Tuesday, August 18, 2015

History: The Year is 1627

I've uploaded year 1627 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Fire in the Hole! Rock Blasting Is Now Reality - Boom! I offer a warning about taking advice from old encyclopedias and ancient copies of Popular Mechanics.

Spain Defaults on Its Debts and the Bank Makes Money -- It's a little complex, but I make an attempt to explain how the King of Spain can stop payment on his loan and the banks still make money.

 Fire in the Hole! Rock Blasting Is Now Reality

Some very brave men in Solvakia have figured out how to use gunpowder to break up the rock to make mining easier. Essentially, one drills a hole into the rock, and inserts a gunpowder packet with a long fuse. Then the hole is packed so that the blast will be contained within the rock rather than blow back out through the hole. Drilling a number of holes along line and setting off the charges simultaneously (or as close as possible) allows entire sections of rock to fall away in a controlled manner. (Don't try this at home, kids.) [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Rock blasting is extremely dangerous, and the older encyclopedias offer entirely too much information to keep you safe. I sometimes wonder if I really need to advise caution on such things. After all... only a knucklehead would try something this crazy without adult supervision. Unfortunately, the number of knuckleheads I run into on a given day is enough to convince me otherwise. In researching this segment, I ran across a very old Popular Mechanics magazine. One article was touting a "Home of the Future!" It had a diagram of a fireplace with the chimney pipe routed under the floor before exiting up and out the roof. (NOT A FRANKLIN STOVE! A Franklin Stove actually makes sense.) This "House of the Future" channeled smoke from the fireplace through the house, BUT this can be extremely dangerous! If any vapors get into the living areas, you are dead. A fireplace heat transfer system like a Franklin Stove is completely separate from the exhaust gases because dying of carbon monoxide poisoning is a bad thing. And there are other problems involved with capturing heat from a fireplace. Again, there are a lot of knuckleheads out there... especially college-educated knuckleheads... so use care. [2] [3] [4]

Spain Defaults on Its Debts and the Bank Makes Money

Spain has run out of money again. King Phillip the 4th has held back his payment to the Genoa banks. He is now living off of the payment he would have made, while he negotiates with the bankers to restructure the loan. This is hardly the first time this has happened. It is not a surprise and with the value of silver dropping due to inflation, Spain is being nibbled to death by ducks. It must be driving the King mad knowing that he owns the world's most massive silver mine and yet he can't make the nut on his debt, nor pay his troops regularly. But the King is getting wise to what is going on here. The bankers have been playing with the international money supply. [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Genoa banks forced this bankruptcy by halting the money transfers to the King's troops. The troops' pay had to be delivered in coins. Those coins (preferably gold) had to come from somewhere, hopefully not too far away. Local banks could transport local coins to pay the troops rather than bringing in coins all the way from Genoa or Spain risking robbery and/or piracy. (Read "robbery" as "The French" and "piracy" as "The English.") The Genoa banks pressured the King by blocking those transfers when he hit the debt ceiling. Then the banks would offer trade credits... a temporary loan either in coins or goods until the King could arrange for long-term credit. Once the parties renegotiated the loan, the trade credits were repaid with interest. If this sounds like a scam, congratulations. You are catching on. By 1627, the King was catching on too. The Genoa banks took a boot to the butt when the King of Spain replaced the Genoa banks with Portuguese financiers that had markets located in various countries (and thus having coins pre-positioned for use locally). In the modern day one wonders what sort of under-the-table manipulations are going on when the German banks extend their loans to Greece. Banks are not charities. They weren't in 17th century and they aren't today. [6] [7] [8]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1627, Wikipedia.

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