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 Thermometers200 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.      
Making Cheaper Cast-Iron PansBlast 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.  
A Hot Air Balloon on Paper but Not in the AirA 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. 
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1709, Wikipedia.