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I lived in Pensacola Florida, in the panhandle, for around 6 months to a year with my ex after joining the military.  A long time ago.

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As I think I might have said before, I’m increasingly finding geography quite fascinating. The Florida panhandle is between 50 to 100 miles from north to south, so I guess it doesn’t really show up on maps of the USA that are shown on UK media, hence why many UKers don’t realise it’s there.

A recent thread on (mostly) UK forum asked how many UKers know how many US states there are. Since I’ve done some studying of US history, I’m familiar with the phrase “the lower 48”, and added Alaska and Hawaii, making 50. However, some people were confused about the status of Washington DC and Puerto Rico, which I hadn’t thought about at all.

However, I’m not sure how many counties there are in the UK. I was probably told when I was in school, but that’s changed in my lifetime as various governments have re-drawn county boundaries, and some small counties have disappeared by being incorporated into larger areas.

Maps don’t always help. Many people are surprised to discover how close Russia is to Alaska, because that’s not obvious on the typical world map that is centred on the Atlantic Ocean. Also, there’s a particular clip of a West Wing episode that shows the difference between the typical Mercator projection and (I think) the Peters projection.

My home town is somewhat long and thin, and the official street map is printed with the longer distance going from the top to the bottom of the page, which means that what looks like it should be north is in fact west. That confuses the heck out of me, and I’ve lived here all my life, so goodness knows how visitors make sense of it.

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Yes, the Florida panhandle is there and very often overlooked since it's technically on the mainland.  Florida is almost more of an island.

Libby, you'd be surprised at how many people in the U S that haven't a clue how many states there are.  Some are territories, and not considered a state.  There are 50 states, plus the District of Columbia (U S capital region) that has one non-voting member in the House of Reps.  The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.

Territories are unincorporated, whereas the US and its states are corporations (written in all caps).  This is what the sovereignty battle is all about, because if you were born in America, then you are automatically sovereign.  To be considered a U S Citizen means basically you are their property, and confessed sovereign Americans will not call themselves a U S Citizen.  To become a citizen requires a process, which is what a foreigner coming into the country goes through to become a citizen.  It's basically the only way they legally can stay, to become property, but do this ignorantly, as most people are about their actual status.  This is all a technical issue, and there are many advocates and groups for sovereignty and against the corporate systems.  As an example, when you got to court, every name is in all caps, which designates it's a corporation.  the governments will not refer to you as a man or woman.  May people have spent time in jail for responding to their name being called in court by saying, "Are you referring to the corporation or the man.  Judges will usually pass you by and come back later to bash you and make you look like an idiot.  I know of one man that stayed in jail for years until they had no choice but  to release him, because the entire time he kept saying he is not under their jurisdiction, he is a sovereign American and free.

That's basically the nutshell version.  To learn more read Barcroft's book, "The Greatest Story Never Told, Until Now."  It's actually banned at many jails and prisons.  Here's the search link to the first drafts posted online of around 76 pages, a couple in pdf format.  I have a copy that is 126 pages but double spaced.  This book is NOT for everyone ~

https://www.google.com/search?q=albert+barcroft%2C+the+greatest+story+never+told&oq=albert+barcroft%2C+the+greatest+story+never+told&aqs=chrome..69i57.9888j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

Territories, or unincorporated properties of the US are, Guam, U S Virgin Islands, American Somoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.

Going to stop here before this is considered a novel.

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From the brief study I've done of the history of the USA, I've got a little understanding of the kinds of debates that started way back to the Declaration of Independence and then the Constitution, with all its Amendments. But it's confusing. Probably because (unless the wording has changed recently) I'm not actually a citizen of my own country, I'm a subject of Her Majesty - though, apparently, by virtue of being a British subject, I'm a citizen of the European Union.

But that's all about politics, which is probably best kept off the board. Mostly because it's complicated, and we're international.

I don't actually mind if I'm still a subject of Her Maj. She's a smart woman, and loves dogs and horses, and has been known to be very sharp with Prime Ministers when necessary. Not so sure about Charles, though.

One thing I forgot to mention is that during whatever Middle East conflict it was (I think it was when Blair was Prime Minister), people here rather cynically referred to the UK as the USA's 51st state, which should have given a clue.

 

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I  love an El Nino winter now that I live in an urban area.  I miss everything about country living except the mud ! 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/atlantic-ocean-acification_us_56b30e5ae4b08069c7a624df?ref=yfp

The Atlantic Ocean Is Acidifying At A Rapid Rate

Quote

Over the past 10 years, the Atlantic Ocean has soaked up 50 percent more carbon dioxide than it did the decade before, measurably speeding up the acidification of the ocean, according to a new study.

 

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Here's the full image from Walkabout's link ~ WOW

12594255_1211648342196517_947765784_n.jp

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That's brilliant. I know that a patient's own skin can be used for transplant to a burned area, but the place where the skin is harvested from is often more painful than the injury site, and of course also needs to heal, so double the area that could get infected. It is possible to take a few skin cells and grow them in the laboratory but that takes time. I think it's a wonderful advance to have something as good as this - just like having supplies of blood for emergencies.

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