Tuesday, December 1, 2015

History: The Year is 1684

I've uploaded year 1684 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

Prostitution is Defined... More Precisely -- The King redefines prostitution so that it no longer includes mistresses. I talk about the increase of prostitution in Greece and how Cuba has produced a very sad twist to paying for sex.

4,000 Buffalo Bite the Dust -- The first mass buffalo hunt... and the last for a long while. I talk about the process.

Notable Events -- Opium and tea smugglers.


Prostitution is Defined... More Precisely

A few years ago King Louis the 14th of France threatened to cut off the nose and ears of any prostitute within 5 miles of the Palace. However, the actual term "prostitute" is so ill-defined in the law that it could mean any woman engaged in extra-marital activities such as an errant mistress, or a servant girl with character slightly less sterling than a nun's. This loose definition allows men to pressure women into activities they might not willingly engage in otherwise such as the recent, brilliant idea to send women to French Canada to marry Canadian trappers. To take the pressure off of these women, the King has changed the law to draw a distinction between women actually engaged in the business of money-for-sex and women just trying to make the best life they can in an ugly world. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Dvorak's Law says that during an economic downturn, the hookers get cheaper and better looking. It's not a real law but it makes some sense. Greece has repeatedly defaulted on its debt payments causing its economy to collapse and the number of hookers to increase by 150%. About 80% are under the age of 20. With the flood of extra prostitutes the price for a girl with negotiable virtue has dropped from 50 euros to about 4. In real money, that is $4.23... about the price of a sandwich. Legal prostitution in Greece is regulated but the vast majority of prostitutes are illegal, untested, and altogether too young. They are women trying to make the best life they can in a world turned ugly, yet again. And don't ask me about Cuba. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] OK! You made me talk! On a humanitarian mission to Cuba in 1990, a doctor was approached by two girls aged fifteen and twelve while he was waiting for his bus...
FIFTEEN.: Okay, me and her, all day, all night, one hundred American dollars.
DOCTOR.: What? Oh. Aren’t you two supposed to be in school right now?
TWELVE.: School. Right. Okay. Me and her, all day, all night, fifty American dollars. What do you think? We do everything.
DOCTOR.: I’m… I’m waiting for my bus. Where are your parents?
FIFTEEN.: Okay, señor. Best offer. Me and her, all day, all night, no dollars. Free.
DOCTOR.: Free? Why free?
TWELVE.: You’re at the Nacional (a good hotel), right?
FIFTEEN.: You got those little soaps and the toilet paper, right? We’ll take those instead.
DOCTOR.: The little soaps and…Instead of cash?

TWELVE.: We stink. [7]

4,000 Buffalo Bite the Dust

It's not called Texas yet. The region is called the Concho Valley and buffalo herds use the valley as a winter haven. Juan Domínguez has been sent from New Mexico to establish missions, and to build a fort there, but when the thunder of tens of thousands of buffalo shake the valley he gets the idea of collecting their hides. The buffalo bring disease as they trample through the Concho River. Nevertheless, the animals provide meat for the Spaniards and hides for warmth. Juan and his men kill and skin 4,000. It is the first mass hunt for buffalo ever recorded. Thereafter, the desire for mass buffalo hunts falls off. The Indians will continue to collect hides for sale and that process will remain comfortably inefficient until after the Civil War. Then organized hide hunts will lead to the near extinction of the buffalo. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
After the Civil War, the buffalo herds had seemed endless and the profit to be made was tremendous when compared to the start-up costs which were almost nil if one already owned wagons and .45 caliber rifles. After one season, an owner remarked that his greatest expense had been the cost of the coffee. While I've heard stories of buffalo being killed and left to rot, the organized expeditions killed only as many as the skinners could process. The meat was carried back in the wagons. It was an extremely efficient process. In fact, it was too efficient and by 1880 the herds of buffalo of the Concho Valley were gone. In 1997, plans were made to capture the last herd of free buffalo in Texas. That herd consisted of three dozen animals. They were sedated and taken to Caprock Canyons State Park southeast of Amarillo in Briscoe County. [11] [12]

Notable Events

* Chipperfield's Circus introduces animal acts at the Thames Frost Fair. [13]
* The Dutch East India Company begins selling opium. Dr. Thomas Synderman recommends opium as the universal cure for suffering. [14] [15] [16]
* Tea smuggling increases in England. Tea costs 1 shilling per pound. The tax is 500% so you know what happened next. [17]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1684, Wikipedia.

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