Friday, January 29, 2016

History: The Year is 1720

I've uploaded year 1720 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1720

Here are some one liners...


The Genius of Vilnius is Born -- The modern Jewish educational system will be established by this man. He will include math and science. That will create a backlash that is still going on today.

The Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles Burst -- France and England engage in separate get rich quick schemes that are virtually the same thing. It all comes apart when investors realize what the Tulip buyers realized after Tulip Mania.

Astronomy is Going to Hell -- Maximilian Hell is an astronomer with a heck of a name.




The Genius of Vilnius is Born

One of the greatest Jewish scholars of the modern era (if not THE greatest scholar) is born this year in the city of Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. His name is Elijah, son of Solomon, but most people use his title, "The Genius of Vilnius". By 20 years old he will be recognized as a genius and many will seek his judgement on difficult points of law. The people of Vilnius will pay for his support while he sets in place Jewish education as it is known in the modern day. It includes what modern people would call "secular studies" such as math and science along with regular religious subjects. Some Jews will not like this change in the curriculum. They will call themselves "The Pious Ones." The Genius of Vilnius will oppose the Pious Ones and thus define his own movement as "The Opponents." The battle will continue into the modern day. Oh yeah. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am an Orthodox Jew and I am one of The Opponents. I think that the study of the way the world works is the study of God's handiwork. The Pious Ones, ironically, can be found on many college campuses. Yet they still think that the Sun orbits around the Earth. 'Nuf said. I know many of them personally. They are nice guys. I will gladly pray with them, but I can't join their movement. To understand the differences, there is a popular movie for a general audience entitled "The Chosen" (1981) starring Robby Benson. (It is still good.) During World War 2, a Jewish high school organizes a baseball league to prove that Jews can be athletes. It is not a baseball movie but it begins with a game between the Pious Ones and the Opponents. It makes baseball look like a war. The movie focuses on two boys who eventually become friends after almost killing each other. [8] Trivia: Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October" opens with Captain Marko Ramius, a Soviet Union submarine captain from Lithuanian. He is mockingly called: "the Vilnius headmaster." [9]

The Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles Burst

Remember Tulip Mania? A scheme to reduce government debt has blown up in the faces of France and England. France has been swamped in debt so the Comptroller General of Finances, John Law, created the Royal Bank of France (like the Fed) and placed government revenues in the bank. He uses paper money issued by the bank to buy the Mississippi Company, and then grants it a trade monopoly in Louisiana as well as mineral rights. He authorizes the sale of stock in the company, and doubles the population of Louisiana by freeing French prisoners, chaining them to prostitutes and shipping them to Louisiana to build a New World. (Everyone is going to Louisiana!) People go wild buying shares in the Company until they begin to lose confidence in their investments. There is a run on the bank. There is not enough coinage to cover their accounts so John Law makes a run for Brussels. He will live out his final days in Italy as a professional gambler which is almost the same thing as being a fractional banker. [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
England tried something similar with the Bank of England and the South Sea Company. Government debt was repaid in shares of the new company. Unfortunately, when England went to war with Spain, the Spaniards seized assets of the South Sea Company. (Spain was also an investor.) Instead of shutting the company down, England sold even more shares. (The future King George the 2nd was director of the company. His father, the present King, was involved. Even the King's mistress had stock. Oh baby!) The stock price jumped from 100 pounds to 1,000 pounds in a year which made people nervous. Stockholders backed away and the stock price plummeted to 150 pounds. Sir Issac Newton said, "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men." His niece lost the modern equivalent of 2.4 million dollars. After an investigation, widespread fraud was discovered. (Imagine that!) The Company struggled along for years thereafter, but the damage was done. [11]

Astronomy is Going to Hell

Maximilian Hell is born this year in the Kingdom of Hungary. As well as becoming a priest he will also become director of the Observatory in Vienna and publish several papers on astronomy. He will believe in the healing power of magnets. [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I couldn't resist. He has one heck of a name. He also has a crater on the Moon named after him.

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1720, Wikipedia.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

History: The year is 1719

I've uploaded year 1719 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1719

Here are some one liners...


Professional Boxing and the George Foreman Grill -- Bare-knuckle boxing makes a comeback in England. In later years so does the boxer, George Foreman.

The Age of Liberty in Sweden -- They will call it the Age of Liberty later on... but if you think this is real liberty, think again.





Professional Boxing and the George Foreman Grill

Centuries ago, boxing was an event at the Olympic Games in Greece, but the practice was banned by the Romans in the 4th century due to its perceived brutality. It was replaced by more civilized sword fighting. Now, professional boxing is making a comeback in England... no-gloves, bare-knuckled boxing. (Ouch!) The rules are fairly loose. No time limit. Head-butting is allowed. Eye-gouging is no problem. Death is certainly a possibility. James Figg is the first to win the championship and he will keep the title for 15 long years until his retirement in 1730. In 1743 new rules will be introduced. No more grabbing below the belt (if you know what I mean) and if you are knocked down and can't get up after 30 seconds, the fight is over. The familiar "Marquess of Queensberry rules" won't be introduced until 1867. They will define the size of the ring, require gloves and probably the most important rule will be that one wins only by following the rules... not by any means possible. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Those of us old enough to recall the boxer Cassius Clay (later calling himself Muhammad Ali) will also remember "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974 where he fought George Foreman in the Congo. Ali won the championship from Foreman in a knockout. After that defeat, George Foreman made several "comebacks" and he made a bigger comeback with his famous George Foreman Grill. "This machine knocks out the fat!" He has sold over 100 million of his machines world-wide. I saw him on TV about a year ago and he was still pushing hard. Always moving forward. He looked happy. Muhammad Ali has fared less well over the years, at least physically. He is currently suffering from Parkinson's syndrome, probably due to the hits he took to the head during his boxing career. He has always been a controversial figure, but he's paid for all that so I'll just let it be. [6] [7] [8]

