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eric l

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eric l last won the day on April 24 2007

eric l had the most liked content!

About eric l

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  • Birthday 11/07/1947


  • Biography
    retired engineer, now active as a volonteer in an organization providing free access to internet and
  • Location
    Aalst, Belgium
  • Interests
    Science, History, Linguistics
  • Occupation
    see bio, also giving computer initiation course
  1. I think the fact that it is a long process is one of the reasons why the contact process is prefered to the reaction you mention : at least it is controlable on industrial scale. What happened in Bhopal - which is, if I'm not mistaken, in your state of Madhya Pradesh - in 1984 is an example of what may happen when a chemical process runs out of controll. The reaction of concentrated nitric acid with sulphur is pretty near explosive, even if tried at a small scale. And the nitrous fumes themselves are quite dangerous and not easy to deal with. On top of that, nitric acid is much more expensiv
  2. This is a tricky question. You can call yourself a disciple of Jesus without believing in God or resurection, e.g. because you accept the Sermon on the Mount as a guideline for your life. You can believe in God and in Ressurection and all that, without belonging to any denomination You can be a full member of a church The generaly accepted definition of "Christian" would be the third item on the list. But it might be difficult to find a proper name for those of the first category, the name "Jesuit" being already claimed.
  3. To me, owning a gun to protect your home is pretty much the same as fighting fire with fire. PERIOD. This may be true (up to a point) for the Spanish/Portuguese conquest of Latin America, but it is surely not true for what is now the US, nor for the Brtitish Empire... And as for the wars in Europe from the 16th to the 20th century, I can see little relation with what you call "the pope's christianity". Just look at the number of wars between "protestant" nations, like England and Holland, to keep this to just one example. And in the case of Latin America, the real aim was to increase the p
  4. You seem have missed the point : "ordinary" Germans indeed had little to fear from Hitler and the Nazis, but the Nazi propaganda made them fear the surrounding countries, the chaos, the "others"... In this they just followed a line that had been followed by the German Empire before, and by other rulers in other nations as well. And once the fear was generally accepted as being founded on a real threat, the fear could be turned into hatred.
  5. Nobody else trying to answer, while the question may be important to other students as well, I give it a try with question # 2. The colour of lithmus (or other pH-indicator substances) is determined by the ratio between the concentration of H+ (or rather H3O+) and OH-. That means there must be water around. Dry ammonia has neither of these ions, but a wetted paper has, and if this wetted paper absorbs dry ammonia the ratio between the concentrations of these ions changes. For the same reason, you can not really determine the pH of e.g. concentrated sulphuric acid. Be patient for the answers
  6. I thaught that these efforts to make Mexico start a war with the US was something from WW1 - the Zimmerman telegram and more of that (Zimmermann Telegram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
  7. I was born and raised a Roman Catoholic (which is or was pretty much what you could expect in Beglium in those days), and might very well have become a priest or monk or brother in some congregation. But I never experienced the presence of God, like some have, and started reading more than just the schoolbooks about the church and its history. Well, I even started wondering why the churches (plural intended) called themselves Christian if their New Testament put so much more importance on the words of Saint Paul than on the teachings of Jesus himself. (Just realizing that this would take me
  8. This may be true, but it does not mean that fear was not important. In fact, a government inspired fear is pretty much a constant in the Germany of the first half of the 20th century. It was not a fear of the government, the system or the police force, but a fear inspired by the government and stirred up by most of the press. There was the fear of "Einkreisung" (encerclement) early in the 20th century, that contributed greatly to the enthousiasm among the young Germans to volunteer when the WW1 actually started. This same fear was stirred up again by Hitler and the Nazis. There was the fea
  9. "Just as the war started..." would that mean in '39 when Hittler invaded Poland, or in '40 when he invaded anmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Begium and France. 1940 would be extremely inprobable because the UK simply didn't have any troops left after Dunkirk that were fit enough to start something like an invasion. Or have you been reading "The mouse that roared" (they made a movie of it, too, with Peter Sellers). Or do you thake the anexation of Sudetenland as the start of WW2 (october 1938), or maybe even the "Anschluss" of Austria (march 1938)?
  10. I'm affraid I have to aggree with Charles (I wish it were different). So far, none of the "utopian socialist" experiments ever worked on more than a small to medium scale (say about a hundred families) and even those never lasted more than a couple of generations. There are many reasons for that : like it or not, even a democracy needs something like a common goal if it wants to progress, and such a common goal is usually personified by a charismatic leader. Now, such leaders are few and far between, and not all of them are sufficiently idealistic to think first of the community or society
  11. I don't share your pessimism on this. I know that no modern state functions along the lines of what you call "a true democracy", by which you mean (if I understand you rightly) that everyone can vote on every issue. Decission making would be too slow, and decissions would be revoked too often. And voting might become even more of a spectacle than it already is. But Switzerland comes close - and it is no accident that Switzerland has the kind of "well organized militia" mentioned in the 2nd Amendement to the US Constitution, without endangering the general public. I remember how during a
  12. If this is true, the public is also to blame. I give you a quote from a wise old politician (a very rare species indeed) who prefers to remain anonymous. "In a democracy you have to keep a sane level of distrust for those that you put in power. And if you are put in power yourself, you should increase that level of distrust. There are so many temptations, and it is so easy to believe you are always right because power is knowledge rather than the other way around." (I'm affraid my translation does not do it justice). Bob Dylan worded it otherwise : "Don't follow leaders, watch you park
  13. That's too many questions at once, because the answers will be quite different. This post will be limited to question # 1 about copper sulphate and ammonium hydroxide. First you have to understand that even if a precipitate is formed, not all of the product precipitates, even "insolluble" products are always slithghtly (or very slightly solluble. What happens with copper sulphate and ammonium hydroxide is that Cu2+ forms a complex ion with NH3 and that the resulting products is simply much more solluble. There is a good deal more about complex ions in Wikipedia (Complex (chemistry) - Wikipedia
  14. I thought that "RES PUBLICA" just means "public affair", not necessarily "wealth". But "res" can also be translated as "business", and from there it's but a small step to "wealth". I forget whom I'm quoting with "Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely", but I can aggree wholeheartedly. And in a democracy, there is no room for absolute power.
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