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63480.  Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:43 pm Reply with quote

This topic heading is a slightly bogus way of smuggling in the question:

Where would you find the biggest crashing bore in the world?

We need to be careful that this isn't one of those times where we like the question so much that we overlook the need for viable supporting material. River bores seem slightly to live up to their name. However:

A tidal bore (or just bore, or eagre) is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the current. As such, it is a true tidal wave (not to be confused with a tsunami).

Bores occur in relatively few locations worldwide, usually in areas with a large tidal range, and where incoming tides are funnelled into a shallow, narrowing river via a broad bay. The funnel-like shape not only increases the height of the tide, but it can also decrease the duration of the flood tide down to a point where the flood appears as a sudden increase in the water level.

Bores take on various forms, ranging from a single breaking wavefront—effectively a shock wave—to ‘undular bores’ comprising a smooth wavefront followed by a train of solitary waves (solitons). Larger bores can be particularly dangerous for shipping, but also present a challenge to surfers.

The word bore derives through Old English from the Old Norse word bara, meaning a wave or swell.


The straightforward answer to the question is the Qiantang River, China, which has the world's largest bore: up to 9 metres (30 feet) high, travelling at up to 40 km per hour (25 miles an hour). Other notable bores include the Seine ('le mascaret', now eliminated by dredging) and, in the UK, the Severn Bore (up to 2m / 7ft high).

63481.  Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:44 pm Reply with quote

Delta is the term used for D in the phonetic alphabet except in airports, because there's an airline called Delta Air Lines. "Dixie" is used instead.

63482.  Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:45 pm Reply with quote

Which might link us to 'Dixie' if we needed it to - perhaps the Texan Embassy?

Until its statehood in 1845, there was an Embassy of the Republic of Texas at 3 St. James Street in London. The building is now a branch of Berry Bros & Rudd, the wine merchants.

A short distance away there is also a Tex-Mex restaurant called The Texas Embassy Cantina, located at 1 Cockspur Street, off Trafalgar Square. This was previously the offices of White Star Line, owners of the Titanic.

Texas won independence from Mexico in 1836 and became the 28th state of the Union in 1845, but it was a sovereign republic in the intervening years.

Website for seditionist & sovereignty movements in US:

The Confederate states were: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia.

The micronations link up to Garrick's question about the Coral Sea Islands off Australia.

Even so, I can't presently see where this line of enquiry is getting us ...

63487.  Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Delta Force is the popular name for a US anti-terrorist unit modelled on the SAS. They don't use the name themselves - it comes from a Chuck Norris film. They refer to their personnel as 'operators' rather than 'operatives' so as to avoid confusion with the CIA (this doesn't sound like the world's greatest bit if clarification to me, but I guess they know what they're doing), and they used to call the unit 'Delta', not 'Delta Force'. However, even that name has now apparently been changed (reportedly to 'Combat Applications Group') because it was too well-known.

In Black Hawk Down you can tell the Operators by the way they wear their hair longer than the other Special Forces guys and ignore each other's ranks - apparently this is authentic.

63492.  Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Delta Bluesman Robert Johnson didn't start recording until three years before his death in his mid-20s in 1938 and recorded a total of 29 songs in two recording sessions, sitting with his back to the engineer's booth so that no-one would be able to see his hands - but is regarded as the Daddy by many bluesmen.

He sold his soul to the Devil in return for his virtuosity; this was done by playing the guitar at a crossroads until a large black man came up, took the guitar, tuned it, and handed it back to you. Deal done. (There's a similar story about Paganini and his violin).

64785.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:43 am Reply with quote

Steve King of Glocester has broken the world record for the longest surf, by riding the Severn Bore. Around 1000 surfers from around the world queued up to ride the bore, but Steve was the last man standing after 7.6 miles and over an hour and a quarter of surfing.

The 1.2m Severn bore occurs 12 times a year, and is one of over 60 bores around the world; sadly this year could be the last year of the bore, if an 8-mile hydro-electric barrier across the Severn is approved by the Welsh Assembly.

S: The Times 11-04-06

64792.  Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:56 am Reply with quote

I wonder if, for viewers in the West Country, this question will be a bit familiar? We get the Severn Bore surfers on our local TV news every year, along with a brief scientific explanation of it all. And of course, with the barrier being talked about yet again, the whole boring business is rather fresh in people’s minds.

72982.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:42 am Reply with quote

“A bore is a type of tidal wave, a single wave that flows up a river estuary as a result of an especially high tide. It's an example of what scientists call a soliton, a solitary wave that travels with little loss of energy, retaining its shape and speed but increasing in height as the river narrows and shallows. Among the most famous bores is that on the River Severn, a few miles from me. "Eagre" is said just like "eager" and is an older dialect name for the phenomenon on the rivers Ouse and Trent as well as the Severn. It's been written in many ways, among them "hygre", "higre", "agar" and "aigre". It's now rarely seen in any spelling. Though we understand how eagres happen, we're no nearer discovering the origin of that name.”

... and more, at


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