Questions about the USA

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by Vintage, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    As many of you, my American friends know, you are the country that most people know stuff about, because everything that there is on TV, movies, sitcoms, talk-shows, are all American and so it is really easy for us (at least for me) know things about your culture, way of living, values, etc.

    There is a show that I like to see and it is called "Extreme Makeover - HOME edition" and it is about a team of designers, builders, etc, that select one family and rebuild they house, creating some stunning places. I also like to see it because unlike other similar shows, this one tends to select people that really need a new house and not some guy that wants his house look nicer.

    They build houses for people that have big families and small houses, people with a lot of children to take care of, people with disabilities, etc.

    What came to my attention is that almost every time they build houses that are semi-built, using WOODEN walls that later are isolated and they put something like a white cement to cover it.

    Sooooo, they build big houses out of wood? Is this common in the EUA? Those kind of houses in those typical "american neighbourhoods" we see in movies are made of wood?

    Isn't it very dangerous, I mean.. a single fire could destroy the whole house!

    In the country I live, there isn't more houses made like this. All houses are made of bricks and a lot of concrete. The only time you see wood if when they are keeping the cement from falling, before it is dry! :)

    Maybe this is a ridiculous thread, but I am very curious about this and since this is the most friendly forum I participate, I thought I could give it a shot!

    PS: At first this topic was to be called "Houses in the USA", but since I have some questions about the country and if I get a good response, maybe I can re-use it later for more doubts! Thanks everyone! :)
  2. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Hi, vintage. I live in the USA (California to be exact). Though I'm not an expert on housing construction, to my knowledge all the houses I've seen either torn down or built have wooden frames, including mine. And I think it's that way with the rest of the country, though don't quote me on it. There's probably somebody else here at this site who can answer your question better than I can.:bengali:

    But, yes, wood-frame houses can, and have, burned down. :(
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
  3. Purrsia

    Purrsia Moderator

    Housing varies here, but yes, there are many 'stick built' as they call them, houses. I don't know why, but maybe that was the cheapest and fastest way to go when the country was growing and they still favor it. Many newer subdivisions I see going up still use the stick formula.

    There are cinderblock and brick houses, as well, however, those can and do burn. There's always some kind of flammable stuff with houses whether it be their contents or the roof materials, etc, so any house can burn, really. For instance, a whole block of my old hometown burned - old buildings that had brick facades - and they're going to demolish the whole thing. True, the brick technically still stood after it was over, but it was still unsafe because the heat of the fire, reom what I understand, made the mortar junk and the wall unstable.

    At any rate, the house I just moved to in Michigan has a brick exterior but I'm pretty sure the interior walls are the wood/plaster formula of the day...which can also catch on fire. But when you think about the number of houses there are here and the amount of fires, odds are in your favor you'll never experience a house fire and so I don't think people let it worry them too much one way or the other. If a house keeps the wind and rain off you and is sturdy, it's a good one ;)

    As for TV shows I wouldn't say they all come from America. We do our fair share of importing shows or ideas from other countries. The Office and Ugly Betty are some current examples.
  4. MannysCollectibles

    MannysCollectibles Legacy Team Member

    Ahhh houses here in the US of A. Let me say that just about every house Ive seen here in the US is made of sticks. However I think some of the older houses may be brick made but the roof most of the time is wood. In Puerto Rico which is where i was born and raised most if not all houses are made of concrete, everything fron the walls to the roofs.

    Houses here are made mainly of sticks because its simply shall i say cheaper? If you were to build a house entirely out of concrete it would be very expensive and it would proabably take more time as well. I dont think construction companies think of all concrete houses as being cost effective. Vintage are you able to view that show or have you just heard about it?
  5. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Hi catspat, Purrsia and Manny!

    Thanks for your responses! That is one great thing about Internet, back in the days one could only hope to meet some people from other country to ask them those kind of questions! Thank you very much for letting me know some more things about your country.

    It's strange, I would never thought that the majority of houses there were made this way, although I've seen what happened when something bad happens (Tornados, etc), the whole city becomes destroyed! It's really sad. :(

    Purrsia, at least the versions of the show I am telling come from America. Let me name a few ones we have here on cable:

    HISTORY CHANNEL: Always some show about the former presidents, Kennedy, WWII, Vietnam, Stories from the old west, about the monuments or natural wonders (Grand Canyon, etc) or man built structures (Hoover Dam)

    TALK SHOWS: Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Daily Show;

    SITCOMS: Seinfeld, Sopranos, Desperate Housewifes, House MD, CSI, LOST, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc

    REALITY SHOWS: Extreme Makeover: Home edition, a few of those shows that turn "ugly into beauty", some other shows like the extreme makeover, but waaaaay to smaller: just fixing one room of the house, for instance...

