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    Bob Balaban


    UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Bob Balaban  August 9 2009 08:06:21 PM
    Greetings, Geeks!

    UK Lotus User Group are having a get-together in Edinburgh in October. This is another in a series of "User Group" meetings/conferences (ILUG, IAmLUG, UKLUG) of previous years that have been a raging success. For those of you who don't (yet) know, Edinburgh is NOT in England. It is the capital of Scotland, a real, honest-to-goodness country to the north of England. Scotland is part of Great Britain, which consists of the countries England, Scotland, and Wales (Wales is to the West of England). Great Britain, in turn, is part of the country known as the United Kingdom, or UK (full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

    As you may have guessed by now, UK is the superset (geek term) of Great Britain and that part of the Irish Island that includes the "Six Counties" of Northern Ireland. "Northern Ireland", for the geographically challenged amnog you, is a chunk of property north of the Republic of Ireland, across a bit of water from GreatBritain.

    Yes, it's all confusing, I admit. If you have any questions about how this all came about or why it still is the way it is, ask The Queen (tip, don't ask about Diana or Camilla. Touchy.). They used to have a whole Empire, consisting of chunks of property that are now India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Nigeria (and probably some I forgot, like South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), maybe even Tanzania, not sure about that one... for sure,. they got around).

    ANYWAY. Edinburgh is the ancient capital of Scotland, and site of the forthcoming UKLUG2009. I didn't get a speaker slot :-(, and nobody's paying my expenses for me :-( :-(, but I'm going anyway. Why? Because it's going to be the epicenter of the Yellowverse in early October, that's why. You should go too. I suspect and anticipate epic levels of awesomeness.

    Geek ya there!

    1Ian Scott  08/09/2009 9:11:59 PM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Nice one!

    And did you know the Kingdom of Great Britain came into being when King James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England and became King James I of that Kingdom?

    Regardless, as a bone fide Edinburgher I insist that you enjoy your stay - and the Deuchars I.P.A. too 8-)

    2Warren Elsmore  08/10/2009 1:10:17 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Bob, don't forget that the US of A used to be in that there empire as well ;-)

    Can't wait to see you all in October!


    3Bob Balaban  08/10/2009 2:20:28 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    @1 - Actually, did hear some rumor about that. Was he the guy who was the son of Mary Queen of Scots (Vanessa Redgrave in the movie...)?

    @2 - Thanks Warren! I did not forget that, just forgot to mention it. And me living in the town where the first battle of the Revolution was fought. Ooops.

    4Ian Randall  08/10/2009 3:29:48 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going


    The British Empire also included Australia, Papua New Guinea, Burma, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iraq, Kuwait, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Uganda and great chunks of Canada.

    The full list is here:

    { Link }

    5sean cull  08/10/2009 3:58:21 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    and did you know that the most northerly part of ireland is in the "south of ireland"

    { Link }

    6Ian Scott  08/10/2009 6:10:06 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    @3 - Correct. He was. And of course Mary lost her head to Elizabeth I.

    7Bob Balaban  08/10/2009 10:03:10 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    @4 - Ian, I wasn't really trying to be comprehensive (and obviously I #failed at that bigtime). I did get Burma, though (I included Myanmar in my list). But thanks for the link!

    Reminds me of a joke (warning: possibly offensive to Brits): Why does the Sun never set on the British Empire? Because God doesn't trust them after dark.

    @5 - No, I didn't. And I think I need a bit more explanation....

    @6 - They were half-sisters, right? Both daughters of Henry 8th? Oh, family squabbles....

    Obvioiusly my blog readers have as much interest in history and geography as I do. KEWL!

    8Happy Hibby  08/10/2009 11:28:22 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Oh dear....this could be messy come the end of the first and the ex-colonials over.......

    Cant wait!


    9Andrew Magerman  08/10/2009 3:14:51 PM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Cool! Excellent to see you there.

    Here is another bit of mindboggling information. There are still a couple of islands around the UK which are Crown Dependancies, i.e. they belong to the queen directly, and as such are not part of the UK and NOT PART of the EU!!!

    { Link }

    This means they mean they still have their own laws (sodomy was still illegal in 1994 in the Isle of Man, to name a shocking example), and they of course have very very little taxes, which makes them perfect places to squirrel away some money.

    10sean cull  08/10/2009 3:35:14 PM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    The republc of Ireland, Eire, is also commonly known as "The South of Ireland".

    However the "South of Ireland" extends to the north of the "North of Ireland" which is in the North East corner

    { Link }

    All very Irish


    11Bob Balaban  08/10/2009 4:14:16 PM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    @8 - No worries, I promise not to rub your nose in it :-)

    I actually quite like visiting the UK. I've been there for "work" several times (UKLUG08, CollabU, etc.), and for "play" (including an archaeology course) several more.

    @9 - Yeah all those thousand-year old monarchies have strange corners and weird stuff under rocks... I hope someday to have accumulated enough money to require the services of a bank in Isle of Man, Channel Islands, or even in the Caymans...sigh.

    @10 - NOW I get it. Thanks Sean!

    12Daniel Lehtihet  08/11/2009 4:59:05 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Another fun fact. Since the war with the Welsh (and French of course), the only sport permitted was long-bow shooting (part of the success over the French was the long-bowers). It even went so far that the king banned all other sports.

    Even today (yes, i am not kidding) this law is (in theory) still in place, making football (soccer) illegal to practice in England :-)


    13Daniel Lehtihet  08/11/2009 6:27:17 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    Correction. Only sport permitted on Sundays..... (since King Edward I's days)

    14Ian Scott  08/11/2009 8:22:05 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    @7 - You sure do know your history. You might well enjoy a visit to Edinburgh's imposing castle.

    15Ken Haggman  10/04/2009 6:28:40 AM  UKLUG! (Finally) decided I’m going

    I am actually quite impressed you know as much as you do about the UK and all. I live here (London) and still struggles with parts of it! Nevertheless, I'll be at UKLUG as well and I hope to have a chat then.