The Age of Liberty in Sweden

Sweden's military power reached its zenith during the 30 Years' War and has been in decline ever since. They were doing well for a while during the Great Northern War. Great Britain and Poland helped Sweden fight against Russia and it's allies: Great Britain and Poland. It was a long war and nations switched sides at various times. This proves the rule that nations don't have friendships. They have interests, and King Charles the 12th of Sweden was interested in fighting. He was killed last year when a lucky shot hit him as he was inspecting the troops. His kingship was an absolute monarchy. That means he ruled with unrestricted political power. Now that he is gone, the Swedish Parliament has taken the opportunity to curtail the power of the monarchy. The King's sister is allowed to take the throne only after she agrees to the lesser powers granted by the Parliament. This is considered the beginning of the Age of Liberty for Sweden. It will last until 1772 when Gustav the 3rd will take advantage of a Parliament in chaos and seize power in a coup. [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
They called it the "Age of Liberty" but peasants were still peasants, and the idea that they had a say in how the country was run at the time is a pipe dream. They did have some representation in the Parliament, but their actual power was insignificant. Until the coup by Gustav the 3rd there was freedom of the press but this was seen as permissiveness by the nobles. After the coup, censorship was reestablished. Freedom of the press did not return until 1810 after Gustav the 4th was overthrown. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1719, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

History: The Year is 1718

I've uploaded year 1718 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1718

Here are some one liners...


Selling Criminals to the Colonists -- The colonies are being treated as a dumping ground for criminals, but now criminals are being sold to colonists as laborers in order to work off their sentences.

Remember the Alamo? A New Mission Is Built in Texas -- The Alamo had to start somewhere.

Yo, Ho, Ho! Blackbeard and Queen Anne's Revenge! -- Blackbeard blockades the port of Charleston. He went overboard on that one.





Selling Criminals to the Colonists

In the last few years, Great Britain has been adding to the list crimes deserving of the death penalty including highway robbery, cattle rustling, and hiding assets from one's creditors while declaring bankruptcy. For lesser crimes, punishments range from public humiliation to exile in the British colonies. Giving the boot to the bad boys has been going on for many years, but the British courts are now SELLING them to Maryland and Virgina colonists to work off their sentences in the tobacco fields. About 15% of the criminals are dying in transit across the Atlantic. The rest arrive so ill that it is difficult for the colonists to justify the shipping costs. Nevertheless, it looks like a good deal for Great Britain. They are getting rid of all their rebels, troublemakers and malcontents and dumping them on a continent far, far away. In 1788, Australia will benefit from a similar transfer of undesirables when the British establish a penal colony at Botany Bay. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am delighted to know that the United States and Australia have the distinction of being large scale dumping grounds for people who just refused to toe the line. Great Britain was creating the American Revolution in more ways than one by simply collecting all the troublesome eggs into one basket. In the modern day we no longer banish prisoners to a penal colony, but putting prisoners to work remains a touchy subject. For example, if prisoners grow their own food then the local farmers lose a government contract to sell food to the prison. Farmers vote. Prisoners don't, so the taxpayer foots the bill. Years ago communist China used prison labor to make products sold in the USA. As far as I know, using prison labor is no longer the official policy in China, but there are reports of Chinese prisoners being forced to play video games to build up the scores for their guards. I suppose there are worse things. [3] [4] [5]

Remember the Alamo? A New Mission Is Built in Texas

A Roman Catholic Mission is built this year at the headwaters of San Pedro Creek as part of a project to establish way stations for Spanish colonists as they move into Texas. It also serves to covert the Indians to Christianity. It is named Misión San Antonio de Valero and in later years it will be known simply as The Alamo. A fort is built nearby and a small community springs up called San Antonio de Bexar. Currently the mission is not much more than a mud hut. By next year a more substantial facility will be built close to the Alamo's modern site but in 1724, a hurricane will damage the buildings and the mission will be relocated yet again... where the Alamo will remain into the modern day. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Exactly why the mission was called "The Alamo" is a matter of speculation. In Spanish it means "cottonwood" or "poplar" and may have referred to trees in the area, but another theory is that in 1803 a military company occupied the compound. It was known simply as the Alamo Company and the name became associated with the mission itself. Of course in 1836 during the Texas Revolution for independence from Mexico, President Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo and in a vicious battle killed all the defenders including Davie Crockett, Colonel James Bowie, and Colonel William B. Travis, the commander of the forces at the Alamo. Later, the cry of "Remember the Alamo!" drove the Texans to victory at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texas Revolution lasted all of 6 months and the Republic of Texas was born. [8]

Yo, Ho, Ho! Blackbeard and Queen Anne's Revenge!

Blackbeard the Pirate has many names. The most used by historians is Edward Teach, but this is likely a false name. It is the Golden Age of Piracy and most pirates expect to return to their previous lives once they have made their fortunes. Blackbeard gets his name from a description of him as having a "very black beard which he wore very long". Last year he waylaid a ship which he took for himself and renamed it "Queen Anne's Revenge." It boasts 40 guns and with it, Blackbeard builds up a fleet of ships. He grants himself the rank of Commodore and uses his fleet to blockade the port of Charles Town (now known as Charleston, South Carolina). Several ships are ransacked and he threatens to send the heads of his prisoners to the Governor if he isn't provided the medical supplies that he needs. The supplies arrive late but excuses are accepted and Blackbeard sails on. A large reward is offered for him, dead or alive. He is finally killed in battle when he tries to capture a ship that has troops hidden below decks. It is a trap and it works. Blackbeard's body is thrown overboard but his head is carried back to collect the reward. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've left a lot out of this story. It is worth looking into but Blackbeard's story runs along the same lines as Captain Kidd. The English government didn't like piracy near home but it tolerated it near the colonies as long as the pirates were not too successful. (Blockading Charleston was probably going a little too far.) The pirates remained a ready resource as privateers and the English were willing to issue pardons in order to gain the pirates' support in disrupting Spanish shipping. Not much is known about Blackbeard's past but he was educated and gave the appearance that he was comfortable dealing with government officials. That suggests that he was once part of those circles, but it is only a supposition. The fact that he named his ship "Queen Anne's Revenge" suggests that he once participated in Queen Anne's War... but then again... who didn't?

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1718, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

History: The Year is 1717

I've uploaded year 1717 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1717

Here are some one liners...


It Is the Snowstorm of the Century! -- Recent volcanic activity has produced a series of massive snow storms, making the Blizzard of 2016 seem like a light dusting.

Lady Mary Introduces Smallpox Inoculation -- While staying in Istanbul, Lady Mary witnesses small-pox inoculation and introduces the practice to England. It takes a very long time to gain acceptance.



