May 12th, 2009

Panama trade route mapping C1900

Greetings trivia buffs, nit-pickers and encyclopaedic brains. There's a cafe near me that has a map that I'm trying to work out a date for, to use it to shut up a plot bunny that's been running around my brain for ages.

(Basis of my story - pair of characters in England around 1870, and how they and their descendants keep running into each other and also solving the murders of Jack the Ripper. Involves a lot of hanging around seamy locations in Australia over the next 100 years.) The map is to work out some of the travels of a fortune-hunter who "has" to leave England, and I really want to use this map.

From using the names of the countries, such as "South African Republic" (ended 1910), "British Central Africa" (ended 1907) and "French Kongo" (to 1906), I'm pretty sure this map was pre-1910. In addition a) Russia is "The Russian Empire" and there is no sign of Poland (thus 1864-1917), b) Germany is the "German Empire" (thus 1871 - 1918) and Ireland is a single country (pre-1921). And c) and most importantly, Australia is showing as one country, making it post-1901. All African colony names that we could read listed under here.Collapse )

But the fact which is throwing a spanner in the works is that there seems to be a trade route going through Panama. The canal didn't open until 1914, whereas some of those African colonial names tell me this must be prior to this. Yet other maps I've found (such as 1910 and 1911) show trade routes obviously going *through* Panama.

So - are they showing what was expected at any moment, viz: the opening of the canal? Are they showing a trade route that used the Panama Railway (open from 1855) although they're not showing a railway symbol? Was it usual to show the train trade routes? And is my analysis of the map being 1901-1906 approximately correct?

Searches used: "World map 189x" "World Map 190x" "World Map 191x" (with a search for all variables on x), "Trade Route ditto", history checks on all the countries listed to check existence dates (and variations such as "history of Abysinnia"), "Panama railway", "historical maps of the world", "Colin Firth Pin-up Collection" oh, sorry, that one wasn't part of the research, really...
  • Current Mood: curious

Wills and Murder and Crazy, oh my!

Time for a confusing question. :D Let's see if you guys can be better than Yahoo!Answers, who failed at helping me out here. I honestly don't know the first place to start Googling this, but I did try scanning some Wiki articles on British law and that was a no go.

Setting: present day England

My character, R, is a German citizen. After the death of his grandfather, he goes to England to live with his father, but maintains his German citizenship. R's father is the CEO of a medium-sized computer software company based in London. R has no other family.

R's father has named R the sole successor of his estate in his will. Not knowing this, R ends up killing him after a minor altercation. Because he's crazy. R is arrested and convicted of murder.

Okay. Here's where it gets a little weird.

Instead of being placed in jail, R is given over to a government project testing a new serum they've developed that's capable of instilling a sort of "fugue" state of amnesia in a person, who can then be "reconditioned". The treatment is a success, and after a year, R is released from the program and begins to live a "normal" life.

My question is: would R still receive the funds from his father's will, even though he killed him? In your opinion, even if the law were to state no, would R still receive the funds since he knows his father was dead but does not have the memory of killing him himself?

If R did not get the funds, estate, company, etc, where would they go to?

Thank you!

Children - undershirts and PJs

Would a six-year-old boy living in Australia generally wear a singlet/undershirt? His family is fairly wealthy (not ridiculously so, but the children both go to private schools and they live in a nice neighbourhood), and his mother is fairly fussy about his clothes (always trying to neaten him up and making sure that his clothes are clean and mended and replaced as soon as he starts to grow out of them). Also, for PJs, would he generally wear a matching pair with prints of Spiderman or Spongebob or something?

Mostly what I can find when I Google this is sites selling undershirts for children, I couldn't really find anyone actually talking about it.