Friday, July 3, 2015

History: The year is 1604

I've uploaded year 1604 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Time of Troubles and a Moving Response to Disaster -- Russia is recovering after famine and death. How we react to volcanoes today is different than what we could do back then. We have options.

The English Dictionary Goes Alphabetical -- It is odd that no one though of doing this before. Now spelling counts, sort of.

Cheating Satan of His Desire: Coffee and Crullers -- There is a story going around about the Pope and coffee. It's funny and probably untrue.

The Time of Troubles and a Moving Response to Disaster

In 1600, a volcano in Peru blew sky high leaving a crater 2 miles wide. Massive amounts of sulfur were spewed into the stratosphere causing global temperatures to drop just before summer. In Russia, crop failures became the rule causing massive famine, cannibalism, and roaming bands of looters. An estimated 2 million people died. The Russians call it the Time of Troubles which will bring the Romanov Dynasty to power in 1613. Outside of Russia, unseasonably stormy weather reduced crop yields and delayed the ripening of fruit trees. Now the world begins its recovery yet again. Volcanic eruptions can have destructive consequences. 400 years ago, the options to prepare for such disasters were limited. In the modern day our options are more promising. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, in 1601 North America had a cooler than normal summer but no devastating crop failures. It was tough but manageable. Japan reported later than average blooming of their fruit trees. Western Europe certainly suffered but not as much as the Russian people did. Unlike modern movie depictions of global climate disaster, some places will make out OK. Even during the Great Famine of 1315 while people in London were eating their own children, there was plenty of food in southern Italy. The problem was transporting the food from where it was plentiful to where it was needed at a reasonable price. In the 1300s they couldn't do that very well. Today we can. We are also more mobile so that even though we can't do much about a volcano's destruction, we can get out of its way. Don't get too discouraged unless you are living in Tacoma, Washington. Anyone living along the probable path of destruction of Mount Rainier needs a bus ticket, not a cellar filled with survival seeds, nor mason jars filled with 5-bean chili. When an obvious disaster is looming, often the best thing to do is to move out of its way. [8]

The English Dictionary Goes Alphabetical

It seems obvious to people of the modern day, but until now, no one thought to put an English dictionary into alphabetical order. This particular dictionary is not much help. It is only 120 pages of 2543 words designed for use by women, but it is a start. Today, spelling counts, but it doesn't count for much, yet. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Anyone reading letters written by our Founding Fathers will notice that they are blissfully unconcerned with proper spelling. Using a dictionary in alphabetical order is not as obvious nor as easy as one might think. Anyone trying to use a Japanese dictionary knows that well. I've had to learn how to use a dictionary in Hebrew which is a little easier. A Hebrew dictionary is in Alef-Bet order which seems like a good beginning toward the Alpha Bet order, but the letters themselves look squared and arbitrary. I'm not sure if readers of the 1600s normally learned the English alphabet in a specific order but knowing the alphabet in proper order would be a prerequisite to using a dictionary effectively.

Cheating Satan of His Desire: Coffee and Crullers

At this time so much coffee is coming through the Yemen port of Mocha (MOH-kah) that some people consider the drink a Muslim brew and they fear that its a design of Satan. The people urge the Pope to taste this coffee and make his judgment. He takes a sip and loves it! The Pope suggests that he is denying Satan of his drink by drinking the coffee himself! Somewhat less controversial was the publishing of the recipe for a new French dough called "puff pastry." It is so delicious and light that bakers will use it to create éclairs, French crullers and, God help us all, churros! If you want to mark the founding of Starbucks from this date then seek help... and a nice caffè latte (KAH-fey LAH-tey). [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Is this coffee story true? Probably not, but the story was going around at the time. Given that two Popes had died within the year 1604 and intellectuals were predicting the end of the Papacy it is remarkable that people passed the time with this amusing story about the Pope and coffee. I have never bought anything from Starbucks but at home my wife made a coffee drink with whipped milk for me. It tasted like candy but I'll go to Hell in my own way, thank you very much. I'm sticking with regular coffee. [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1604, Wikipedia.

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