    So as you guys can see, there's a lot of American input here. I don't know how it is in the rest of Europe.

    So, about our topic: Here where I live, Portugal, houses are built using bricks, concrete (specially because houses here are almost all in buildings, HOUSES are for rich people!) and wood is only used on those tourist houses, like bungalows! It's so strange that if someone says that their house is made of wood, one would think that the poor guy lives in a slum!

    In the old villages there are still houses made of rough stones, houses made centuries ago where people lived on the second floor because the first floor was for the animals (cows, sheep, etc) so they would warm the house on the upper floors! It's kinda funny to think about how it was on those days but those houses are still there and inhabited by old folks!

    Take care! :)
  6. thunderkittensmom

    thunderkittensmom Active Member

    Hey Vintage!

    Houses in of my favourite subjects :roll:
    I am from Germany, was born there, got raised there and lived there for more than 22 years and than I moved to the USA and what can I say....I was kind of SHOCKED about how they build their houses over here.

    I first lived in Arizona and I thought maybe its just like that over there, because it is hot most time of the year, but it seems to be like that pretty much everywhere. They really build their houses out of a wooden frame and than put those (don't know the right word) "pressed wood"-walls, no real good insolation, no concrete, mostly no real roofing tiles, nothing. They build houses within days. You can litterally go out there and within a month an entire village is build. And than they ask ridiculous prices for those houses and the next storm blows it away (yeah, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure seems like that).

    Granted, building a house takes much longer in Germany (and most of the other European countries), and it costs more to do so, but at the end you have a solid building that will endure a lot.

    It just takes some time to get used to a lot of things over here and houses are one of them.

    Take care,

  7. MannysCollectibles

    MannysCollectibles Legacy Team Member


    Its so interesting to always hear how things are in other countries. It gives you a small look at different cultures. One thing I was wondering though is that although the language over there in Portugal is of course portuguese Im wondering if most people can understand spanish as well. Is there a secondary language? I can imagine someone who speaks portuguese could probably understand spanish, I know i can udnertsnad a good portion of portuguese if i read it
  8. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    HEy Nadja and Manny!

    Nadja, it must have been a shock for you! I lived in Brazil and Portugal and the buildings are the same thing, so I couldn't tell any difference. But in your case, man that must have been interesting, I know I would be touching and knocking the walls and asking "Is this wood? But... But...".

    Yes! They build houses so fast over there!!! I've seen in a website a satellite picture of some town and at first it was only fields and something like 3 months later there were A LOT of houses, a whole neighbourhood! Here, houses take a lot of time to be ready. Sometimes 8 months or more! I remember that my grandpa's house n Brazil took over one year!!! And it sure is not a mansion! :)

    Manny its very nice that you are interested in other cultures, I mean, I also have an idea (don't know if it is correct) that in America people don't have much curiosity about the rest of the world, is this true? I can understand, I mean, here we have a lot of input of American Culture, a lot of influences from the rest of the Europe, lots of shows from National Geographic, Discovery and History Channel that tells a lot about the world. So, this means that in TV all we get here is EUA.

    I don't think over at the USA you get shows from other countries (maybe on cable) so it is normal that you end having only things about your culture. I also get this ideia because some American Talk-Shows seems to enjoy making fun of their own people, the American, showing some uneducated young people saying things like: "Paris is in England", "Spain is near Mexico". I don't think that's funny, specially because its a show that is exported to the whole world to see...

    About your question, it's funny you ask that! Here in Portugal you can be sure that everyone will understand Spanish. The people here are very friendly to tourists and outsiders (if they're not from the poor part of the world, if you understand me :-( ) because one of the major money inputs here are from tourism. So, if a Spanish guy comes over to Portugal and asks for directions, you can be SURE that the Portuguese fellow will answer and WILL TRY TO SPEAK IN SPANISH! They do this because people in Spain can't seem to understand what the Portuguese say!

    Picture this: Soccer is very important here and in Europe, so when a player from other country goes to play in Spain, THEY MUST LEARN Spanish. They must talk to the press and you see brazilian, portuguese, english, chinese, italian, nordic, etc, they ALL learn how to speak Spanish.

