Sunday, May 31, 2015

History: The Year is 1585

I've uploaded year 1585 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The First 'Pi Day' is Now Possible -- There is already a serviceable value for pi but this is the first time it is accurately calculated as an irrational number out to 6 decimal places. I also talk about the myth of a legislature passing a law that pi should equal 3. It almost happened... in Indiana.

Baby, It's Cold Outside... Hot Chocolate Comes to Europe -- The 'Food of the Gods' come to Spain. They think it is an aphrodisiac. On a cold night, maybe it is.

The Anglo-Spanish War and the Sum of Their Fears -- Queen Elizabeth signs a treaty putting boots on the ground in the Netherlands. The English have joined the 80 Years' War. The English military are complaining that the Queen is starving them, yada, yada, yada.

The First 'Pi Day' is Now Possible

Actually the first 'pi day' will be March 14, 1592 (3.141592...) but you can't have the first pi day without accurately calculating pi out to at least 6 decimal places. But other than the novelty, why should we care? OK... if you are pouring concrete for a circular base for your water tank, or if you are using an auger to drill footings, you will need to know the number of square feet of concrete to have delivered to your job site but circles and cylinders are not square. The formula to make this calculation includes pi as a constant so having a good estimate of pi makes your final answer more accurate. For a small job it probably doesn't matter but as the jobs gets bigger, the errors increase. Many people in history can claim good estimates of pi using various methods. Even the Bible can make a kabbalistic mystical claim. Archimedes made the first generally accepted estimate. However, this year pi is finally presented as an irrational number that can be calculated accurately out to 6 decimal places so now we can have pi day. The man who accomplishes this is a French amateur mathematician, François Viète. His formula is unwieldy but its a first. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
An April Fools joke goes out every once in a while about some legislature passing a law that pi should equal 3 in order to make things easier on students. While ALL of these claims are false, it almost happened in Indiana in 1897. Apparently, as the reasoning went, since pi was one of the "insolvable mysteries and above man's ability to comprehend," a few formulas were presented as proper ways to figure pi that didn't offend the sensibilities of the citizens of Indiana. Amongst the "proper" values was 3.2. Luckily, Professor C. A. Waldo of Purdue University was in attendance during the vote and pointed out their error. (And I can imagine him calling them all dunderheads.) The vote failed and science was saved. Thank you, Professor Waldo! [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Baby, It's Cold Outside... Hot Chocolate Comes to Europe

Hot chocolate wasn't invented in Switzerland. The word 'chocolate' comes from the Aztec name for the hot beverage they made out of the cocoa bean. Cocoa beans come from a tree that grows in the New World. The Aztecs believe it was brought down to them from the gods. Hence the scientific name for the cocoa tree translates into English as 'food of the gods'. After fermenting and drying, it is ground into a powder and made into a hot beverage which is thought to promote health. They also think it is an aphrodisiac. (Just wait until 'Lady Isabella' gets a swig of this stuff!) The Spaniards begin shipping the beans to Seville in production numbers this year. They will find the taste too bitter but mixing it with some honey or sugar makes it palatable. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The beans dry to a brownish-purple color. A few rare beans are white so they are at a premium. The myth that chocolate is an aphrodisiac may account for the Spaniards going through the trouble of experimenting with the taste. Given the death rate for women in childbirth at the time, it must have taken a lot of convincing to get 'Lady Isabella' to do her duty for Spain, if you know what I mean. Christopher Columbus accidentally came across the cocoa bean but he didn't know what he had. FYI, turning a cocoa bean into that powder you buy at the grocery store takes a little more work that I'm portraying here. The process wasn't discovered until 1828. Obviously the world still thinks it is worth the trouble, especially when the snow is coming down, and like the old song says, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." [19] [20]

The Anglo-Spanish War and the Sum of Their Fears

The stuff has really hit the fan now. In general, the English have been supporting the Calvinists in small ways in the Netherlands as the Dutch continue their rebellion against Spanish rule. Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England has also authorized privateers to interdict Spanish shipments of gold and goods. Despite the King of Spain's previous marriage to Elizabeth's sister, Queen Mary, and Elizabeth's coy promises (your lips say, 'No, no,' but your eyes say, 'Yes, yes') the King has had enough. After the assassination of the leader of the Dutch rebellion, Queen Elizabeth has signed a treaty offering boots on the ground and enough money to constitute 1/4th of the budget of the rebellion. Sir Francis Drake sails to the New World and sacks Santo Domingo. England has joined the 80 Years' War. [21]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The English military were consistently whining about how much money Queen Elizabeth was spending on the Dutch rebellion while 'starving' the military at home. While fears of a Spanish naval attack were justified, it is not clear how she could have spent enough money to counter the greatest naval armada in the world at that time given her budget constraints. As a percentage of her budget, she was not starving the military at all. This simply proves the quote from Winston Churchill...
Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together - what do you get? The sum of their fears. [22] [23]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1585, Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

History: The Year is 1584

I've uploaded year 1584 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

William the Silent is Silenced -- The leader of the Dutch Revolt is assassinated by a lawyer, making him the first official to be assassinated by a handgun. I talk a little bit about the wisdom of listening more than speaking.

Was It Really Worth 'Flipping Off' the Czar of Russia? -- Ivan the Terrible dies, leaving the governing of Russia to his idiot son, and his son's idiot regent. This regent will make so many people angry that in the 1960's someone will go to the trouble to mock him on a famous cartoon show for kids.

The Lost Colony of Virginia, the Mystery Begins -- Sir Walter Raleigh manages to fund a colony on Roanoke Island in the New World. It is seriously underfund, though, and when a rescue expedition shows up years later, it's a ghost town.

