Wednesday, October 21, 2015

History: The Year is 1666

I've uploaded year 1666 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Gravity of an Apple Falling -- Newton's Apple falls and he realizes how gravity works. Now he has to prove it.

The Great Fire of London and St. Paul's Cathedral -- Flour dust explodes and the fire becomes so hot that people are cremated where they lay. St. Paul's Cathedral is rebuilt. I talk about the Blitz of WW 2 and a novel by Connie Willis.

The (False) Messiah Converts to Islam -- People are still talking about the false messiah who converts to Islam this year. I talk about how desperate people must be to latch on to someone like this.

The Gravity of an Apple Falling

If an apple falls from a tree and there is no genius there to see it, do we get gravity? Young Isaac Newton is contemplating the problem of how the Moon orbits the Earth when he observes an apple fall perpendicular to the ground and he has an intuitive thought. The force that draws the apple to the ground might act further than the top of the trees. It might reach all the way to the Moon and beyond. His intuition will not become a mathematical principle until he publishes his famous work, Principia, in 1687. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Don't forget that while Young Isaac is contemplating the Moon he should be contemplating his mother's sheep! She is trying to train him to run the manor. He will become a much better administrator when he matures. The thing to remember is that his calculations (and many of the thoughts of scientists during this time) are the foundation of science that we use today. Even though Einstein turned physics on its head, and destroyed Newtons general idea of the cosmos, NASA still uses Newtonian physics (the formulas for gravity he put down in Principia) to send probes to Mars and Pluto and land people on the Moon. The reason the Moon orbits the Earth is because the Moon is falling toward the Earth at an angle. Gravity pulls it down, but because the Moon is also traveling very fast it keeps "missing" the Earth, flying past it and looping back. That is called an elliptical orbit. You can think of it as a ball circling around a drain or whatever you wish. Newton's formulas for gravity work well enough. We don't have to know why it works. It just has to work.

The Great Fire of London and St. Paul's Cathedral

A bakery on Pudding Lane catches fire and for those not aware of this fact, flour explodes. The winds build the flames into a firestorm so hot that it melts pottery. Last year the Great Plague of London killed over 70,000 people. This year the Great Fire of London will kill 6. Just 6 that they can identify but the fire is so hot that it is possible many remains are cremated on the spot. 70,000 homes in the inner city are destroyed. The suburbs are threatened but remain mostly undisturbed. St. Paul's Cathedral is fried to a crisp. They were thinking of rebuilding it anyway. It had been defaced during the recent civil war, and frankly, it had been deteriorating for some time. This will be the 5th rebuilding of the Cathedral and its going to last a long time. St. Paul's will stand into the modern day. The Nazis will actually target St. Paul's during the Blitz in World War 2, but it will remain standing as an inspiration to the British people. [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The author, Connie Willis, interviewed many survivors of the Blitz and captured their fear, hope and courage in two great novels: "Blackout" and "All Clear". The story centers around three Oxford historians traveling back in time to study St. Paul's Cathedral but something goes wrong and they are trapped in time during the Blitz. To maintain themselves they take jobs. One historian takes a job as a shop girl near Fleet Street. As the bombs fall, everyone finds ways to make it through. It is a tragic and beautiful story. In the epilogue of the second book, the author discusses the feelings of the people she interviewed and some of the surprises she had during the interviews. [4] [5]

The (False) Messiah Converts to Islam

This is so embarrassing and if it weren't so important I'd just as soon skip it. About a third of all Jews in the world have placed their hopes and dreams in a man who has declared himself the Jewish Messiah. He is a kabbalist... a Jewish mystic. They have also financed a ship to take him to Istanbul where the Sultan has promptly arrested him. The Sultan gives him the choice of conversion to Islam or death. The (false) Messiah chooses conversion to Islam. Some people believe this is just a ploy. Others convert to Islam along with him. The majority of his Jewish support collapses. He is no Messiah. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I bring this up because it is an indication of how desperate people are for a way out of this madness. If you've been following the history segments closely you have noticed that, relatively speaking, the big picture has been getting better. The individual picture is a lot fuzzier. Everyone's perspective is taken from where one is standing right now. With hundreds of thousands of people dropping dead of disease, famine and war, it is no wonder that it looks like the end of the world to these people. However, this is the end for Messiahs for the Jews for a long while. Very strict laws are set forth and Jewish Mysticism is severely restricted in Jewish communities. Don't worry. It will be back. [9]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1666, Wikipedia.

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