It Is the Snowstorm of the Century!

Last December, New England was buried under 5 feet of snow. It isn't unusually cold this January but from around February 18th to March 9th, New England is hit by a series of storms, each dumping about 5 feet of snow over the landscape. Drifts are as deep as 25 feet. Entire houses are covered over and the only indication that a house exists underneath is a thin wisp of smoke. The residents are burning their furniture because they can no longer reach their woodsheds. Boston is shut down, and church services are cancelled. Livestock losses are devastating and over 90% of the deer population will not survive to spring. This unusual series of storms is probably due to the recent volcanic activity in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. From now on, life will be measured from the time before the Great Snow of 1717 and the time after. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Blizzard of 2016 this January, dumped an unusual amount of snow over a wide area of New England, but compared to the Great Snow of 1717, it was nothing. I heard anxious claims of snow fall measurements approaching record-breaking depths. The previous record they were referring to was from the Great Blizzard of 1888 which dumped about 40 inches of snow in New York and more throughout New England. The Great Snow of 1717 was a series of Great Blizzards. I also heard complaints about stores being depleted of food supplies. That is due to people not being prepared for the normal and expected problems that occur in their region. Imagine what might have happened if the snowstorms continued? Trucks and trains would be shutdown. The food you had in your pantry would be all there was for weeks. Under the weight of so much snow, electrical lines would eventually fail, and what would people do then? Are snowstorms really such an unexpected occurrence in New England during the winter? [5]

Lady Mary Introduces Smallpox Inoculation

While living in Istanbul with her husband, Lady Mary spends a great deal of time with the local women. The houses are split into three living areas, one part for guests, a second part for men, and the third part is the living area for women. Naturally, children are raised in this area, and Lady Mary notes that in September, the women of the neighborhood gather to have their children inoculated with small-pox. A woman arrives with a small walnut shell filled with small-pox pus. A needle is used to scratch the skin of a child and introduce some of the pus to the wound. Several scratches are made on the skin. Thereafter the children are immune from this deadly disease. Lady Mary is amazed. Her own brother had died from small-pox a few years ago and she had recently recovered from it herself. Lady Mary will write to her friend, Sarah, and suggest that England would benefit from this life-saving practice. Unfortunately, when Lady Mary returns to England, the medical community will denigrate the practice as some sort of folk medicine. The practice will spread slowly, nevertheless. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The idea behind inoculation is to force the immune system to react to a weak form of the virus so that one can be made immune to later infections. Certainly, small-pox live virus inoculation has its problems... not least of which is that one can get full-blown small-pox if one's immune system can't fight off the virus in time. Some people noticed that milkmaids didn't have much of a problem fighting off small-pox and they gained a reputation for being healthy and clear-skinned. (Small-pox tends to leave ugly scars on the skin.) A dairyman wondered if cowpox was similar to smallpox. He took some pus from a lesion on the udder of a cow infected with cowpox and scratched the skin of his wife and children. His wife got a high fever but his children fought off the infection easily. Thereafter, as each small-pox epidemic swept through his region, his family remained pox-free. Cowpox was similar enough to small-pox that it provided immunity for both. The dairyman's cure was ignored, but a doctor named Jenner tried the same thing and insisted that he was correct. He called the procedure "vaccination", after the Latin word "vacca," meaning cow. [9]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1717, Wikipedia.

Monday, January 25, 2016

History: The Year is 1716

I've uploaded year 1716 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1716

Here are some one liners...


Christian Teaching is Forbidden in China -- Europeans are becoming interested in Confucianism so the Pope makes it clear that Confucianism and Buddhism will not be tolerated. Intolerance is not to be tolerated in China so the Chinese ban Christian teaching.

Getting Good Government from a Self-Indulgent Rich Man -- With the King of France dead, the long knives are out. The new King is a kid and the new Regent must save France, in order to save his own worthless backside. And he does it... for a while.

'Capability' Brown is Born -- One of the greatest garden designers of all time is born.





Christian Teaching is Forbidden in China

Christianity has been tolerated in China until now. It all began when the European Jesuits expressed some admiration for Chinese Confucius philosophy. This has opened up the Jesuits to criticism in Europe. The Pope decided to put a stop to this toleration of pagan philosophy by sending the Monsignor of Tournon to China to whip the Chinese Christians into shape. Confucianism and Buddhism are to be utterly rejected by Christians. This confrontational attitude has resulted in the number of conversions to Christianity to drop like a stone, probably because most converts still have a mother and father who maintain their Buddhism and/or Confucianism. The Christians have become so irritating that the Chinese Emperor has banned all Christian teaching. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When a disagreement breaks down to "My way or the highway," a fellow often finds himself on the highway thumbing for a ride. Christianity was at the peak of its popularity in China. Several Manchu princes were Christians, but Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) was on the rise and a few years after banning Christianity, the Emperor turned his palace into a Lamaist Temple. The Jesuits admired the scientific advances of the Chinese and they attributed these advances to an entirely different way of thinking as if the Chinese came from a different planet. I think the Pope purposefully made the Chinese angry in order to create a barrier between these two very different cultures. What is important to note is that when it came to a turning point, it was a battle of ideas instead of a physical battle. Obviously the Catholics were worried so they put up a firewall but this was a change in how religion reacted to a competing philosophy. [3]

