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Despite living many happy years in Texas I am also very proud of being British. In many ways the US of A is very much like Europe with Texas being like the UK. As British we much prefer being British as opposed to being European. I believe Texans have their own identity and although they are Americans they are Texan first and their culture and personality is a million miles away from, lets say a New Yorker's.
Through all my worldly travels and experiences I was wondering if the UK might be a little bit better than Texas. I'm sure one or two of you may not agree so I've composed a list of 99 good British things to assist in the debate;
1. The English Language
2. The British Empire
(Ok, so it brought some bad things (and good), but expanding from a little tiny island to covering over ¼ of the world’s landmass is pretty good.)
3. World Wide Web (1989)
(A British person invented it then decided to build three WWW Headquarters in North America, Asia, and Europe so we can all comminute and tell the whole world 101 reasons to proud of being British)
4. Worlds Oldest Democracy
(Don’t know if its true, but I’ve read and heard that many times)
(We invented it)
(We invented that too)
(The home of Golf is in Scotland, and although the Americans seem to love that sport, we invented it for them)
(We are so good, that we even exported our lowest form of dead beats, murderers, rapists, and bread stealers and made a country out of them.)
9. Celebration of Independence
(We once owned so many countries that nearly every day some country celebrates independence from us)
(Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd the list goes on)
11. Burger King
(I actually like Burger King more than McDonalds since it’s British owned)
12. Industrial Revolution
(I don’t have to explain how important this was to the modern world, but we started it)
Really important Inventions and Discoveries
14. Formulated Nuclear Model of the Atom
15. The Modern Atomic Theory
17. Bar Codes (Industrial Use)
18. First modern model of the Bicycle
19. Circulation of Blood
22. Dye (started synthetic Dye Industry)
23. First electric cooking utensil
24. Electric Generator (lab model)
25. Arc Lamp
28. Theory of Evolution by natural selection
29. Fiber Optics
30. The Laws of Gravitation
31. Halley’s Comet
32. Helium first observed on the sun
36. Jet Propulsion (engine)
37. Lawn Mower
38. Nature of Light (Electromagnetic Theory)
39. Locomotive (steam powered) (first practical, due to multiple-fire-tube boiler)
40. Power driven Loom
41. The Earth is Magnet
43. Laws of Motion
44. Electric Motor
45. Motor Tricycle
47. Photography (discovery of fixative powers of hyposulfite of soda)
48. Piano (pianoforte with sustaining and damper pedals)
49. Plastics (first material, nitrocellulose softened by vegetable oil, camphor, precursor to Celluloid)
50. Proton (Ernest Rutherford, 1919)
51. Pulsars (Anthony Hewish and Jocelyn Bell Burnel, 1967
52. Radio (vacuum electron tube, basis for radio telephony) Sir John Fleming, 1904)
53. Breech Loaded Rifle
54. Royal Observatory (established in 1675 by Charles II)
55. Screw Propeller (Sir Francis P. Smith, 1836)
56. First accurate Seismograph (John Milne, 1880)
57. Spectrum (heterogeneity of light) Sir Isaac Newton, 1665–1666
58. Spinning Wheel (Saxony wheel, continuous spinning of wool or cotton yarn)
59. Spinning Jenny (James Hargreaves, 1764)
60. Spinning frame (Sir Richard Arkwright, 1769)
61. Steam Engine (first commercial Thomas Savery, 1639)
62. Atmospheric Steam Engine (Thomas Newcomen, 1705)
63. Symbolic Logic (Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, 1910–1913)
64. Military Tank (Sir Ernest Swinton, 1914)
65. Reflecting Telescope (Isaac Newton, 1668)
66. Television (mechanical disk-scanning method) 1926
67. Tire (Pneumatic) Robert W. Thompson,1845
68. Bicycle Tire John B. Dunlop, 1888.
69. Uranus (first planet discovered in recorded history by William Herschel, 1781)
70. Vaccination (Edward Jenner, England, 1796)
71. Vacuum Cleaner (manually operated) Ives W. McGaffey, 1869;
72. Vacuum Cleaner (Electric) Hubert C. Booth, 1901
73. English Breakfast
(Eggs, Bacon, sausages, beans, chips, mushrooms, black pudding, all fried. Toast) Excellent!
(Best in the world! Ever! But that goes for most of our armed forces)
75. British Police
(We invented modern policing and can still do it with out guns)
76. Page Three
(How many daily newspapers around the world can you open that has a half naked woman at page 3?)
(We’ve got good humour)
(Milk, two sugars, water and a tea bag) (Coffee is for girls)
79. Sir Isaac Newton
80. Asylum Seekers
(We either give them a house, food, and clothes or give them £2,500 to go back and come again)
81. The Weakest Link, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Pop Idol,
(They’re British and International hits and we spread them like the horrible disease that they are. Ha Ha)
82. Dance music
(A lot of people apparently think that’s the best thing we’ve ever created)
83. Sky Sports News
(Any channel that’s sole purpose is showing soccerl news 24 hours a day must be good)
84. The freedom to right a cheque in any form
(Americans spell it as check even though they can’t differentiate between the other word meaning “Check” as in “Okay/Right/understood”) But anyway, you can write a cheque in this country on toilet paper and it is considered a perfect legal document.
85. Cut your Bill Rates
(Its true, in England you can cut your bill rates by demolishing your house. If you can only afford half of your council tax, then just demolish half of your house.)
86. Pay in Stamps
(You can pay for a taxi using stamps in England, and you can also sue him if he refuses).