    But when a player comes to Portugal, if he speaks Spanish... Well, people don't bother, they will understand him! And if he speaks italian? No problem, the journalist will try to speak some portuguese-italian or if they only speak english, they will only ask things in English.

    Here we don't have a secondary language - technically - because there is a dialect in one small district of the country that the old people still speak. You can say that here everybody speaks a bit of everything. Specially on the most visited parts of the country. In high-school we lear English and other language we can choose: German, French or Spanish. I chose German, but I can't remember anything special (I can say Guten Tag, Nadja or Wie Heisse du? and not much more) and I do speak fluent Spanish because I've been listening to spanish music for more than a decade! :)

    PS: Big reply! Oops!
  9. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Ha, ha, hi Vintage! You don't have to explain how important soccer (or, "football", as it's also known in Europe) is in Europe. It's a religion there! It's the same thing here with fans of baseball, American football, basketball, and so on. :D

    Wow, that's interesting what you say about people "speaking a little bit of everything" where soccer is involved. It sounds like David Beckham had to learn Spanish before he went to play for the Spanish soccer team. I wonder if his wife Victoria had to do the same.

    As for American television, it has its benefits, but I wouldn't go completely by what they say. If you want to see America as it is, come here for a visit and experience it first-hand. I have some tourist books on England and France, but it's not the same as it would be for me seeing those countries in person. :)

    And I must say that your English is near perfect! If you write it this way, then I have no doubt that you 're also fluent in English, though you probably speak it with a Portuguese accent. :)

    As for Americans not being interested in other cultures, I think that's true to a large extent. We're not particularly encouraged to explore other lands and their people, so, as a result, we go about our business thinking only about our business. It's a shame. :(
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
  10. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Hi catspat! Man, I know people in Europe loves football, the English are crazy for it, Brazil is considered the "country of footbal", but I think that Portugal beats the poop out of any other country when it comes in terms of fandom.

    Just listen to this: Other countries have regular newspapers that have a "Sports Page", European countries have some famous Sports-only newspapers like "La gazzeta dello sport" in Italy or "La Marca" in Spain. But here, we have THREE daily newspapers that talk ONLY ABOUT FOOTBALL (well 90%)!!! This means that if you buy all 3, you get 150 daily pages of football! That's A LOT!

    He did! I recall seeing him in a interview and if I'm not wrong he did speak a little Spanish! In Spain they are very strict about this and I think they're right. Come on, some foreigner comes to your country to win millions, the least he can do is speak your language! :)

    I wish I could! I've always watched a lot of movies and I would love to visit the USA. I'd love to walk in the streets of NY, see those famous views, the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Las Vegas and all those lights, The Grand Canyon, all those monuments in Washington, The sunny California and Los Angeles, lean San Francisco, those looong roads in Texas... It's a very beautiful country indeed.

    Thank you! Those lessons sure did some good! And it's very important to know English these days.. The Internet provides me all kinds of information if one can search for it. And you MUST speak English. Not speaking English today is a big, big, big handicap!

    It's also thanks to this forum, for example, that I am able to practice my English, since I no longer know any English people and don't have more classes! I must make sure it doesn't become rusty! :)
  11. Purrsia

    Purrsia Moderator

    The walls we use are usually plaster or more popular nowadays, this board called drywall. Some people do use wood, too, in the form of paneling. Depends on what look you like, I guess.

    I never really thought about it being that different, the construction, because it's always been the norm around here. But as fast as this country grew (and is still growing) in a relatively short time, I don't blame them for coming up with a fast and cheap way to accommodate all the people. And I dunno, they do hold up pretty well considering what they are if they're regularly maintained - and no natural disasters befall them :-p

    As for the rep we have of either being self-involved, stupid, or both it depends on what you want to believe. I often wonder how many people those shows mocking ourselves pass up people with the right answers before coming upon the 'amusing' dunces. I know I don't know anybody personally who's that completely ignorant about the world around them. I'm no geography whiz (ie I probably don't know the name and location of some tiny island in the middle of the Pacific), but I do know where the major players are ;)

    And I too have always been interested in other cultures. Long before the internet, I'd keep over-seas penpals or made friends with exchange students that went to my high school. It's fun to learn about what's the same and what's different, and that's what I love about the internet too.
  12. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Purrsia, thank you a lot for all that information. That made me wonder if such ways of building houses wouldn't be great for countries where people can't really afford a nice house.