Getting Good Government from a Self-Indulgent Rich Man

France has suffered from terrible government corruption. With the death of King Louis the 14th, it is on the verge of financial collapse. The new King is less than 7 years old, all his close relatives are dead and the long knives are out. The man who can save it all is Philippe the 2nd, Duke of Orleans. He is not a particularly nice man. In fact, he is a self-indulgent, drunken prick (excuse my French), but when he sees his cushy life about to go down the drain along with France, he promises to bring back financial stability and good government. The Parliament names him Regent and he goes on a cost-cutting rampage. He discharges most of the military and grants them 6 years of tax-free living. Taxes in general are REDUCED. Thousands upon thousands of useless government bureaucrats are summarily shown the door. Military contractors are brought before a special court called the Chamber of Justice. Since putting everyone in prison would result in no one left to guard the prison, the Court offers leniency for those who confess and a percentage of the money recovered if they will rat out their fellow contractors. (There is no honor amongst thieves.) The Regent also puts John Law, the Scottish economist, in charge of the economy. He believes that money is not wealth but instead, it represents trade. He establishes the Banque générale and uses government funds for the majority of its deposits. (It will become the Bank of France under Napoleon.) France's economy gets an immediate boost... otherwise known as a bubble. In a few years that bubble will burst but for now, it is the Roaring 20s... in 1716. [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... I'm going to make a political statement and as always, my comments are optional. Your chance to turn away is NOW, NOW, NOW. Still here? OK. I'm not a big Trump supporter but neither am I a Trump trasher. What I'm worried about is the recent show of support for Donald Trump by the GOP establishment. I know the establishment GOP thinks that Donald Trump cannot win, so that means the GOP wants to throw the election. I also note that Democrat support for Hillary is unenthusiastic. Do they see something bad on the horizon? Is it a collapsing economy? Is it possible that neither political party wants to take the blame if their candidate becomes President and it all comes apart? Donald Trump says that he could shoot someone in the street and he wouldn't lose any voters. He is exaggerating, but he is not far off. People are afraid just as they were in France in 1716. Those people were willing to place everything in the hands of a man whose only virtues seemed to be that he was reasonably smart and he didn't drink during business hours. They got lucky, for a little while, but then it all came crashing down. [8]

'Capability' Brown is Born

One of the greatest English Gardeners of all time is born to a yeoman farmer and his wife in Northumberland. Lancelot Brown will work the land but also engage in landscape design. He will see land as having "Capabilities", and thus he will forever be known as "Capability" Brown. He will be appreciated for his genius in his own time. Then his type of landscape design will go out of style. It will return in the 20th century and he will be remembered for the genius that he was. [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
He was called a landscape architect, but "Capability" Brown was not an architect in the sense that he built enclosures and fences. He made the landscape seem to go on seamlessly, organically, as if it was all one part, even though he was clearly creating separate spaces. Each flowed into the other and it all looked beautiful and naturally ordered (if that is possible). This is in contrast to the gardens in France that are also beautiful, but obviously contrived to impose rigid symmetry upon nature. (Like Disneyland.) Words cannot do justice to the beauty of a garden with "Capabilities." [12] [13]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1716, Wikipedia.

Friday, January 22, 2016

History: The Year is 1715

I've uploaded year 1715 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1715

Here are some one liners...


Reading Them the Riot Act -- The Right of assembly has just become infringed!

There Are No Slaves in France, Except That There Are -- France denies that there are slaves in France even though there is a major slave port in France.




Reading Them the Riot Act

The Riot Act is passed under King George the 1st of England. When 12 or more people are illegally assembled, the Riot Act is read before the people are... dispersed. Justice is swift. No need for courts or evidence. After one hour has passed, your personal presence within range of a constable's billy club is evidence enough. The police are automatically forgiven for any injury or death that may result during the enforcement of this law. (That means that they can kill you. No questions asked.) The following paragraph is read before justice is dispensed... (rendered into modern English)
Our Sovereign Lord the King charges and commands all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King! -- The Riot Act, 1715. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Riot Act is a law of prior restraint. That means that before you do anything wrong, the government can declare that you are already doing something wrong by assembling. Lots of people carrying signs and demanding their rights under the law tend to make government officials nervous. Thus, the Riot Act was used mostly to quell political protest. The Riot Act was overturned in 1967 or 1973 depending on which source you check. In the USA, the Kent State shootings took place in 1970. Protests against the Vietnam War were met by the National Guard. With that many weapons out and tempers high, bad things can happen. Four students were shot dead and many more were injured. It shocked the nation. The government learned that it could no longer stop political protest by reading them the riot act. I pray that it remembers that lesson today. [3] [4] [5] [6]

There Are No Slaves in France, Except That There Are

France has refused to acknowledge that slaves exist in France even though a major slave port exists in France. This has created a problem for French courts because they cannot deal with an issue that doesn't exist, so to speak. It all comes to a head when a young woman, traveling through France, leaves her female slave at the local convent for temporary lodging. When she returns, the nuns declare the slave to be a free woman. The local admiralty court agrees. The master never told the nuns that the female accompanying her was a slave. And after all, France has no slaves. Remember? This incident occurs at the port city of Nantes, a major slave port. This legal precedence implies that all slaves passing through the port must be freed! They kick the final decision up to the new King of France, Louis the Beloved. Unfortunately the new King is 5 years old. By next year the King's Regency Committee will decide that a slave must be freed unless the proper paperwork is filled out. The law is not settled though. The bureaucracy refuses to record the new slavery law because... after all... there are no slaves in France. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The French of the 18th century were the same people who shouted, "Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!" France was building an image as the center of modernity, enlightenment and cultural. The contradiction of allowing slavery must have embarrassed them. In the modern day the United States is embarrassed by its vices. We pass a law to build a border fence because we know that maintaining our borders is the correct thing to do, but we fail to fund it because we want cheap labor. In the past we made alcohol illegal because drinking was creating a social problem, but we continued to drink anyway while patting ourselves on the back for voting for the socially correct thing. Now we make a plant illegal for the same reason. We are embarrassed by our vices and we punish politicians when they attempt to address these issues in a sensible and honest fashion.

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1715, Wikipedia.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

History: The Year is 1714

I've uploaded year 1714 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1714

Here are some one liners...


A Great American Hero is Born ... in Great Britain -- Rev. George Whitfield is born. He will inspire the British Colonies to revere individual responsibility over collective guilt.

The First Typewriter is Patented -- It is patented but not produced. I talk about crowdfunding.

And Just So You Know... -- Various inventions and events.