87. Criminal Sentences
(What ever Criminal sentence you receive in England, chances are they will be cut by half).
History of executing Kings and Queens (badly)
88. Mary Queen of Scots execution was a good example. She was taken from her cell into the Great Hall of Fotheringaym Castle and prepared for her decapitation. Infront of a crowd of around a hundred people, the 44-year-old Queen knelt with her head on a block ready for the axeman’s blade. Wallop. There then followed a groan from the victim followed by the words “Sweat Jesus” Apparently the executioner had missed his target, only grazing the side of Mary’s skull. Trying again to server Mary’s head, he failed again and admitted defeat by finishing the job with a shaw!
89. Edward II
Edward the II was a homosexual, and when he abdicated as King, he was murdered by having a red-hot poker thrust repeatedly up his anus.
90. Charles II
When he suffered what is now thought of as a stroke in 1685, Charlies team of physicians were summoned to cure him. First they extracted a quarter of his blood and then drained him using powerful emetics and enemas. Then they shaved his scalp, singed it with hot irons, filled his nose with sneezing powder, covered him in hot plasters then ripped them off. All that failed too, so did rubbing his feet with a mixture of resin and pigeon droppings. Charles finally died after they trepanned his head.
Over the past 50 years according to Japanese research, more than 40% of discoveries taken up on a worldwide basis originated in the United Kingdom.
92. Dog Bell
(When your dog wants to come in, he scratches the door, if you have a dog bell connected to it, you’ll hear the bell ring).
93. Self Sprinkling Armchair
(A North Yorkshire upholstery company had the perfect solution for those people who fall asleep in front of the TV with a lighted cigarette - an armchair that puts out fires.
The armchair was to be fitted with heat sensors and a pair of multi-head sprinkler nozzles. As soon as the heat detectors sensed a fire they activated the sprinkler system, which immediately blanketed the chair in foam).
94. Grand Theft Auto
(The British thought of this game, originally designed for the Commodore Amiga. It is the best).
95. Winston Churchill, being a drunk, educated and escape from a Prisoner of War camp is pretty good.
96. The English channel
(That little channel make us 1,000 miles away from Mainland Europe, which is a good thing).
97. Crop Circles.
98. The word "muppet"
(No other men can wear skirts like us Scots)
LOL, FABULOUS list! I've got to tell you that at least once per day I curse my ancestors' decision to come to the colonies. We apparently had a manor in England, for Pete's sake!
I love England, have super friends and dead relatives there. Before I became ill, I was in the process of registering with a British teacher agency to move there and teach, sigh. But I visit as often as I can. If I can't live in England, then Texas is the place to be.
I wonder if I know you, Englishman. I've met so many people from the UK in Austin, and a couple of them have moved back to the UK. Did you have a black lab who preoccupied you for hours at the dog park at an apartment complex on Spyglass? If so, please say hello to your former neighbor.
1. Enlgish Language
- Yes, thanks. I do claim to have learned English as a foreign language although it is my native tongue. As a kid, we lived in Lisbon where I attended a pre-school for English speaking children, hosted by the Brits. I haven't been able to think straight since I spoke English to talk to my family but Portuguese for food.
2 You claim the British empire
- ever hear of 1814, the Battle of New Orleans
3 You have some nice music claims
- Here are some from Texas...
Asleep at the Wheel (not originally Texan but Texan by God)
Blind Lemon Jeferson
Johnny & Edgar Winter
Stevie Ray Vaughan
11 Okay, so you got a Burger King
- We've got What a Burger
12 Industrial Revolution
- The Alamo, another revolution
78 Thanks for the Tea, and the parties
- Texas has Sweet Tea
87 Brits claim Criminal Sentences
- Texas claims the Death Penalty
96 You've got the English Channel
- Texas has the Gulf of Mexico with a wealth of oil and gas
Having lived both in Texas and England, I'm afraid that a game of compare and contrast is rather like comparing apples to oranges.
Politically, the Texan ambivalence toward the rest of the United States might be analogized to the Scottish ambivalence toward being part of the UK. However, I don't think the referendum will ultimately show a majority of Scots wanting to leave the UK in favour of independence, just as I don't think a democratic plebiscite in Texas would find a very high percentage of Texans wanting to leave the US (the Scottish referendum, however, will have a larger minority of votes for independence than would a similar referendum in Texas).
England (as opposed to the present-day UK as a whole) is not the world's oldest democracy, though its traditions of polyarchy and a gradually widening enfranchisement of the population do go back a long time. It's said to possess the mother of parliaments, but of course Parliament was not originally a democratic body (and even with the creation of life peerages, the upper house still isn't entirely democratic, though it is increasingly representative; its powers have been limited since the reign of Edward VII in any event). There were democratic aspects to the "election" of the early British chieftains, of which the acclamation of the Lords during the coronation ceremonies is said to be a residual relic. The oldest parliament and most democratic tradition may, however, belong to Iceland.
The political cultures of the UK - even post-Thatcher and post-New Labour - and Texas are entirely different. With the election of the Labour government at the end of the Second World War, Britain has followed a strongly communitarian, social democratic, "welfare state" model, of which the NHS (my former employer) might be the jewel in the crown. Just try selling the Texas electorate on any of that! And note: even after the reversal of direction under Thatcher and then further advanced under Blair (with the re-making of Labour into a centrist party), the rhetoric at least of Cameron has moved slightly leftward and his government have advanced certain progressive social programmes such as same-sex marriage.
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