    I was born in Brazil and you know, poverty there is a big issue. In Brazil the middle-class is slowly disappearing, so there are almost only the really poor guy that can barely pay the bills, works his a$$ off from Sunday to Sunday, has poor education and almost no conditions. Then we have the really rich guys. I do believe that wooden houses like those you say would be really excellent to have there, I mean... Brazil is one of the countries with lots of natural resources, unlike in USA there are no natural catastrophes such as tornados and earthquakes. In fact, if it wasn't for the corruption that exists in Brazil, it would be one of the greatest countries in the world. It has all the natural resources a country could have: Gold, diamonds, gemstones, oil, fields and fields of good soil (we use to say that if you put a seed on the ground, it will always grow!), the leading techology in creating pollution-and-oil-free-fuel made of sugar cane, great minds, but... The corruption that goes in that country, my friends... If the world was a university and each country could have a degree, then Brazil would be a PhD in Corruption.

    So at least the people could have inexpensive houses, couldn't they? I mean, we've got wood, it makes beautiful houses in the USA!

    Unfortunately about the reputation, here in Portugal people tend to think negative about you guys. Of course I disagree with that, because if I did think like that, my presence I this website would have been only of a "reader". I like that patriot feeling Americans have, I wish Brazilians and Portuguese could all say that they are proud of being what they are. That's why I still can't understand why American shows (that are exported) enjoy showing the "bad-side", those dunces you talked before. It's like saying "Hey, hate us!".

    Here it's completely different: The shows here that are exibited in other countries (specially to the countries where there is a strong presence of Portuguese or Brazilian comunities) they seem to show only "The good things". Could it be because "Well, we have a lot of problems, lets show them something good to cause a good impression?".

    And in America, maybe, the feeling is: "Well, we don't really don't care what one might think about us, we like to make fun of those dunces, I don't care about the image we might have"? Is it?

    When I said above about the patriot pride, and that I wished that Portugal had more, is because there is still a mentality that says that here, "people are the waiters of Europe", because being a country that ruled the world during the years 1400-1500, today it's only seen like a "good vacations destination" and theres a national feeling that "Every country is better than us". :(
  13. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Hi, vintage, it's catspat again. Unfortunately, we in the USA have our poverty problems too, as well as a middle class that's fighting to stay alive. We have also crime, but then who doesn't? But I'm a little confused, vintage. What dunces are you talking about? Can you clarify that?:?

    Huh, too bad Portugal has that low opinion of itself. And you're right, Portugal was once a strong naval and colonial power; they settled that part of South America now called Brazil. But these days when a lot of people think of European "glamor", for lack of a better word to use, they usually think of Spain, France, Monaco, England, or even Germany. Portugal usually doesn't figure into it; I've never heard of Lisbon being included with Paris, London, Rome, Venice, or Madrid as "the place to see" when you're touring Europe. Heh, and I'm pretty sure Belgium feels picked on too!:roll:

    And this is a little off the subject, but I have to ask this of a fellow ThunderCats fan. What are the ThunderCats called in Portuguese? :D
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  14. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Hey catspat!

    Ahhh, the dunces was the name that Purrsia used to describe those guys that appear on tv-shows saying barbarities like "Paris is in England". :)

    Yes, if the search is for glamour, then Portugal won't probably fit into that category. It has, undoubtly, the best beaches in Europe! The most visited part of the country, Algarve, is at the moment filled with tourists! People here are tanned and dark-haired but now Algarve is all blonde, blue eyes and white skin! :)

    Lisbon has a lot of history and lots of beautiful places to see, but as you say, its not marked in "the place to see", because almost all tourist come here for the beaches! :)

    Ahhh, about Thundercats in portuguese! We don't translate the name like in France, "Cosmocats", we call them Thundercats, but with an accent! In Brazil it sounds something like "Tunderr catch", hehehe :D

    Here in Portugal people hardly remember the show (and the toys weren't sold here) but in Brazil, where everything seems to last, you can still see on the streets people selling keychains and stickers (for bikes, cars, etc) with the Eye of Thundera! Some parts of Brazil, for you to understand, looks like Cuba with those cars from the 50's and 60's all over the roads. But the cars are the VW Beetle and the VW Type 2. In fact, those were produced until 2001 if I recall correctly! Have you ever seen something like this? Cars from the 60's still being produced? :)
  15. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Hello, Vintage, catspat again! :D

