Thursday, October 8, 2015

History: The Year is 1656

I've uploaded year 1656 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The First Jewish Doctor of Maryland -- If it weren't for the honor, I'm sure the Doctor would have as soon skipped it. He will be arrested for blasphemy under the Laws of Tolerance, but they'll grant him amnesty. I talk about how Christianity is getting better even though its followers have flaws.

A Study in the Diseases of Miners... and Minors --It's an occupational study of the occupational hazard of mining and specifically.... lead poisoning. I talk about modern sources of lead poisoning as well.

The First Jewish Doctor of Maryland

There is some evidence that Jews came to Maryland with the first waves of colonists, but the first documented arrival of a known Jew occurs this year when Doctor Jacob Lumbrozo arrives. He was born in Portugal, lived in the Netherlands and has come to Maryland on business. He will eventually apply for permanent residence. The reason history will know of the good doctor is due to an unpleasant episode a few years later when he will be accused of blasphemy. In Maryland, under the Laws of Tolerance, blasphemy against Jesus is a capital crime. I dare say that the rules for blasphemy in the 17th century are so strict that I can almost guarantee that every single listener to the Survival Podcast today would qualify as a blasphemer under the Maryland Laws of Tolerance. All you would have to do is to hit your thumb with a hammer, and shout... well... you know what you would shout, and that would do it. (It was nice knowing you.) Luckily, Doctor Lumbrozo will catch a break when the Maryland legislature declares a general amnesty to honor the Lord Protector Cromwell. Thereafter, the Doctor will live in Maryland unmolested, but the central question of religious freedom will not be resolved until the early 1800s. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Let's put this into perspective. European Christianity has not covered itself in glory in the 17th century. The French massacre of 1655 was the rule in religious war... not the exception. With that kind of carnage and outright cruelty going on in Europe, the Maryland Christians looked like frickin' saints in comparison. The colonists were trying to find a new Christian way and they made mistakes along the way... often big mistakes... but they were trying. In history we are going to see several Christian renewals, and additional mistakes and then additional renewals. It will get better, but my sense is that modern Americans idealize these times and forget (or never realized) that these were real people carving out a life in an unforgiving and deadly wilderness. Medical practice at the time was primitive, but Jewish and "Moorish" doctors were considered the-best-of-the-best and were the doctors of kings. Thus it was unsurprising that the lawmakers moved Heaven and Earth to avoid prosecuting a Jewish doctor. Even lawmakers know which side of the buttered bread hits the floor first. [5]

A Study in the Diseases of Miners... and Minors

Samuel Stockhausen publishes one of the earliest formal studies of occupational diseases this year. In this case, he has studied the diseases of miners. He has found that lead poisoning in miners is due to breathing lead fumes. Lead poisoning has been known for centuries, but it is not easy to pin down all the symptoms. For example, no one has noticed, yet, that lead poisoning also causes anemia. Last year severe abdominal pain called "Devon's colic" developed after drinking Devon's apple cider. Currently everyone thinks it is due to something unique about Devon's apples. It will be years before they realize that the barrels in which the cider is made is being cleaned out using lead shot. The lead residue in the barrels is causing lead poisoning. [6] [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've been told that the Roman Empire fell because of lead poisoning due to the lead pipes the Romans used for plumbing. I find that hard to believe but the word "plumbing" is related to the Latin word for lead... plumbum. Lead in the diet of children tends to thwart the proper growth of the nervous system (and thus the development of the brain). That is why lead-based paints are no longer recommended for use in nurseries. Little children used to put flecks of chipped paint into their mouth and it didn't take much lead exposure to mess with their proper development. One should also avoid lead-based paint when decorating one's dinner dishes or lead-based glaze for pottery. [10] [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1656, Wikipedia.

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