I was just wondering, entirely hypothetically, which would be the best route to take from Lissavruggy in County Galway to the Valvelspitze mountain in the Italian section of the Ötztal Alps.
As ever, Google Maps provided some useful advice, presenting me with two options: the first route (marked in blue) via Reims, Nancy and Zurich (1,932km); the second (marked in grey) via Brussels, Stuttgart and Ulm (2,053km).
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But Google's response presented me with something of a dilemma. While the first route is 121km shorter than the second, Google predicts that, in current traffic, it is likely to be 55 minutes slower.
Such dilemmas must be rife in the armed forces. Should one take the guaranteed shorter route, or the potentially faster but longer route? When it comes to military manoeuvres, as opposed to entirely hypothetical exercises, lives might well be a stake. Does one take the more roundabout route via Belgium, Germany and Austria (as Hitler, no doubt, would have), or does one violate Swiss neutrality by taking the more direct route via France and Switzerland?
I'm glad I don't have to make such decisions.
How about you?
Please feel free to attempt to justify your answer in the comments.
(While you're at it, you might also wish to consider the pros and cons of taking the M6 Toll Road.)
Guardian video: Robert Harris on Fatherland: 'What would have happened if Hitler had won?'
Answer: They would have banned smoking in all public buildings, started monitoring all of our personal correspondence, anaesthetised our brains with vapid television and radio programmes, banned dogs from beaches, and sold us a pack of lies about how we could combat climate change with a few windmills.
But I suppose the trains would at least run on time.
Compare and contrast:
Mary Midgely (Guardian, 30-Sep-2006): During the last century Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot found no difficulty in committing the three most monstrous crimes of all time, not only without the help of religion but in open opposition to it.
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, 1925): Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
With enemies like that, who needs friends?
(He was a vegetarian too, you know. And a fervent anti-smoker. Doesn't necessarily make him a bad person, though.)
Further reading: Loads more of Hitler's religious pronouncements here and here.