William the Silent is Silenced

William the Silent has the dubious distinction of being the 1st government official in history to be assassinated by handgun. William has been leading the Dutch Revolt against the Spaniards and doing reasonably well despite setbacks, so the King of Spain has had a contract out on him. A lawyer steps forward to do the deed. He asks for no reward other than to have his family taken care of should he succeed and die. This is an easy promise for the King to make since he has no confidence that the lawyer will succeed. The lawyer approaches William dressed as a beggar, pulls a wheel-lock handgun from under his cloak and fires. William the Silent is no more. His last words are...
My God, have pity on my soul; my God, have pity on this poor people.
[1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A statue of William the Silent can be found on the campus of Rutgers University at the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The university was founded before the American Revolution by the Dutch Reformed Church. In case anyone was worried, the assassin was captured and beheaded but after having his hand burned off, his flesh pulled from his body with tongs, disemboweled while alive and pulled apart by horses, the beheading seems like an afterthought. William the Silent got the nickname because while he was on a hunt with King Henry the 2nd of France, he listened quietly as the King went on and on about the plans to quell the uprising in the Netherlands. In saying nothing, William learned strategic information that helped the Dutch Revolt. Sometimes it is more important to listen than to speak.

Was It Really Worth 'Flipping Off' the Czar of Russia?

Ivan the Terrible has a massive stroke while playing chess. This ends his reign of terror, opening the way for his son, age 26, to take control... or non-control. Feodor the 1st is a simple man who likes traveling the land ringing church bells. Calling him an idiot would be an insult to real idiots. Naturally, he has a regent to run things. His name is only important to people who watched cartoons as children in the 1960s. The regent will prove to be a feckless leader. The Romanov Dynasty will gain control in 1613. It will be a welcome relief because between now and then, about 2 million people are going to die from starvation due to a multi-year famine. These troubling times will haunt the Russian mind for centuries to come. [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... 2 million people dead and I'm going to talk about a silly cartoon. I apologize in advance. The name of the regent of the Czar of Russia at that time was Boris Godunov (GAW-doo-nahv). He became the Czar after Feodor's death. The Little Ice Age was the cause of freezing temperatures in Russia that killed the crops during the summer months but Czar Boris got most of the blame for the Time of Troubles as they were called. Regarding cartoons, those who enjoyed the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show will remember the two comic spies: Boris and Natasha. The name "Boris Badenov" is a mocking play on the name of Czar Boris. He has been dead over 400 years, but someone still thought it was worth the trouble to flip him the bird. Amazing! [6] [7]

The Lost Colony of Virginia, the Mystery Begins

Sir Walter Raleigh and friends have managed to pool their funds (and distribute their liability) for the first English colony in the Americas. Raleigh has received a charter from Queen Elizabeth the 1st to colonize the New World which he must exercise quickly or lose the franchise. The purpose of the charter is to establish a colony as a base to bring forth the riches of the New World and to act as a base of operations for English privateers while they prey on Spanish shipping. The colony is established on Roanoke Island, but it is underfunded and in 1587 they will send someone back to England to beg for help. After several delays due to war, the rescue expedition will arrive in 1590. All that will be left will be a single skeleton, the letters 'C R O' carved into a tree and the word "Croatoan" carved into a post. [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
To this day we can only guess what happened to the Roanoke Colony. The word "Croatoan" could have meant that they decided to move to Croatoan Island. Death from disease, Indian attack or Spanish attack seems unlikely. They had agreed to a signal for danger, the Maltese Cross. If they could carve letters into a tree, they could carve a Maltese Cross. (FYI, the Maltese Cross would have been remembered as the symbol of the Knights Hospitaller who had been attacked on the Island of Malta by the Ottoman Turks.) Since many of the structures at the colony were dismantled and the cannons missing, they had obviously moved. To where, no one knows. [12] [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1584, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

History: The Year is 1583

I've uploaded year 1583 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

A Witch-burning in Vienna: Releasing Frankenstein's Monster -- A family disagreement turns into a witch-burning (and I thought I had problems with my relatives.) As the government took official notice, the whole thing spiraled out of control.

Trial by Combat is Dead but the Idea is Not -- The last sanctioned court duel is done but the idea that God is on the side of the good guys is not.

Wallenstein and the Marshall Plan -- One of the great generals of the 30 years' War is born. He will suggest that the people who want a war ought to pay for it rather than squeezing the losers for it. That was the idea behind the Marshall Plan after World War 2.

A Witch-burning in Vienna: Releasing Frankenstein's Monster

Elsa is a 70-year-old woman who has been raising the children of her dear departed daughter, Margaret. Margaret's former husband has left. Unfortunately, only one of Elsa's grandchildren reaches teen age: a girl with epilepsy. Elsa is accused of witchcraft by her former son-in-law because he believes his daughter has been possessed. A famous exorcist expels 12,652 demons from the teenager's body. Under torture, Elsa finally admits her guilt, but the confession is such BS that the Mayor of Vienna appeals to the Emperor. Appeal denied. Elsa is dragged to a field, strangled and burned at the stake. All that is left of Elsa in the modern day is her story, some regret from the local citizens who had nothing to do with this injustice, and a street named in her remembrance. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
And I thought I was having trouble with my son-in-laws. What is amazing is that this accusation of witchcraft wasn't thrown around more often. During the Middle Ages accusations like this would occur in waves, like hysteria, and before you knew it, 60 people would be fighting for their lives. Elsa probably would have been OK if she could have worked something out with her former son-in-law, but when the exorcist came into the picture, Elsa's fate was sealed. Once the authorities get involved you can expect the result to be swift and ugly. That is why it is best to keep disagreements, especially family disagreements, private if at all possible. But we seem unable to work these things out amongst ourselves, expecting the government to mediate our arguments. We forget that the government is like Frankenstein's monster. Once we let it loose on the townspeople it soon returns and it will be after us next.

