriages at great speed on the left hand
> side of the road, forcing the peasantry over to the right side for their
> safety. Come the Revolution, instincts of self preservation resulted in
> remains of the Aristocracy joining the peasants on the right hand side of
> the road. The first official record of this was a keep right rule
> in Paris in 1794
> OK, that explains the UK and France but what about the rest of the world ?
> Britain's imperial expansion (all of the pink bits on old maps) spread the
> keep left rule far and wide. This included India, Australasia and much of
> Africa (Although many African countries changed to the right later when
> became independent).
> France also had quite an empire after the revolutionary wars and the keep
> right rule spread through much of modern day Europe and to colonies such
> Egypt. The connection with the USA is thought to be General Lafayette who
> recommended a keep right rule as part of the help that he gave the
> in the build up to the war of Independence. The first reference to keep
> right in USA law is in a rule covering the Lancaster to Philadelphia
> turnpike in 1792.
> But what about Japan ? well in the 1850's Gunboat diplomacy forced the
> Japanese to open their ports to the British and Sir Rutherford Alcock, who
> was Queen Victoria's man in the Japanese court persuaded them to adopt the
> keep left rule.
> Reagan Blundell