A Great American Hero is Born ... in Great Britain

A revolution doesn't just fall from the sky like manna from Heaven. It requires a number of key people to make it happen. The American Revolution will require George Whitfield (also known as Whitefield). He is born this year in Gloucester, England at the Old Bell Inn. He will have a talent in voice and dramatic presence that will rival the greatest performers of the Globe Theater. But... he will not become an actor. He will become a preacher. Together with John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church) George Whitfield will lead the Great Awakening in Britain but after a break with Wesley he will take his preaching to the British Colonies. At the end of his tour, 23,000 will listen to him preach in Boston. Over his lifetime, millions will hear his words and he will start a movement to bring black slaves to Christianity. In his last years he will reside in Boston and die shortly after the Boston Massacre. Phillis Wheatley, a black slave, will publish a poem in praise of his life. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Great Awakening was instrumental in changing the attitudes of the British people, especially in the Colonies. People believed in a collective responsibility but Whitfield helped them understand that individuals had a responsibility too. Whitfield was also responsible for the massive conversion of black slaves to Christianity. Now, if we are all following along in our Bibles, that should have resulted in a massive number of slaves being freed because according to the Bible, believers cannot be held as slaves for longer than 7 years, but Whitfield didn't make that argument. He had opened an orphanage in Georgia which supported itself with an endowment and by growing its own food. In order to stay in the black (so to speak) he needed slaves to work the fields. Slavery was illegal in Georgia at the time. (Oh dear God. No! Don't say it!) So he lobbied to get the law changed. He brought slavery to Georgia. Now he is mostly lost to history even though much of what we admire about baseline American values of individuality and personal responsibility had bloomed due to George Whitfield's efforts.

The First Typewriter is Patented

Patent number 395 is filed by John Mills for a writing device 'impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print, very useful in settlements and public records.' No art work is provided. In fact, there is no evidence that an actual device or model was ever created. All that survives is the description. He is also credited with improvements to carriage springs. [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
After John Mills died, his epitaph mentioned his numerous "toys". The typewriter might have been amongst those toys, but his ideas never became commercially viable. He was not a rich man so perhaps he never found the funding. Alexander Pope began a translation of Homer's Iliad in 1713 only after he gathered the funding first. He didn't find a single investor but instead sold subscriptions to many small investors. I am reminded of a photo-journalist who solicited donations to fund his reporting in Afghanistan. Now crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Iniegogo can make funding centrally available. HOWEVER, simply because your idea is terrific is no guarantee that enough people will want to help you turn that idea into reality. Sometimes a great ideas is ahead of its time. [8] [9] [10] [11]

And Just So You Know...

* King George the 1st takes the throne. [12]
* The fine-point syringe is invented. [13]
* The mercury thermometer is invented by D. G. Fahrenheit. [14]
* Witch trials are abolished in Prussia. Thank God! [15]
* Boy and Girls are learning together in the oldest mixed-gender school still in existence. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1714, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

History: The Year is 1713

I've uploaded year 1713 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1713

Here are some one liners...


The Literary Play of the American Revolution -- A play about Cato will be great on stage and in the parlors of England and the Colonies. It will also provide some of the best lines of the American Revolution.

The X-Prize for Longitude -- The Board of Longitude is formed to issue prize money to the first inventor to create a method of accurate navigation at sea... essentially an accurate clock.





The Literary Play of the American Revolution

George Washington is not yet born, but the British play that debuts this year will become central to the American Revolution. It is entitled "Cato, a Tragedy". (Pronounced, KAY-toe). The play portrays the famous Roman Senator, Cato the Younger, in his dramatic opposition to the tyranny of Julius Caesar. It is a wildly successful play on stage but it has a second quality. Before there was television, people would gather in parlors to read plays. Each person would be assigned a part. Some would read their part while sitting. Others would stand but the focus would be on the words... not on the performance. This play has great words and people will be reading these words well into the 1770s, including Patrick Henry who will paraphrase a line from the play as he shouts, "Give me liberty or give me death!" And Nathan Hale will remember this play as he declares, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." And in 1778, General George Washington will have his troops perform this play at Valley Forge to build up their morale. It will become the inspiration for the American Revolution. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
As a young man, George Washington's favorite character in the play was Juba who loved Cato's daughter, Marcia. Washington could read Juba's lines to the young ladies such as lovely Sally Cary. But some quotes from Juba sound like the mission statement for the building of a nation... [5]

A Roman soul is bent on higher views:
To civilize the rude, unpolished world,
And lay it under the restraint of laws;
To make man mild, and sociable to man;
To cultivate the wild, licentious savage
With wisdom, discipline, and liberal arts--
The embellishments of life; virtues like these
Make human nature shine, reform the soul,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
-- Cato, A Tragedy, Juba, Act 1, Scene 4 [6]

The X-Prize for Longitude

Navigation at sea is hit or miss and a miss can cost a lot in money, time and especially lives when the supplies run out. Sir Issac Newton thinks that it is impossible to determine a ship's position at sea using the stars because clocks are not sufficiently accurate. To use the stars to determine your exact position requires knowledge of the angle of a known star as it travels through the night sky and time at which a known angle will be achieved. By calculation or by table, one can determine at what longitude one is positioned if only he can make a sufficiently accurate measure of the time. Thus Great Britain sets up the Longitude Board to offer prize money for the first person to demonstrate a sufficiently accurate method of navigation to solve this problem. Even though the smartest guy on the planet says that it can't be done, the stubbornest guy on the planet, John Harrison, will solve this problem by creating the mariner's clock and later the mariner's watch. The grand prize for navigating longitude to within half of a degree is 20,000 pounds which is the modern equivalent of a million dollars. He will be awarded the prize money in 1773. [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Board of Longitude really jerked that poor inventor, John Harrison, around by changing the rules on him. It took King George the 3rd to intervene to make sure he got his money. The Board of Longitude remained in existence until 1828 which proves that government agencies can re-purpose themselves long after their original goals are met, and often do. In the United States the Rural Electrification Administration was formed in 1935 by the FDR Administration. It remained in existence until 1998, long after rural areas had been electrified. Then it was reorganized into the Rural Utilities Service and remains in existence as of January 2016. As Ronald Reagan once said, "Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" [9]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1713, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

History: The Year is 1712


I've uploaded year 1712 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1712

Here are some one liners...


A Taxing Development: The Stamp Act is Passed -- Parliament decides to tax the snot out of publications so that they stay out of the hands of the rabble.

Before Uncle Sam there was John Bull! -- John Bull is the symbol of the common man.

Some Notable Births -- Fredrick the Great (a man of war) and Rousseau (an interesting madman and a founder of our educational system).