Trial by Combat is Dead but the Idea is Not

A trial by combat is a court-sanctioned duel to find out who is right. The idea is that if God is on your side, He'll make sure you win. It's not exactly "might is right," but it's close. This year the final verifiable trial by combat is carried out between Teig and Conor, each accusing the other of treason. Apparently Teig is right because Conor is now dead. There will be a few more trials that almost end in combat, but disaster will be averted either by direct intervention by the King or the other guy won't show up for the duel. In 2002, the 60-year-old Leon Humphreys will demand a trial by combat to the death between himself and the clerk at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to settle a traffic fine. The court will decline to name a champion to represent the government agency. [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Although there is no more trial by combat, we retain the idea in popular culture. Whenever we read a story or watch a movie where the hero walks through a hail of bullets unharmed while his opponents drop like flies, our willingness to believe that this makes any sense whatsoever is all the proof we need that we still believe that God or the Great Pumpkin protects the good and the right from harm. Some have said that moral courage is to numbers in battle like three to one. In other words, God is on the side of the one who is right. Is this true? Abraham Lincoln once said...
...I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side. [7]

Wallenstein and the Marshall Plan

One of the great generals of the 30 Years' War is born this year. In fact Albrecht von Wallenstein will be a little too great and make the Holy Roman Emperor nervous. Wallenstein will offer a novel way of funding wars. Prior to this time, wars were funded by the losers in the form of plunder and taxes on the losers. This policy tends to encourage wars. Wallenstein will suggest that if we want a war, we ought to pay for it ourselves. In a sense this is like "crowd-funding" wars and the idea will tend to limit wars rather than expand them. War taxes will come into use after Wallenstein's death, but for now, he's just a baby, waiting for his turn at life. [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
After World War 1, the Treaty of Versailles called for war reparations from Germany as the loser of the war (and the cause of it's damage though both sides had a hand in that). Germany was unable to repay the countries and resentment built up as the world economy collapsed. This resentment and brow-beating set up the conditions for the rise of Hitler and World War 2. After World War 2, the Marshall Plan sought to rebuild Europe without destroying Germany in the process. Last I heard, Europe is rebuilt so I don't understand why we are still in Europe, but the idea of the winners and losers paying for the war is a Wallenstein idea. But whoever had the idea, we pay for war one way or the other. [9]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1583, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

History: The Year is 1582

I've uploaded year 1582 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Back to the Future: The Gregorian Calendar -- The modern calendar is introduced but it is not accepted universally. I talk about various problems people had with the calendar and also talk about the time drift experienced by the scientists handling the Mars Rover.

The Douay Catholic Bible Translation -- Every translation is an interpretation so the Catholics come out with their own interpretation of the Bible in English.

'The Ambition of Oda Nobuna' is Not Just a TV Show -- The Japanese leader is caught without a defense so he sets fire to the temple and kills himself. I also talk about the TV show and video game that includes his character as a reference.

Back to the Future: The Gregorian Calendar

Pope Gregory the 13th introduces the Gregorian calendar. It replaces the Julian calendar which has been drifting from its connection to the traditional names of the months. (Example: December means the 10th month, but it's not the 10th month.) The Julian calendar adds an extra day every 4 years but its too much of a correction, adding a little over 11 minutes to every year. This is interfering with the calculation of the religious holidays, particularly Easter, so the Pope commissioned the mathematician Christoph Clau to come up with a solution. He uses leap years, but with special rules... [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
New Year's Day changed to January 1st. (It used to be a few days before Easter.) They also time-traveled from Thursday, October 4th to Friday, October 15th to realign the religious holidays. Naturally, acceptance of the new calendar lagged. Alaska switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1867. In some countries, the people rioted, demanding their missing days back. After all... if you had a contract with a delivery date certain, you just lost time for production and transport. Fewer work days meant a smaller paycheck that month for rent. In the modern day the scientists monitoring the Mars Rover have a drifting work schedule. Mars has a rotation of 24 hours, 39.5 minutes, so a scientist starting the day shift on Mars-time will be working the graveyard shift on Earth-time after a few weeks as the planet times drift out of sync. [8] [9] My apologies: In the history segment for 1469 I said that the Gregorian calendar has a leap year, but said nothing about how the Julian calendar is calculated, thus implying that the Julian calendar did not have one. It has one but it is an over-correction.

The Douay Catholic Bible Translation

To this point, the Catholic Church has been resisting a translation of the Bible into English, depending instead on Saint Jerome's 4th century Latin translation, but most people don't read Latin. The Protestants have been winning the "social media" war with Bibles translated into the vernacular. The Catholics believe the translations are biased. (FYI, all translations are biased. Every single one. No exceptions.) Now the Catholic Church can address those concerns with their own English translation prepared by the Catholic seminary in Douay, France. It remains the basis of the modern translation that the Catholic Church uses today. [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As I have said before, every translation is an interpretation. The translator is choosing from several words in English that best convey what the original text is trying to communicate. It is perfectly reasonable for disagreements to occur between translators as to what is the most important (or least misleading) idea to present to the reader. Each translation not only leaves out important meanings but adds meanings that are not in the original text. It is the duty of the reader of any translation to remember this and look up troublesome Bible passages to make sure it says what you think it says, but I'm not your father. It's up to you to handle the issue in your own way or not handle it at all.

'The Ambition of Oda Nobuna' is Not Just a TV Show

With the deaths of so many leaders in his fighting force, Lord Oda Nobuna has been struggling to maintain control over Kyoto and the surrounding area. He is sending out the leaders he has left to strengthen his armies but in sending them away, he becomes vulnerable himself. He has been one of the three unifying figures in Japanese history, but when one of his generals sees this opening, Nobuna realizes he is a goner. As the general approaches the temple to kill him, Nobuna has his aide, Ran, set fire to the temple. He then speaks these last words to his aide before committing suicide, "Ran, don't let them come in...." Ran also commits suicide. The body of Oda Nobuna is never found, leading to much speculation, and some myth. He remains a mythical figure in Japan to this day. [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
He also has his own video game and TV show! The TV show is listed on the Anime Network as 'The Ambition of Oda Nobuna'. His character is gender-flipped into a girl with a mean temper and a lot of ambition. Obviously, the character bears little resemblance to the real figure of history. Cultural references are made to Oda Nobuna throughout Japanese entertainment including novels, manga, and such. In other words, everyone knows his name even if they don't know why he was important to Japan.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1582, Wikipedia.

History: The Year is 1581

I've uploaded year 1581 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The 'Single Whip Law' of China -- It's a silver debacle again but it's mostly about centralized corruption. I talk about the corruption in the UN Oil-for-Food program.

A Fireball in Thuringia -- A meteorite and a great SciFi book related to Thuringia and a West Virginia coal mining town.

