Tuesday, October 27, 2015

history Stories around the net

David Reneke writes about when a meteorite hit German in 1492, and was seen as a bad omen...
the article includes information about the yearly meteor showers.

another blogpost: don't tell Mark Watney: Maybe we can't colonize Mars.

but this estimate was from students at a VIP university. Given the history of Russian and American astronauts making due with what was available (Watney wasn't the only one who survived by using duct tape) one wonders if the students are a bit naive here.

for example:

according to the MIT graduates, over the course of 130 months, the need for spare parts would consume 62% of the payload space on resupply missions. This leaves little room for the essentials, such as food and medicine.
why couldn't they just use a 3D printer for a lot of these parts? Wouldn't that take less room than storing all those parts?


attention GWTW fans:

the real Melanie 

Melanie’s character is based on Margaret’s cousin Mattie Holliday of Jonesboro.... Many know the story of the star crossed cousins Mattie and John Henry and how Mattie Holliday became a Nun and took the name, “sister Mellie” and John Henry left Georgia because of his poor health and found fame as John Henry (Doc) Holliday of Tombstone, Arizona

heads up TeaAtTrianon


when is genocide not genocide? When it's against people who are not politically correct. From CIC:

  • In 1644, England’s Puritan-dominated Parliament ordered that any Catholic found in arms in occupied Ireland be executed, thereby initiating a genocidal campaign against the indigenous people.

yeah. This always comes to mind when I hear about the outcry against ISIS. Uh, history anyone? This was only one episode of British genocide against Ireland (and others in the UK who didn't agree with them. Not just the Pilgrims and the genocide against English Catholics, but eventually the Highland clearances).

an aside: I am listening to an audiobook about the Hemings (The black relatives of Thomas Jefferson). on ScribD...

 Two things came to mind:

One, in the introduction the author was aghast about how he alloted blankets and food to his slaves, which she interpreted as treating slaves like inferiors who should have no choice in the matter.

My interpretation: Well, if they were better off than the Irish peasants, where landlords didn't know or care if their workers had food and blankets...and on top of that, he could throw them out and tear the house down when they couldn't pay the rent.

another question came to mind: ah, but what happened when the slaves were "liberated"?Many ran away (of course). But where did they go, what did they eat?

This NYTimes article suggests an untold story of starvation and disease:

At least one quarter of the four million former slaves got sick or died between 1862 and 1870, Professor Downs writes, including at least 60,000 (the actual number is probably two or three times higher, he argues) who perished in a smallpox epidemic
more here.

Similar to the deaths of the fleeing Irish after the potato famine, thrown off their land with nothing to eat, dying by the side of the road or in coffin ships.

Stuff to remember when Europe hyperventillates about the refugees fleeing to a safe haven away from the middle eastern wars...


there is a "meme" going around asking if it would be ethical to kill Hitler as a baby, and maybe save lives 50 years later.

well, the answer of course is no.First of all, you don't kill innocent babies, no matter what (remember that next time you read PeterSinger saying infanticide is ethical).

Another practical reason: Given slightly different circumstances maybe he would not have been a bloody tyrant. (maybe he could have won that art scholarship, or maybe been killed in WWI, maybe if he had been a better Catholic,  he wouldn't have caught syphilis as a student, a disease which may have caused his mania in the 1940's,  or maybe if he hadn't been so crazy, then Gellie would have married him instead of killing herself or getting him mad enough to kill her in a fight)

And of course maybe if he was dead, another "leader" would have arisen.

But here is another question for you: What if Jefferson Davis' mom had used birth control?

From CIC:

  • Jefferson Davis’ middle name was “Finis,” apparently conferred by his parents to indicate that he would be the last of their children, of whom he was the tenth.

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