A Taxing Development: The Stamp Act is Passed

No. Not THAT Stamp Act. The British government has decided to tax publications. By tradition, only scientific papers carry an author's name. That gives the scientific paper credibility. Everything else usually carries no author name and is considered gossip, a story, or unverifiable ancient history... and also makes them untraceable. Now with copyright protection, an author has an incentive to register his publication with the government. This registration identifies a person to the government and with the expiration of the censorship laws, the government is looking for ways to keep the public safe from heresy, blasphemy and uncomfortable facts about the government that will stir up the mob. Making publications more expensive will keep such material out of their hands, so Parliament passes the Stamp Act. It taxes newspapers so severely that only the rich can afford them. Nevertheless, printers still have the ability to produce those large proclamation sheets that Queen Anne uses to communicate with her subjects, so they switch to the larger page size. Not only do they reduce their tax obligation, but in the public's mind, the larger size associates the newspaper with the Queen's authority. The big news comes on big pages. Thus the broadsheet is born. In 1765, the Parliament will pass a different Stamp Act that will become a pivot point in the American Revolution. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A helpful government service (copyright protection) quickly turned into a means of government taxation. The 1765 Stamp Act placed a tax on legal documents, pamphlets, gambling cards and DICE! (Is nothing sacred?) You can see the beginnings of a government obsession with identifying the author of publications and punishing undesirable activities. It begins with the simple need to tax the proper person. You don't want the WRONG person taxed. Right? And it makes sense to identify "bad" people who are stirring up trouble or leading people away from the True Faith. And you don't want people gambling instead of working hard to feed their children. It's for the children! Right? And since government has only the public good in mind, people who oppose various government programs are obviously working against the public good... people like Republicans or Democrats or (shudder) Libertarians! All because the government wants to protect the public... and itself.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Benjamin Franklin, November 11, 1755. [6]

Before Uncle Sam there was John Bull!

John Bull is an inspiring British character used to represent the "everyman". He is a common sense fellow who simply wants what is best for Great Britain and knows how to get it done. No nonsense. Not a lot of talking. Just action. In images, he is sometimes shown pointing the way, or pointing at YOU. This year the fictional story entitled "The History of John Bull" is published. The publisher is bullish on its sales prospects. The character will "live on" into the modern day as a symbol of Great Britain just as Uncle Sam is often used to symbolize the United States of America. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The character of Uncle Sam has disputed origins. Most agree that the earliest reference was from the War of 1812. A fellow named Sam Wilson was generally known as "Uncle Sam". He produced rations for the military and stamped the containers with the letters U.S., meaning United States, but with good-natured ribbing, his fellows said it stood for "Uncle Sam". Historians have dug up earlier references to an Uncle Sam that represent either the country itself (the land) or the government's authority. In any case, Uncle Sam did not start out like John Bull who simply represented the common man. [12]

Some Notable Births

* Frederick the Great is born in Berlin, Prussia. I am reminded of that quote from Conan the Barbarian, "Do you want to live forever?" That is a paraphrase of a quote from Fredrick the Great.[13]
* Jean-Jacques Rousseau (an interesting madman) born in Geneva. He will have a massive influence on the modern day educational system. His only true love said of him, "He was ugly enough to frighten me and love did not make him more attractive. But he was a pathetic figure and I treated him with gentleness and kindness. He was an interesting madman." [14]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1712, Wikipedia.

Monday, January 18, 2016

History: The Year is 1711

I've uploaded year 1711 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1711

Here are some one liners...


The Quaker Rebellion and the Promises of Politicians -- The Quakers do not like Deputy Governor Cary, so he is removed but he refuses to leave office, and then he flip-flops and supports the Quakers. North Carolina is in rebellion and it just get weirder from there.

Hoofing It at the Ascot Races -- The Ascot Races are established and I talk about My Fair Lady, the Musical.

Firsts in the Arts -- Clarinets and tuning forks.



The Quaker Rebellion and the Promises of Politicians

The northern region of the Carolina Province is chock-full of Quakers, and travel is tedious compared to the southern region of Carolina where there is easy access to deep-water ports. Because of this difficult access to the north, Colonel Thomas Cary was appointed a few years ago to run it as a separate entity. (North and South Carolina were formed shortly thereafter.) Cary was a big Anglican Church supporter so he imposed a tax to build up the Anglican Church. Naturally, the Quakers objected strongly, so he was removed from office... but Cary refused to leave! Instead, he switched sides and became a big QUAKER SUPPORTER! Thus, Cary's Rebellion began. Now, the official Governor of North Carolina shows up but then flees to Virginia to escape the rebellion. He calls for a man named Hyde to put down Cary's Rebellion, but before Hyde receives his official appointment with all the signatures and seals, the Governor of North Carolina... dies. (Whoa, Nelly!) Hyde tries to wrest control from Cary anyway. A sudden uptick in German immigration upsets the balance of power in favor of Hyde and the Anglicans, not because German farmers love Anglicans but because they see Hyde as the establishment. However, the newcomers are deep in debt, so Cary offers to help them out... and so it goes. By next year the Royal Marines will oust Cary. Shots will be fired but not by Quakers. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am reminded of so many craven political flip-flops that it is almost too easy to write this segment. There was Senator John Kerry's famous flip-flop when he said he voted FOR the war appropriations bill before he voted AGAINST it. It sounded so bad that he would have done better simply taking the hit and moving on. And Governor Mitt Romney was Pro-Choice before he was Pro-Life. He actually stood his ground on that flip-flop. He flopped. And, I didn't like seeing Governor Chris Christie walking down the beach with President Obama after Super Storm Sandy. Even though it was his job to do the best he could for New Jersey, it just seemed... wrong. And don't get me started on Hillary. She was a "Goldwater Girl" in 1964. President Ronald Reagan was a Democrat before he was a Republican, but he had such a long history of making Republican-like statements that one story tells of a lady heckler who asked him why he didn't just sign up to become a Republican. When Reagan came up with the lame excuse that he didn't have the proper form to switch parties, the lady produced the form and he filled it out immediately. Frankly, I've been so disappointed in the past, I no longer trust ANY politician. Now, I assume they are all liars and it goes downhill from there. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Hoofing It at the Ascot Races

Oh Heavens to My Fair Lady! Queen Anne of England authorizes horse racing at Ascot! They make it quite a festive occasion. Ladies and gents arrive in carriages on Royal Ascot day and even in the modern day they make quite a show of it. Queen Elizabeth the 2nd will show up. [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is a famous scene in the movie "My Fair Lady" where Eliza the street urchin is dressed up like a lady and is taken to this special Ascot Race. She has been trained to be prim and proper and "to speak like a lady," but a fellow hands her a ticket to help her enjoy the horse racing (and the betting). As the horses round the curve her horse, Dover, has fallen behind. She mutters, "Come on. Come on, Dover." And then a little louder, "Come on. Come on, Dover." And as the horses run past, she shouts, "Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!" Everyone is shocked. One woman faints dead away. It is probably the funniest scene in the movie. [12]

Firsts in the Arts

* The clarinet is added to the orchestra. [13]
* The tuning fork is invented. [14]
* The London Academy of Arts is founded. [15]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1711, Wikipedia.