Siberia is Conquered by Dummies and Clever Cossacks -- Yermak is a Cossack deputized to conquer Siberia. He bites off more than he can chew.

The 'Single Whip Law' of China

Corruption has plagued the Chinese tax system so they have passed a law that centralizes and consolidates those functions so that there is a consistent tax method across the land. The name of this new law is "The Single Whip Law." Single Whip is a marshal arts term. It is a stance that is leaning forward with an arm forward for defense and an arm held back to hide the striking blow. (Golly! Nothing implied by that. Is there?) Aside from the desire for efficiency, this law allows for the importation of silver from the New World and a change in how taxes are figured on domestic mining operations. This causes a dramatic increase in the taxes collected from Chinese mining operations, or at least the REPORTING increases because wildcat miners figure it is cheaper to pay the tax than it is to dodge the authorities. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Chinese government assumed that silver would never lose its value, but after the silver market fell, people were paying their taxes with devalued silver that wouldn't buy what it used to buy but did work great for their tax obligation. The Single Whip Law didn't stop the corruption either. It simply traded a lot of petty corruption for centralized MAJOR corruption. Remember in 1995 after Gulf War 1, the United Nations established the Oil-for-Food Program allowing Iraq to sell oil to certain approved companies in exchange for food and essential medical aid. This program turned into a kickback scheme that netted Saddam Hussein 10 billion dollars. UN officials and the various companies made out like bandits... because they WERE bandits. The subsequent investigation resulted in stern warnings to public officials, suspended sentences and a few missing people. I don't recall anyone at the UN being fired. [4] [5]

A Fireball in Thuringia

A mighty fireball streaks through the sky and crashes into the countryside of Thuringia which is a province in central Germany. Scientists on the scene find the meteorite. (There is a college nearby.) This event appears in the Catalogue of Meteorites and Fireballs and according to the charts it was verified as a single stoney object weighing 39 pounds. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I mention this ball of fire from space because I'm reading a science fiction novel based on the premise that an entire West Virginia coal mining town of present day is suddenly picked up whole and moved to the countryside of Thuringia. They are also moved back in time to the year 1632. The heroes of the story are the United Mine Workers of America and two Sephardic Jews. (Those are Spanish Jews.) It is a survival subject since they must figure out how to maintain power for the town, work out defense and also figure out how to plant crops and eat. From a survival standpoint its a tricky problem. It is also a fun read: "1632" by Eric Flint. [9]

Siberia is Conquered by Dummies and Clever Cossacks

Yermak Timofevitch is a Cossack. He is also a rabble-rouser, a thief, and general nuisance. He is only good for one thing... conquering Siberia. Gregory Strogonof has been granted some land west of the Ural mountains but he sees great potential in the east. He just needs help to conquer it. Gregory gets the Tzar to pardon Yermak on the condition that he conqueror Siberia. Yermak gathers 800 of the best highway robbers, prisoners and ne'er-do-wells, arms them with muskets and sets out in 1579. It goes well until Kuchum Khan sets a trap for them. The Khan draws a heavy chain across the river, hoping to catch the Cossack boats and ambush them. The boats come down the river, but they aren't filled with Cossacks. They are filled with dummies. Yermak has already come ashore, outflanks the Khan's superior forces and drives them out of their capital city of Tobolsk. This is just the first probe into Siberia. It will take several years to reach the Bearing Sea. Before then, Yermack will die of drowning trying to escape an ambush by swimming the river while wearing his armor. [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Let's say that some of this sounds like BS. While it's true that most of the inhabitants in Siberia had little more than Stone Age technology, the Khan's 30,000 troops could do a lot of damage with bows, arrows, and spears at their disposal. While it is possible for a small force of 800 men to surprise and possibly take a city from such a large force, it is not possible to hold a city for very long. Only the onset of winter saved them. Yermak knew he had bitten off more than he could chew so he sent for reinforcements from Moscow. He also sent a boatload of furs to encourage the patriotism of his fellows.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1581, Wikipedia.

Friday, May 22, 2015

History: The Year is 1580

I've uploaded year 1580 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Too Much Silver Limits Spending in the Ottoman Empire -- The Sultan has run out of money to pay his elite soldiers so he has to limit his wars to only the bare necessities. (Choke. Cough.)

When Fighting for Your Rights Goes Wrong -- The Catholics in England are getting along, sort of, but the Continental Catholics want to poke their finger in the eye of Queen Elizabeth. I talk about the civil right movement in the USA and how outsiders tended to stir things up.

60 Years in a Fog: Portugal is Annexed by Spain -- King Sebastian of Portugal dies without an heir so the King of Spain claims the throne. I talk about the granaries for the poor set up by King Sebastian.

Too Much Silver Limits Spending in the Ottoman Empire

Janissary soldiers are young Christian slaves trained with strict discipline to be Turkish special forces. They are so good, that they are paid a salary and they have their own pension plan. (Promotional brochures on demand. Please drop by the recruiting office.) Without putting too fine a point on it.... they are carrying guns and they know how to use them really, really well. You don't want them unhappy and this year they are officially UNHAPPY. Silver coming from the New World has caused inflation, but taxes and salaries are not adjusted for inflation. The soldiers are risking their lives for pennies on the dollar and the government is not taking in enough revenue to pay for the increased price of everything. Rebellions are springing up. Eventually things will settle down but this has stopped the rapid expansion of the Ottoman Empire. To save money they will hire mercenaries as needed and as they can afford it. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When the US Constitution was written, it was well known that government spending had to be restrained, so they limited tax revenues to tariffs and excise taxes on booze and such. They believed that a smaller pool of money would force competing interests to cooperate. That was supposed to be a big fight with few winners. It also meant fewer wars or at least shorter wars since every dollar spent on war was one less dollar spent on that farmers aid package. But Prohibition cut off a major source of tax revenue so the government replaced it with an income tax. When Prohibition was repealed (so to speak) the tax on booze returned but the income tax never went away. The income tax supplies the government with an enormous pool of money and it adjusts to inflation, pushing tax payers into higher and higher brackets as salaries rise to match higher prices. The government will NEVER give up this system voluntarily. That train has left the station. There is just too much money involved and too few people deciding what to do with it. We are heading for that big bend in the track at 100 miles an hour. I sure hope a rock doesn't hit us. [3]