    Oh, those kind of dunces, huh? Well, what can I say? We here in the USA have our stupid people too. It's just too bad that some of them find their way onto our TV sets.:thumbsdown:

    Sorry, Vintage, I'm not a car expert; I don't follow the trends when it comes to the makes and models. So I can't tell you if VWs are still being made. Folks here are really into the Japanese models, as well as those gas-guzzling SUV-types. Ugh, I hate those monsters! :thumbsdown:

    However, since you mentioned cars from the 1950s and 1960s, there are car clubs whose members find old-model cars from any decade and restore them so they look like they just came off the assembly line. My boyfriend and I were once having a late lunch at a restaurant that had cordoned off an area of its parkling lot to host a club that specialized in restoring 1950s cars. I saw those cars and they looked brand-new. Heck, once in a great while I see somebody driving down the street in a 1920's model-T Ford! So, that's about as close as you can get here when it comes to still seeing old-model cars in action. :cool:

    Since I don't know much about Lisbon, I'll take your word for it. I'm sure it goes without saying that Lisbon has many places of historical value (didn't Prince Henry the Navigator come from Portugal?). The area you call Algarve sounds like the Portuguese version of France's Riviera, so there's the explanation for all those sunbathers! :D

    In Spanish, the ThunderCats are called "Los Felinos Cosmicos". I think somebody can cobble together an appropriate word in Portuguese for them. :)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  16. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Hey catspat!

    The VW's I told you about, you can click on their names in my previous post and it will take to the Wikipedia page of them! You will surely remember those!

    Now that you talked about restoring old cars, here there's a LOT of shows (also from USA) only about that! Let's see, theres one on Discovery Channel in which they "steal" the old car from the owner and then they make up a story like the car was stolen and they return it as new, there's the famous "Pimp My Ride", there's other show about a family of bike builders and some others shows that are about contests around the USA where the best restored car wins the prize!

    Now that you mentioned the Ford-T, I recall watching a show a few months ago where they talked about the most famous cars in the world, that made history. They talked about Mini, an old Fiat, Citroen 2cv, the VW Beetle (that was second) and the first was Ford-T! I was stunned by that, because I now it was the first car to be mass produced, the assembly line and all that, but I thought it stayed only in the USA. So it couldn't be the most famous in the world. In my opinion it is still the Beetle, but I'm not an expert! :) It must be real funny to watch a car like that down the street! :D

    Here in Portugal you barely see an old car like that, the oldest you can see on the streets are (click for pics) some Citroen 2cv, Minis, some crappy Fiats and some 70's Datsun or Opel that look like this.

    Unfortunately since it's a small country and there aren't long roads like the ones we see over there in the desert, for instance, there isn't that culture for 70's Muscle Cars (that I love!) but more for those new cars, maybe like the ones you see in movies like "Fast & The Furious".

    Yes, Prince Henry the Navigator was Portuguese! The most famous Portuguese sailors where Pedro Alvares Cabral (who discovered Brazil in 1500) and Vasco da Gama, who discovered the "sea path way" to India. There were also a lot of others who discovered African Countries that speak portuguese (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissao, etc) and also there was a heavy presence in Goa, in India. And lets not forget Asia: Macau, near China and Timor in south east asian. Here's a pic that shows what was the Empire that belonged to this little country back then! :O

    In fact we learn in school here that even Columbus could have been Portuguese. I know the history today says he is probably Spanish or Italian, but is a fact that back in those days he offered his services to the King of Portugal, but the king refused. And then you know what happened, what he discovered in 1492! :)

    It's funny, you never know, but you could have ended up talking portuguese! :D

    Here in Lisbon, yes, we have a lot of monuments, that are from those days: The Jeronimos Monastery, Belém Tower and of course, some beauties from the 18th century, like the Aqueduct (Click for pictures). The old part of the town is also very beautiful, those small stores, beautiful.

    Are there monuments like this in the USA? The ones I know are the American Capitol, that famous church in NY (I can't remember its name). I believe that since the USA are a "recent" country, this kind of buildings might not be so common, right? Those here in Portugal were made in the age of Kings, where funds weren't a problem, and sometimes workers were easy to find (even if they were slaves).