Friday, January 15, 2016

History: The Year is 1710

I've uploaded year 1710 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1710

Here are some one liners...


Ukraine: The Separation of Powers in Government -- Central Ukraine has become a semi-independent region under a military-style government. They have produced a constitution with a separation of powers between administrative, legislative and judicial branches. It is a stretch to say it is an early example of democracy, but its a start.

The Copyright Act is Passed -- The Statute of Ann offers copyright protection for 21 years and makes it a government function to enforce it. I talk about the copyright law that makes criminals out of most people nowadays.




Ukraine: The Separation of Powers in Government

The Hetmanate region in central Ukraine has approved a constitution outlining a separation of powers into Legislative, Administrative and Judicial branches. The constitution was written by the Ukrainian Cossack named Philip Orlick (actually: Pylyp Orlyk), a military leader and diplomat who has been recently elected Hetman, the first officer, one step below a king or prince. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK, let's not get too excited. The Hetman State of the 18th century was about as independent as Hungary was in 1956 right before Soviet tanks came rolling into Republic Square. Peter the Great considered the Hetman region to be a military state to be dealt with right after Sweden. Russia was in a war with Sweden and the King of Sweden just LOVED the Hetman State. He loved anything that tipped over Peter the Great's applecart. A hetman is like a military governor so comparing the Ukrainian constitution (which defined a military government with most rights granted to the Cossack elite) as something equivalent to the United States Constitution is a stretch, but it's a start. [7]

The Copyright Act is Passed

The Statute of Anne (that is, The Copyright Act under Queen Anne of England) is passed into law in 1710. It is the first law to make copyright enforcement a government responsibility. Printers are copying books without compensating the author. Since the public good depends upon authors writing books, and authors have the expectation of compensation, violators are fined one penny per page (which adds up fast) provided that the author has registered his work with the government copyright office first. This allows a printer to check for copyright protection before running off a copy of a book. The period of protection extends for 21 years. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The United States passed its first copyright law in 1790. It allowed protection for 14 years with an option for an additional 14 years if the author was still alive. Years later the law added a criminal penalty for a public performance of a work for profit without permission. Then copyright was extended to 28 years with an option for renewal. Europe followed a stricter standard so in order to normalize copyright standards, the USA extended copyright to 70 years after the death of the author. This has created a strange protection for dead authors whose works have some value but are treated as if they had created Disney's Mickey Mouse. (I think I can hear the zombie of Walt Disney kicking in my front door right now.) If I scanned two pages of a book and put it on the Internet, I would be a criminal even if I gave credit to the author. The FBI will also put me in prison if I dare make an archive copy of a DVD THAT I BOUGHT. Fair use copy rules are so complex that it would be a miracle if I haven't already violated the rules. The only reason that I am not on my way to Devil's Island right now is that thousands and thousands of people are doing the same thing so I am lost in the noise... until I come under scrutiny for something else... like running for public office. [11]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1710, Wikipedia.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

History: The Year is 1709

I've uploaded year 1709 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1709

Here are some one liners...


The Coldest Winter on Record and the Misplacement of Thermometers -- It is really, really cold. I talk about the location of weather stations and how that makes for inaccurate measurement.

Making Cheaper Cast-Iron Pans -- Using coke to smelt cast-iron has been around for many years but this year the process becomes commercially viable. I talk about the need of business to reduce labor costs.

A Hot Air Balloon on Paper but Not in the Air -- A Portuguese priest designs a hot air balloon but it flies like a bag of bricks.




The Coldest Winter on Record and the Misplacement of Thermometers

200 years ago, world climate teetered on the edge of the Little Ice Age but weather is a local condition. For better or worse, the local temperature can vary from the world average. For Europe, it has become worse... much, much worse. Rivers in Italy are frozen over so that carriages can cross without fear of falling through the ice. It is snowing in Rome. The Great Frost is killing off plants that would normally survive a winter although many of the trees are proving to be more freeze-tolerant than was previously assumed. That does not translate into a particularly good result... just better than expected. The standard thermometer (such as it is and where it is measured) hits its lowest point on December 30th. In London proper, it will hit about -15 degrees Celsius or +5 degrees Fahrenheit. An average low in the modern day London is 15 degrees Fahrenheit but modern temperatures are subject to asphalt and concrete heat retention and release. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just so you know, the so-called "standard" thermometer that English scientists were using in 1709 was hardly a precise instrument. The fluid inside was a mixture of wine and urea. Also, they did not have a clue as to the best place (or even a mutually agreed place) to mount a weather thermometer. In the case of the Great Frost, one thermometer was located in the shade out of doors while the main thermometer in London was located inside an unheated room. They realized that they needed an entire weather picture so they logged the barometric pressure and wind direction. In the modern day such weather stations still suffer from misplacement. It has become somewhat of a joke where people take pictures of weather stations placed next to air conditioning outlets or located in parking lots where the asphalt traps the heat and radiates it next to the temperature gauge. My neighbor has his own weather station mounted on the roof of his house... just above his chimney where the rising heat from the roof in the summer and the fireplace in the winter pushes the temperature higher than any objective standard would accept if they knew where the weather station was located. [7]