When Fighting for Your Rights Goes Wrong

In England, Catholics are skipping the Anglican services and praying at home. These Catholics must pay a fine for a lack of attendance. Since most of the English Catholics are submitting to the fine, Queen Elizabeth the 1st remained hopeful that the Catholics would eventually be drawn to the Anglican church.... that is, until Catholics missionaries from the Continent (meaning Europe) arrived in England to convert the Protestants. They do so in such a public manner, even setting up their own printing press and distributing pamphlets criticizing the Queen. The English Catholics are not going along with the Continental Catholics and their confrontive ways. At the Siege of Smerwick, Ireland, Catholic forces made up of Italian and Spanish soldiers are forced to surrender unconditionally. When the English Army enters the town, 600 Catholics are executed. By next year the English parliament will call for a law to make the practice of Catholicism high treason. [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s there was a push to get black people registered to vote. Many Southern white people were trying to discourage them by blowing up churches. A KKK bomber came to Mississippi to blow up the president of the local synagogue. (I think that was in Jackson, Mississippi.) The sheriff caught the bomber as he was coming across the lawn. There were a lot of good Christians in the South who were willing to help out black people and Jews. I'm not just saying that or hoping that. I know that. My point is that it may seem brave (and often it is) to come swooping in from out of town, lead a protest, and then leave. Just remember that there are people left behind who must live with the consequences of your actions. [6] Further comments (optional): I am old enough to have cycled through several polite labels for black people such as "colored," "black," "American African," and "African American." This last one seems oddest of all. I know Africans, FROM AFRICA, who are white. Secondly I remember watching TV news coverage of a riot in England. The newsman wanted to say, "African-Americans are running down the street" but he couldn't. They were English. Were they African-Anglos? Black-Brits? I just don't care any more.

60 Years in a Fog: Portugal is Annexed by Spain

The young King Sebastian the 1st of Portugal has disappeared. It is believed he has been killed in battle but without a body, the rumors persist that he is simply lost and will one day reappear out of the fog. (Really. I'm not kidding.) He has no heir so there is a fight for the throne. There are even people who come forward claiming to be King Sebastian himself. Finally, the King of Spain, Phillip the 2nd, takes the throne for himself and joins the crowns of Portugal and Spain. It is a more-or-less peaceful annexation. His claim to the throne is reasonable (as reasonable as any other claimant) and he is the big dog in this hunt. Portugal will remain as a separate state within Spain but for the next 60 years they will be in decline. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
During his reign, King Sebastian had set up communal granaries for the poor. These granaries provided loans, and seeds so that the poor could grow their own food. (Imagine that! Helping yourself out of poverty by the sweat of your own brow. The poor were expected to pay the loans back once they were productive again. It seems to me there are two kinds of poor: those who are disabled due to illness or injury and those able-bodied poor who, due to circumstances or plain laziness, need a jump-start (or a swift kick in the backside) to get going again. In the Bible, the poor came to the fields and walked behind the harvesters picking up whatever they dropped or missed. The charity of the Bible required some work. [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1580, Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

History: The Year is 1579

I've uploaded year 1579 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Akbar's Dream and the Right to Tax-Exempt Worship -- The Muslim Emperor of India has lifted the tax on being a non-Muslim. He wants freedom of worship. I talk about our tax code and how it limits religious freedom today.

The Laws of War and Musketeer Roll Call -- The Spanish siege is a bloody mess with many abuses we would see as wrong in the modern day. I talk a little bit about the Three Musketeers and the Geneva Conventions.

Akbar's Dream and the Right to Tax-Exempt Worship

Emperor Akbar, the Muslim leader of India, has had a revelation: "Let men worship as they will." Under Muslim rule, non-Muslims must pay a special tax to continue their worship, but Emperor Akbar has lifted the tax. He believes in the tolerance of different religions, even those he would consider as pagan. He allows Hindus who had been forced to convert to Islam to return to Hinduism if they wish it. As a result he has become very popular amongst the Hindus. Even Tennyson will write a favorable poem entitled "Akbar's Dream". Akbar is the third of what will be a long line of Mughal emperors. In time the emperors will lose control of their vast empire but they will retain their riches and influence. In the modern day, the word "Mughal" has been transformed into "mogul". It means "a rich and powerful person." Apparently it also means "an influential person" since the religious tax did not return until ISIS recently reintroduced the tax. Any who refuses to pay the tax is beheaded. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It may seem medieval to execute a person for not paying a tax, but try not paying your taxes. Soon the sheriff will show up at your door and if you resist him too strenuously, he will shoot you. Often pastors will not speak their minds on certain subjects for fear of losing their congregation's tax exempt status. Without donations, a church can't pay the mortgage or the light bill. The IRS can hassle church donors by questioning whether their donations are tax deductible or not. According to an IRS pamphlet (see below), a church has automatic tax-exempt status but many congregations can apply for a 501c3 status so that tax deductible donations will be hassle-free. (What a convenience!) Unfortunately, like signing a contract with Satan, the devil is in the details. Because of a condition placed in the law by Lyndon B. Johnson, a 501c3 organization limits their right to free speech when they apply. The solution is for churches not to apply but then they lose that nifty pre-approval status for their donations. (WARNING: I am not a lawyer. I don't even play one on TV.) [7] [8] [9]

