Wednesday, August 5, 2015

History: The Year is 1618

I've uploaded year 1618 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Hell Is Empty. The Thirty Years' War Has Begun -- The Catholic King is giving a war and the Protestants have sent their RSVP... throwing the King's men out the window to the pavement below. They live.

Kepler's 3rd Law of Orbital Dynamics -- A little tongue-in-cheek I describe orbital dynamics.

Hell Is Empty. The Thirty Years' War Has Begun

The King of Bohemia, Ferdinand the 2nd, is unhappy with previous kings who have granted religious freedom to the Protestants. Protestants are even building chapels on the King's own land. King Ferdinand is the designated heir to the Holy Roman Emperor, so whatever he wants today has sweeping implications for Europe's future. Representatives of the King have arrived in Prague to read the riot act to the Protestant representatives. In summary: the lives of the Protestants are forfeit and all that is left to do is the dying. The Protestants listen carefully, and realize that if they are going to die anyway they might as well die as lions. Two of the King's men are led out of the room because they seem like well-meaning fellows. The other King's men are led out of the room too... via the window. They fall three floors to the pavement, and live. The Catholics call it a miracle, but the Protestants say... well... it no longer matters what anyone said. The point is that the King is giving a war and the Protestants have sent their RSVP. The Thirty Years' War is on. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... this is not only a religious conflict. It is a struggle for dominance... kings over Popes, lesser nobles over higher nobles, nationalism over provincialism and peasants just trying to survive. It started with the counter-Reformation in the midst of a Catholic renewal driven by idealists. The Catholic Church has found its moral footing once again. Since France is Catholic at this time, one would assume that Catholic Spain would be a natural ally, but France doesn't want to be absorbed into the expanding Spanish/Hapsburg/Holy Roman Empire. Instead, France eventually finances a Protestant invasion of Germany by King Gustav the 2nd of Sweden. When you see a Catholic nation paying a Protestant nation to beat up another Catholic nation, that tells you that this war has less to do with religion and more to do with power. The Bible makes no distinction between secular and religious governance. The kings believe that they are every bit the agents of God as the Pope, but that is going to change after this war. Religious dominance in government is going to fade. [6]

Kepler's 3rd Law of Orbital Dynamics

I know what you are saying to yourself... "The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit. It's so obvious!" Look. I know that Kepler's 3rd law of orbital dynamics is probably printed on the back of every cereal box today, but back in the 17th century, astronomers used to think that all planetary orbits were perfect circles centered on the Sun and that orbital speeds were constant. Planetary orbits are none of those things. Orbits are ellipses which means they are ovals which have TWO off-center focal points. So the Sun can't be in the center of the orbit. It must be at one of the focal points of the ellipse. Since an elliptical orbit means a varying distance from the Sun, the speed of a planet will vary within a range. Given the instrument precision of the time, they can see the difference, but just barely. [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Honestly, they won't get these orbits right until the 20th century when Einstein's relativity is figured into it, but even using Newton's Laws of Motion, we will be able to send probes to the planets. It's really tricky to reach the planets with a probe though. You can't just point a rocket at a planet and launch. You must figure out where it will be a few months from now, aim for that point and launch. Then you must meet the planet in it's orbit just at the right place and at the right accelleration. If you are off by even a little bit, you fly right into the planet, or never meet with it at all. [8]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1618, Wikipedia.

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