Making Cheaper Cast-Iron Pans

Blast furnaces use charcoal to smelt iron these days. It is an expensive process requiring labor to cut down trees and then making the charcoal in fire pits covered with dirt and twigs. Coke at this time is made in a similar manner but it uses coal covered in coke dust. Its production is less labor-intensive and produces useful by-products such as coal-gas for lighting street lamps and coal-tar for paving roads. However, these by-products won't come into general use for many years yet. Patents for using coke as part of the smelting process have been around for years but Abraham Darby has made the process commercially viable in England. In fact he will make cast-iron considerably cheaper and he will use this cheaper process to produce cast-iron pots and pans. The higher coke production will also force a lot of charcoal-makers to find a different line of work. [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is amazing how many people (especially socialists) do not understand the fundamental need for business to reduce costs through innovation and/or reduced labor costs. Paying people to work just to give them a paycheck is NOT the goal of business. The goal is to make a profit for the investors. Business is not a charity, but it can do good things for a community within limits. For example, many years ago a banana company came to an especially poor region of Panama and encouraged the farmers to grow bananas for them. It was a good deal for the poor people because a little extra money went a long way there. The company got bananas cheap due to cheap labor so the company built schools, low-cost housing, and all the bananas they could eat... until a union came in and called for a strike. It became cheaper for the company to take its business elsewhere so it did. The sudden loss of income caused a famine. The government provided monetary aid. The union bosses absconded with the funds. The people of the region were never rich, but there was a time when they had better. Now it is all gone. [10]

A Hot Air Balloon on Paper but Not in the Air

A Portuguese priest offers a proposal to the King of Portugal to design an airship that looks suspiciously like a hot air balloon. The priest will come up with a beautiful design... beautiful in the sense that it looks pretty on paper... but it won't fly. He will work on improvements to the design but his efforts will be cut short when he comes under the scrutiny of the Inquisition. He will escape to Spain and die there of a fever in 1724. [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The priest's name is a mouthful. You can look it up in the footnotes. The reason his failed balloon design comes up at all is that when a successful manned-flight of a hot air balloon took place in Paris in 1783, Portugal suddenly remembered their inventive priest and laid claim to a brief flight by the priest in 1720. Personally, I think they were full of hot air. Looking at the design, I could make a better manned-flight jumping off a roof holding a bag of bricks.

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1709, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

History: The Year is 1708

I've uploaded year 1708 to the TSP Wiki...

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1708

Here are some one liners...


The Last Veto of the English Monarchy... Sort of -- Queen Anne is afraid that the Scots might rebel so she vetoes the military part of the bill that unifies Scotland and England. I talk about the Declaration of Independence and the problem with a King that vetoes laws from a distance.

Teaching Hospitals and Teaching Students -- A Dutch botanist with a tough last name publishes on inflammation. He also establishes the idea of teaching hospitals. I talk about teaching and common core.

Europe Produces Its Own Hard Porcelain -- Dresden has come up with a process to produce Chinese porcelain. I talk about the difference between ceramic and porcelain.



The Last Veto of the English Monarchy... Sort of

Queen Anne refuses to go whole hog on the unification of Scotland and England, now called Great Britain. Unifying the Parliaments at Westminster is working, but they are still working out the military unification. A last minute rumor of a French force sailing for Scotland has spooked the Queen's advisors. She is a reasonably popular Queen but not exactly a strong Queen. She takes the council of her fears and exercises the right of a constitutional monarch to deny royal assent. In other words, she vetoes the Scottish Militia Bill and the majority of Parliament breathes a sigh of relief... except for a few Scots who now know they are not trusted... not really. In the years to come the monarchy will use various tactics to divert Parliament from passing disagreeable laws, but this is the last time a denial of royal assent will be used in Great Britain. The British colonies are a different matter. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Declaration of Independence lists the grievances against King George the 3rd. The first complaint is that the King was vetoing good laws, but more significantly, the King would not allow laws to take effect until he approved them. Given the months that it took for communication to pass across the Atlantic and the likelihood that a ship might sink or be interdicted by pirates, royal approval could take a year of back-and-forth. But as you read down the list, it is clear that the King wanted to collapse the system. He was not ruling the colonies. He was destroying them. Here is a list of the relevant complaints... [5]
* He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
* He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
* He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
* He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. [6]

Teaching Hospitals and Teaching Students

A Dutch botanist (Herman B.) has published his theory on the how inflammation works. His motto, "Simplicity is the sign of truth," is a variation on Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Herman introduces the idea of teaching hospitals where doctors are taught by doing. This is also the year when Albrecht von Haller is born. He will become one of Herman's students and he will be considered the father of modern physiology which is the study of the function of organisms. Later, Herman's ideas on heat transfer will be used by Benjamin Franklin to invent his Franklin Stove. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Although Herman did significant work, he had a real talent for teaching students and his students expanded on those ideas and methods. Education today is quite complex. Students are loaded down with facts but rarely know how to judge the value of those facts. This is partly due to the German educational system we use, but in the early 1920s, educators began to obscure learning, masking it with dense lingo and complex methods. This prevents individuals from teaching themselves and (apparently) creates full employment for professional teachers. After all... if your average mother could teach a child, what would you have? You would have a lot of mothers educating their children instead of being shut out by Common Core crap. (FYI, "crap" is not a profanity. It is derived from the name "Thomas Crapper" who sold plumbing fixtures. You can figure out the rest from there.) [12]

Europe Produces Its Own Hard Porcelain

Dresden has done it! Chinese porcelain is really expensive, since it must be shipped thousands of miles from China to Europe. Until this time, Europe could only produce a soft-paste porcelain, which is porous and easily broken. They have finally found a method of producing hard-paste porcelain in Dresden, Saxony which is a province of modern day Germany. The formula is made from two types of feldspar (a crystallized lava rock) and a mineralized clay, all mixed into a compound and fired extremely hot. The main advantage is that there is less breakage when porcelain is exposed to a hot liquid. [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... what is the difference between ceramic and porcelain and bone china? The answer is... not a lot in terms of ingredients but there is a difference in the way they are fired. Porcelain is a type of ceramic and after it is fired, a test is made to determine the porousness of the material. The material is weighed. Then it is boiled in water for 5 hours and then submerged under water for 24 hours. When it is pulled out, if the weight has increased less than 0.5% it is called porcelain. Porcelain is usually made out of a slightly different mix of materials than general ceramic but it all comes down to density and how much water the material absorbs. Bone china is a soft-paste porcelain. It is not fired as hot so it is less dense and one has a wider range of decorative options with it than hard-paste porcelain. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia


Year 1708, Wikipedia.