Thursday, November 04, 2004

A bit of left thinking

As conservative politicians continue to hold power across the world another left vs right debate has been brought up.

Driving on the umm, Right "If human society is of predominantly right-handed people and right-handers tend to the right, then I think Britain got it wrong; we should all drive on the right."

Why do the English drive on the "wrong" side of the road? "In days of old logic dictated that when people passed each other on the road they should be in the best possible position to use their sword to protect themselves. As most people are right handed they therefore keep to their left. This practice was formalised in a Papal Edict by Pope Benefice around 1300AD who told all his pilgrims to keep to the left."

As usual, America copied off the French:
"The connection with the USA is thought to be General Lafayette who recommended a keep right rule as part of the help that he gave the Americans in the build up to the war of Independence. The first reference to keep right in USA law is in a rule covering the Lancaster to Philadelphia turnpike in 1792."

Which side of the road do they drive on? Has a map of Left vs Right, a section on pedistrian movement and lists a place in America where they drive on the left: "There is a rather dramatic segment of Interstate 5 where one drives on the left. It is on the Five Mile Grade coming into the Los Angeles area from the north. Because there are four lanes going in each direction, the separation is several miles long, and the two roadways are on opposite sides of a canyon, the effect is quite impressive."
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