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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 9:38 am 
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How Much Gold Is Stored At Fort Knox?

Said to have the most secure vault in the world, Fort Knox is reported to be the home of 147.3 million ounces of gold. Depending on the spot price of gold at the time you read this, the value of the gold inside Fort Knox is estimated to be worth approximately $185 to $190 billion. The type of gold inside the U.S. Bullion Depository ranges from large amounts of bullion/bars, coins and a variety of rare coins, including at least ten legendary 1933 Double Eagle coins.

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It is all owned by the federal government. Fort Knox is also known as the United States Bullion Depository. There are exceptions, for example, European countries deposited their gold bullion at Ft. Knox during WW2 and special items like a copy of the Magna Carta (Charta).

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Most of the gold is stored as bars that are a little smaller than building bricks.

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Each bar contains about 400 troy ounces (12,441 g) of gold and weighs about 27.5 pounds (12.5 kg), but these numbers can vary.

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The vault is so secure that during World War II the federal government sent their original copies of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to Fort Knox for safekeeping.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 10:01 am 
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Of course, we have James Bond to thank for the continued existence of that gold.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 10:12 am 
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keg wrote:
Of course, we have James Bond to thank for the continued existence of that gold.

No doubt. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 12:09 pm 
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I have a follow-up question: will you explain the gold standard and what Nixon did that was such a shock?

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 2:29 pm 
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aspenleaf wrote:
I have a follow-up question: will you explain the gold standard and what Nixon did that was such a shock?


I'm afraid I don't qualify; I'm perhaps the farthest thing imaginable from an economist. But, I have included a couple of links, which at least try to explain "stagflation", which Nixon had a hand in during his tenure. Hope they help.

Gold Standard

The Nixon Shock

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 6:06 pm 
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Thanks, Henry! I will give it a try.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 6:37 pm 
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The short explanation (not to make this a Study topic) is with the dollar not tied to gold or any commodity, the federal government could print more dollars and inflate our currency.

The dollar is now considered fiat money. A dollar today cannot purchase as much as a dollar did 25 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 19, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Hmm. Interesting. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 20, 2019 9:13 am 
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Georges Lemaître: The Astronomer Behind The Big Bang Theory Was Also A Priest

The only non-controversial thing to say about the combination of science and religion is that it's controversial. But if you look at Georges Lemaître (aka Lemaitre), you can see that the two don't have to be sworn enemies. Never heard of him? Many people haven't, but a certain guy named Albert Einstein was a big fan.

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Georges Lemaître, born in Charleroi, Belgium in 1894, was a busy man in the early 20th century. After he was awarded a Belgian War Cross as an army officer in World War I, he earned degrees in math and philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven. Soon after that, he was ordained as a priest. Ever the scientist, he was given permission to study at the prestigious Harvard Observatory while, at the same time, earning his Ph.D. in physics from MIT. How's that for a résumé?

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Lemaitre on the left

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In 1927, Lemaître cooked up the revolutionary theory that still impacts how we view our universe today. His article entitled "A Homogeneous Universe of Constant Mass and Increasing Radius accounting for the Radial Velocity of Extra Galactic Nebulae" stated that the universe is expanding. After this groundbreaking paper was published, Lemaître realized he might have missed something. If the universe is always expanding, when and how did all that begin? Boom, baby — literally. He planted the seeds for the Big Bang Theory in a May 9, 1931 letter to Nature Magazine.

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The idea he hatched in that letter would later make its way into a collection of essays written by Lemaître. In it, he calls the beginning of the universe "now without yesterday," more popularly known as "the day without yesterday." After a few more scientists pitched in to beef up the idea, it became the Big Bang Theory.

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At this point, you're probably scratching your head wondering how this guy's name isn't common knowledge. The only explanation is that there was simply a rain cloud hovering over Lemaître's head. Sheer bad luck. Let me explain...

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That groundbreaking 1927 paper that stated the universe is continuously expanding? Though it was undoubtedly Nobel Prize-worthy, astronomy was not yet considered a part of physics, which made this astronomer's work ineligible for the award.

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Okay, so he didn't win the Nobel. But maybe he at least got some credit? Nah, you can find that in Edwin Hubble's name.

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Edwin Hubble

Though Lemaître did all the math, Hubble got the credit for providing the observational basis for the things Lemaître crunched numbers on. The things we owe to Lemaître include what's now known as Hubble's Law and Hubble's Constant, as well as the idea that the universe is expanding.

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The Cosmic Egg Theory

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Surely the Big Bang thing was a big deal at the time, right? Yes and no; it was met with a lot of criticism because, well, science and religion tend to butt heads. The scientific community was hesitant to go with an origin story that came from a priest. In 1952, Pope Pious XII proclaimed Lemaître's work was proof of a creator. Lemaître didn't agree with this interpretation, arguing with the Pope to pipe it down. But perhaps it was too little, too late for the scientific community of the time.


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At least Einstein knew there was something to this guy. After Lemaître described his theories in January 1933 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Einstein declared, "This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I ever listened."

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 21, 2019 9:27 am 
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Who Invented The Semaphore?

Fifty years before the invention of the telegraph and almost 100 years before the telephone, the government of France was able to send messages to many parts of Europe at speeds of 1,500 miles an hour.

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From Paris, the emperor of France could send instructions to his generals on the Rhine River 150 miles away, in six minutes. How?

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Using a system invented in 1792 by Claude Chappe. Towers were built all over France and many other parts of Europe. On top of each tower were two giant arms that could be seen with the aid of a telescope at a distance of ten miles.

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Claude Chappe

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By placing the arms in different positions, the operator was able to spell out a message, which would be picked up by the next tower and repeated tower after tower until the message had reached its destination.

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The towers were called semaphores, and a semaphore code is still taught and used by most of the armies and navies of the world.

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A semaphore telegraph is also known as an optical telegraph, shutter telegraph chain, or Chappe telegraph. Semaphore lines led to the invention of the electrical telegraph.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 21, 2019 10:52 am 
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I have read the Chinese also used a similar technique along their great wall. They had towers lined up perpendicular to the wall out into the desert so they could get early detection when the Mongols were approaching.

The outer most towers were not a good place to be during a raid...


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 21, 2019 11:17 am 
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TillerBee wrote:
I have read the Chinese also used a similar technique along their great wall. They had towers lined up perpendicular to the wall out into the desert so they could get early detection when the Mongols were approaching.

The outer most towers were not a good place to be during a raid...

Yep, I read that somewhere, too.

Agree, outer towers were not good for your health. ;)

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