The Laws of War and Musketeer Roll Call

The city of Maastricht (MAH-strict) has been a center of trade since the Middle Ages. In the 16th century it is also a militarily strategic city. Fortifications have been built as the Spaniards lay siege to this city held by Dutch rebels. Tunnels are dug under the fortifications so that sappers can set charges. The Dutch set fires in the tunnels to suck out the oxygen and suffocate the sappers. Also boiling water is poured down the tunnels with the obvious result. Then, 500 Spaniards are killed when one of their own charges goes off before it is set in place. It is exhausting and bloody work. As the Dutch are sleeping, the Spanish troops find a breech in the wall and attack. Without a formal surrender, the laws of war at this time allow the Spaniards to loot with impunity, but as the Spanish did at Antwerp, they needed no excuse to loot. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, the main character in the novel "The Three Musketeers" is a man named d'Artagnan (tar-TAN-yon). The character is based on a real life musketeer who died at a different Siege of Maastricht in 1673. I can say without fear of contradiction that the man's real life was quite exciting but bears little resemblance to the character in the novel or in the movies. Regarding any international law of war, the nations have been trying to work something out since biblical times. Passages in Deuteronomy lay out rules such as not destroying fruit trees because they cannot run away from the battle. The Catholic Church has tried to define what a just war is, and after the 30 Year's War (and the 80 Year's War) they will define more rules for war. In fact, the four Geneva Convention treaties beginning in 1864 grew out of this need to limit the abuses we see in war. Of course, those who do not sign on to the treaties do not get the benefits and that was the whole debate on whether the jihadists at Gitmo could claim rights under the Geneva Conventions. (Technically: no. Practically: yes because on the modern battlefield it is too complex to treat the enemy in various ways depending on what their country signed or not.) [12] [13] [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1579, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

History: The Year is 1578

I've uploaded year 1578 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The King's Ambiguous Sexuality and the Jefferson vs. Adams Campaign of 1880 -- King Henry is prancing around like a... uh... a guy who prances. I also talk about the 1880 campaign where John Adams is accused of being an hermaphrodite.

Bring Me the Heart of Don Juan -- Don Juan of Austria has broken the back of the rebellion and then dies of camp fever. His body will be shipped back to Spain in pieces but his heart will remain in Belgium. He is a man with two graves.

The First Thanksgiving... in Canada -- Sir Martin Frobisher calls for a prayer of Thanksgiving... for surviving Canada. It was rough getting there and they were lucky only to lose one ship. BTW, he is a man with two graves, just like Don Juan is.

The King's Ambiguous Sexuality and the Jefferson vs. Adams Campaign of 1880

King Henry the 3rd of France has not fathered any children, leading his critics at court to suggest that he is a little light in the loafers. (It is more than a suggestion, actually.) To foster this impression, the King dresses in a sexually ambiguous manner and surrounds himself with men who dress better than the women. These men are called "the Favorites" and it is obvious that the King is taunting his critics. It is just this sort of foolishness that leads to trouble. There is a lot of tension between the Favorites and the House of Guise so they decide to stage a mock battle to let off a little steam. It turns into mayhem. Two men lay dead. Two more die days later. King Henry is playing a dangerous game and it's going to get more men killed, including himself one day. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
During the 1880 American presidential campaign, Vice-president Thomas Jefferson hired James Callender (a well-known scandalmonger) to write hit-pieces on his opponent in the election, President John Adams. Callender wrote that Adams possessed a "...hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." This, along with other gems got Callender thrown in prison for a violation of the Aliens and Sedition Act. (Callender was a Scotsman.) After Callender was released from prison, he demanded that Jefferson, now President, appoint him as Postmaster of Richmond, Virgina. Jefferson refused. This led to a series of attacks on Jefferson that resulted in the accusation by Callender that Thomas Jefferson was sleeping with his slaves. Oddly, Callender died of drowning in 3 feet of water, definitely drunk, but was it murder? I'm not sure anyone cared. Long after the election, when both former Presidents were retired, Adams and Jefferson kept up a long and warm correspondence. They died on the same day, July 4th, 1826. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Bring Me the Heart of Don Juan

Don Juan of Austria ("Austria" meaning the Hapsburg dynasty) must bring the Dutch rebellion under control. After the recent Sack of Antwerp by unpaid Spanish troops (mostly from Catalan), Don Juan has called for reinforcements from Italy. At the Battle of Gembloux (SHAHM-bloo), in modern day Belgium, the forces of William of Orange are spanked hard. In fact only 20 Spanish soldier are killed. 6,000 on the Dutch side die in the first cavalry charge. It is a route that strikes at the heart of the rebellion. Then Don Juan dies of camp fever (probably typhus). His body is chopped up into several large pieces, salted and returned in secret to Spain. Intrigues have cast a shadow over his character, but once King Philip reviews his letters, he decides that Don Juan was pure of heart. Unfortunately only his body was returned to Spain. The heart of Don Juan was placed in a small casket and entombed in the wall of a cathedral in Belgium where it remains to this day. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In all wars right up to World War 2, the number one killer of the military was disease on the battlefield. The Bible recounts armies being repelled by disease as they besieged cities. It killed Edward, the Black Prince of England, very, very slowly. Certainly the Mongols were decimated by the Black Death as they sat outside of Genoan holdings in Crimea. Disease was often seen as a judgement from God. In many cases it is easy to understand that point of view. One might also think that God provided a miracle drug when early antibiotics were introduced. People who were once goners, rose from their beds restored to health. Is it any wonder that doctors got a reputation as minor deities? As patients become more educated in their medical expectations, doctors have climbed down from their lofty pedestals. It is good to have a firm ego in place as a doctor, but it should stop somewhere short of divine.

The First Thanksgiving... in Canada

English explorer, Martin Frobisher, calls for a prayer of Thanksgiving while his ship lays at anchor in Frobisher Bay off of Baffin Island near the Hudson Strait. He is not thankful for the many riches he has found in Canada. He is grateful that he is still alive. He is searching for the North-West Passage to China and India, but he can't even establish a small colony because the ship with all the building materials hit ice and sank earlier. He will pick up a few rock samples and return to England. Assayers will judge these rocks as gold ore. Gold fever hits London and several ships are sent to load up on Canadian "gold." It is later judged to be "fool's gold" or pyrite. The rocks are used to build a wall along the Queen's manor. It is a singularly expensive wall and an epic failure for Martin Frobisher. He will be knighted for his naval work later in his career. [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When observing Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, Frobisher's earlier contribution is often ignored so I wanted to mention it. Canadian Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday in 1879. I found it heartening to learn that even though Frobisher's expeditions were utter failures, he managed to distinguish himself later in life. He was shot in the war against Spain and carried back to Plymouth, England where he died of his wounds. His internal organs were buried at the local church and his body was shipped to London and buried there... so he has two graves.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1578, Wikipedia.