    Well, if I translate "Thundercats" to Portuguese if would be "Gatos do Trovão", but it would sound lame (as it would be translated back to "Cats of Thunder"), so the best one would be similar to Spanish: "Os Felinos Cósmicos". But I still preffer the original! :D
  17. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Hiya, Vintage. Hey, "Cats of Thunder" isn't bad! You could say "Cats of Thundera" with no problem either. Or you can try translating "Power Cats" into Portuguese. I think that's what they're called in German, and I know they'll called that in Chinese! :D

    I just saw the cars you mentioned. Compared to the newer makes I see today, they look very quaint. But I guess if they can keep them in fairly good shape, they can drive them. :D

    I also saw that lovely church and monastary you spoke of. That kind of thing would interest me. I'm a bit of a history buff as well as a former art student; I studied art history in college. One of the subjects covered was medieval architecture and I saw photos and schematics of several European Gothic churches with this kind of appearance, so this stuff is not new to me at all. But I can see where the majority of sunbathing turistas would have no interest in it. They come to Algarve to catch the rays, not 15th-16th century buildings and statuary. :(

    I was both impressed and fooled by the aqueduct. When I first saw it, I thought it was a genuine Roman aqueduct until I saw that it dated from the 1700s and that its architect merely patterned it after one! :D I never could quite grasp how a structure like that could carry water from one area to another, unless there's a canal built into the top of it to do that very function. Am I right? :)

    And, uh, yes, we don't have many strucutures like your church, monestary, and aqueduct! Being a young country (231 years old isn't the same as being 1,500 years old), our architecture tends to run toward the modern; the further east you go, away from the Atlantic Coast, the more modern it gets. If you're looking for "classical" buildings (without the Roman aqueducts :D), your best bet is Washington DC, followed by Wall Street in New York City. And the famous New York church you mentioned is St. Patrick's Cathedral, located on 5th Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets in Mahattan. That one is truly modeled on medieval European churches. I've never visited it, but I have a New York guide with a photo and cut-away diagram of the church. Impressive, to say the least! :cool:
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
  18. Vintage

    Vintage Glass Walker

    Hi Catspat! Yes you are! There's a canal on top of it! I've never visited the inside of it, but my grandfather, who did the army in Lisbon, visited it back in the 50's. It's huge and every time I go to Lisbon I drive below it! It's really impressive!

    That's it! I just couldn't remember that name! I've seen it in a lot of movies and sitcoms and I would really like to see it one day.. Maybe when I retire or something like that, hehehe! :) I have seen photos of it, because an old couple that are my neighbors went over there last year.

    Thanks a lot, catspat (and everybody!), for providing so much information and being so kind!

    Now I have other question... :oops:

    Is the army still obligatory in the USA? When a boy turns 18 he has to go to the army or only if he wants to? Are the majority of people wanting to go to the army? Here the deal is this: You go only if you want to, but the percentage of young people that joins the army is very low.
  19. Purrsia

    Purrsia Moderator

    I got busy and forgot to keep up with this post, heh heh.

    But to answer your last question Vintage...

    The army here is still all-volunteer, although I do believe when a boy turns 18 he has to register with selective service. This doesn't mean he's joined, he's just letting the government know, the way I understand it, that he's a male of joining age. This way, if there is a draft they know where to find you :-p

    So yes, the government can decide, particularly in times of war, that volunteer enlistment is too low and institute a draft forcing people to go. For instance, my grandfather served in WWII but as the result of a draft - he had a young family at the time, but his country called and all that, so he went in the Navy. He survived, by the way, but there were so many lives lost in that conflict it's no wonder they had to draft people - staggering numbers compared to those in more recent conflicts. Drafts are rarely popular, but it was most famously unpopular here during the Vietnam era.

    But so far in this current war, a draft has not been used.

    Besides my grandfather I only know of one other family member that ever served, and that's my hubby. He volunteered in peace time, during the late 80s, early 90s. Luckily, he never saw war thanks to Desert Storm being so short or he probably would have had to go - his unit would have been one of the next to go had the war not ended when it did.
  20. catspat

    catspat also known as...Leppardra

    Hey, that's okay, Vintage. I enjoy answering your questions (if I can). And I know practically nothing about Portugal, so we're on even footing in that respect! :D

    I have several questions about the aqueduct because I don't know how it works. How does the canal on top of it fill with water? And does gravity pull the water to its destination?:?

    So that's how the draft works in Portugal? Huh, didn't know that. To my knowledge, the only member of my family who served in the military was my late uncle, and he was stationed in Italy during World War II. My late father was never drafted into the Army at that time, even though he was 25.:bengali:
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2007

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