Monday, May 18, 2015

History: The Year is 1577

I've uploaded year 1577 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Sir Francis Drake's World Tour and Privateering -- Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and most people think of him as a hero but compared to the standards of today... not so much.

The Plague Churches of Venice -- So much tragedy has hit Venice that it starts a flurry of church building. I also talk about whether I should expect God to protect me from getting run over by a bus.

Sir Francis Drake's World Tour and Privateering

Francis Drake is a privateer selected (along with two other men) to co-lead an English expedition to attack the Spanish along the Pacific coast of the New World. Along the way he suspects one of his co-captains of mutiny and has the man beheaded. The other captain returns to England after a storm scatters the little fleet. Drake continues on, plundering Spanish coastal towns and claiming California for Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England. He then strikes out across the Pacific Ocean, circumnavigating the globe. When he returns to England he will be knighted by the Queen, elected to the House of Commons and his ship, the Golden Hind (rhymes with "pinned"), will be placed on display for 100 years. A replica of the Golden Hind remains on display today. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Drake had been imprisoned by the Spanish for selling slaves in the New World without permission. After he escaped, he had no problem with becoming a privateer for jolly old England against Spain. A privateer is a brigand or pirate, sanctioned by the government to interdict shipping (usually at sea) who then sells those goods for profit. A privateer carries a "Letter of Marque" (pronounced, "mark") which is a get-out-of-jail-free card. The advantage is that governments don't have to pay privateers, so it is a way to build an army or navy on the cheap. Privateering is an ugly business which is why governments react badly whenever a vessel is boarded at sea for "inspection." [4] [5] Additional Information (optional): Several prayers are attributed to Sir Francis Drake. They are fakes crafted by well-meaning pastors from letters he wrote. The pastors totally missed Drake's point, but the pastors' prayers are inspiring. [6] [7]

The Plague Churches of Venice

Venice can't seem to get a break. In 1571, Venice joined the Christian Coalition and won the Battle of Lepanto but the win had its cost in lives and treasure. In 1574, a fire broke out at the Doge's Palace, destroying some of the greatest artwork of the century. Then the Black Death stuck down over 46,000 Venetians which was almost a third of the population. Now the Doge of Venice, Alvice the 1st, sets the first foundation stone of a church of thanksgiving for the end of the plague and then drops dead. By unanimous vote, the hero of the Battle of Lepanto, Sebastiano Venier, is elected as the new Doge, but another fire in the palace has destroyed more works of art. It is said that the new Doge died of a broken heart, shortly thereafter, but he was 81 so who knows? [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Two Doges (or Dukes), two fires and the plague. With so many tragedies (and the tragedies were not over yet) the Venetians engaged in a flurry of church building. These are called the plague churches. Although we haven't talked about it for some time, the Black Death has not gone away. The plague will be used as an excuse to shutdown unsavory businesses such as gambling houses, animal-baiting arenas (cockfighting pits), brothels and (shudder) theaters. While limiting public exposure to plague makes sense, gathering at churches does not. The idea that God could protect me from disease comes from the Bible, but its like standing in front of a bus and holding up a Bible to save myself. I believe in the Bible in the sense that it is God's communication but I also believe in staying out of the way of buses.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1577, Wikipedia.

History: The Year is 1576

I've uploaded year 1576 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Sack of Antwerp and Sutton's Law -- Spain has not paid its troops again so the troops take their pay out of the citizens of Antwerp who have generally supported Spain to this point but this isn't about support. It's about the money.

The Autobiography: The Love of Self and a Promotional Tool -- Autobiographies have been used for self-aggrandizement, but they have also been used as a promotional tool for a good cause... and bad ones.

The Shakespearean Era Begins with the First PBS -- The first Shakespearean playhouse is built, but Shakespeare is still a boy. The playhouse will begin with educational plays.

The Sack of Antwerp and Sutton's Law

Antwerp is the financial capital of Europe. At least it was until now. Don Juan, the half brother of the King of Spain, has been made governor of the Netherlands after his victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. FYI, he saved all of Western Europe from Ottoman rule in a single day. I would have made him King of Candyland if that's what he wanted. What he got was another challenge. Unfortunately the King of Spain went through yet another currency collapse last year. With no credible money to pay the troops, the Spanish troops decide to take their money out of the hide of the locals... in this case, Antwerp. Why? That's where the money is. This isn't about religion. This is about the money. Thousands will die as the city burns. In it's place Amsterdam and London will fill the vacuum as financial centers. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Willie Sutton was on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for his bank robbing expertise. It is an urban myth that when asked why he robbed banks he replied, "Because that's where the money is," but the myth was turned into a principle called "Sutton's Law" which is: "First, check for the obvious." That applies to history. Although the people of the 1500s are struggling with a few unique problems, there are general principles that apply: You must not only watch out for your enemies, but you must also watch out for your friends.... or "Watch the watchers". And remember the Latin proverb: "Cui bono"... who benefits? In other words... follow the money. [6] [7] [8] More Information (optional): When Wille Sutton was released from prison, he went straight... straight to the bank. He made a commercial for their new credit card. The tag line was... "They call it the 'face card.' Now when I say I'm Willie Sutton, people believe me."

The Autobiography: The Love of Self and a Promotional Tool

Technically speaking, the first autobiography is written this year by Thomas Whitehorn. Unfortunately, it won't be published so it will have no influence at all, but in 1609, Sir Thomas Bodley will write his autobiography with the catchy title: "The Life of Sir Thomas Bodley, Written by Himself." Sir Thomas will legitimize and greatly influence the genre of the autobiography for one very good reason. He is the man who will save the great library at Oxford now called the Bodleian Library (named for himself) after it had been nearly destroyed by religious factionalism. Sir Thomas's autobiography reads very much like a promotional for the library. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Autobiographies will become popular as a sort of self-promotion or an apology (meaning a defense or justification) for a person's life. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but remember whose purposes are being served. Booker T. Washington wrote, "Up From Slavery: An Autobiography". I recommend it highly. The book is inspirational, character building but he is also promoting the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). Frankly, he was raising money for a vocational school that would eventually became an academic university. Most would agree that his self-promotion was for a good cause, certainly I do, and he was being reasonably straightforward without saying "Donate to Tuskegee!" [16]

The Shakespearean Era Begins with the First PBS

The 1st Shakespearean playhouse is built this year, although Shakespeare is still a boy. It is called, simply, "The Theater." It is an open roof stadium design similar to a cockfighting pit with a covered gallery for the rich that overlooks a paved area and a stage. The poor pay a penny to watch the plays at ground-level and thus are called "the groundlings". "The Theater" has been located outside the London city limits near the brothels. This is due to the increasingly prohibitive regulations and censorship in London. Also the new vagabond laws make the occupation of "actor" the equivalent of a beggar so the acting companies beg local lords to be listed under their service but unpaid. Thus acting companies are named: "The Admiral's Men" or the "The Earl of Leicester's Men" after their sponsors. The Theater begins with plays of an educational variety. It's the first PBS (Public Broadcasting System) of the age. Today, nothing remains of the original Theater except a plaque marking the spot were it once stood. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As a boy, William Shakespeare lived nearby and was inspired to begin a writing and acting career at The Theater. In 1599 a dispute with the landlord caused the builder of "The Theater" to dismantle every piece of wood, carry it across the Thames and build the Globe Theater. William Shakespeare moved with it. One thing I didn't mention was that Queen Elizabeth the 1st managed to "federalize" the law regarding censorship, thus taking away the right of local jurisdictions to censor the lines of a play. Thus, you could have a play, "Banned in Boston!" but you could not have a play, "Edited for family content in Boston" unless the playwright wanted it that way. Alex Shrugged notes: Some of the ideas presented here come from my son who is studying "The Theater" in college. He actually changes his accent when he says "The Theater". It is all in jest. He got an internship at the Santa Fe Opera this summer and his father is proud.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1576, Wikipedia.

Friday, May 15, 2015

History: The Year is 1575

I've uploaded year 1575 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Everyone is Singing from the Same Sheet of Music -- Queen Elizabeth the 1st issues the first patent. Surprise! It's a patent to control music copying.

And the Waters Parted... The Valdivia Earthquake -- The Valdivia River splits like the Red Sea, according to one witness.

The 1st Modern Battle Tactics Used in Japan -- These elements in battle have been around for some time in Japan but they all come together here.

Everyone is Singing from the Same Sheet of Music

Queen Elizabeth the 1st grants the 1st patent in England. Surprise! It's a patent to control music copying. Thomas Tallis and his student, William Byrd are granted exclusive rights to print their sheet music and music paper which has lines to compose music. However their first music book will not be well received (meaning that it will not sell well) because they publish a very large body of work in one book and people don't want to spend their money on so large a publication, regardless of how good it might be. The composers will return to the Queen and beg for help. She will grant them a leasehold on various properties for 21 years which is the length of the patent. It is essentially an artist's royal subsidy which is considered normal for the time. Getting a monopoly from the government to sell a single type of product is not normal for the time. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When I reviewed Thomas Tallis's music, I was stunned at how good it sounds. It is polyphonic like the modern music you'd hear in the background of a movie. I see why an aristocrat would want to subsidize composers like this but granting them exclusive rights to print music would be like having Reba McIntire as the only person who could legally publish CDs (including blank CDs). This would force every artist to go through her before they could sell a single song on CD... including hip-hop singers... while she is trying to sell her own music. (Guess how that would work out.) But Tallis and Byrd's marketing problem was the equivalent of creating an album with 100 songs and pricing the album at $100. Even if the songs were first-rate, and it was only $1 a song, the "entrance fee" would be a little too steep for most people. [5] [6]

And the Waters Parted... The Valdivia Earthquake

The waters part. 50 to 100 homes collapse. The earth opens up as an 8.5 magnitude earthquake hits Chile near the mouth of the Valdivia River. The Valdivia river seemingly runs uphill as it splits like the Red Sea. For the next 40 days, aftershocks will cause landslides and tsunamis that will continue killing Indians but no Spaniards. The death toll will be over 1,000. In 1960, a 9.5 (surface wave) magnitude earthquake will strike Valdivia. In terms of death and damage, the worst earthquake ever recorded occurred in China in 1556 when 830,000 died. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A surface wave earthquake tends to cause the most movement in the needle on the seismometer (size-MOM-mih-tur), but not necessarily the most energy released. This makes it difficult to make a comparison between earthquakes when they use a different scale. And quakes that occurred before there was a Richter scale are estimates based on the damage they caused. Some people suggest that the longer time between earthquakes, the more severe the next earthquake will be, so they want to set off an earthquake early, but the scientific evidence does not support this idea. Valdivia had many smaller earthquakes between 1575 and 1960. They didn't lessen the 1960 earthquake. [13]

The 1st Modern Battle Tactics Used in Japan

All the elements of modern battle tactics come into play for the first time in Japan: the cavalry charge, firearms fired in volley, and from behind cover. Although firearms are not decisive, they are used in effective volleys rather than fired once to break up a charge and then cast away as the melee begins. Barricades are set up to protect the gunmen and to force the cavalry to slow down. Nagashino castle is held by the Oda clan, and it has been interfering with the Takeda clan's supply line so it must taken out. This is the rainy season so the Takeda clan believes a cavalry charge will succeed because the castle gunpowder is probably too wet. Unfortunately for the Takeda clan, the gunpowder is fine. The ground in front of the barricades is soft from the rain and with volley fire from the Oda, it soon becomes a war of attrition until a group of Oda samurai outflank the Takeda and hit them from behind. This battle becomes the turning point of the war. The Takeda clan will hang on for a few more years but its days are numbered. [14] [15] [16] [17]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Battle of Nagashino is a little more elaborate that I can describe here. It was a great effort on both sides and has become the subject of the video game "Shogun 2" (2011). This battle has also inspired annual battle reenactments in Japan similar to American Civil War reenactments. It attracts all sorts of enthusiasts. It was also made into a lengthy TV series... all in Japanese. [18]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1575, Wikipedia.