Sunday, February 28, 2010

Xenotransplantation: 1667

I took a Calf and a Sheep, both of the larger sort, and having prepared a Jugular Vein in each, I planted my Pipes and Quills, as is usual, both in the Jugular Vein of the Calf (designed to be the Emittent) and in that of the Sheep (intended for the Recipient.) Then I took out of the Sheep 49 ounces (Haver de pois weight) of blood, before any other blood was let, in about which time, the company concluding the Sheep to be very faint, and finding the blood to run very slowly, I stopped the Vein of the Sheep, and unstopped the Pipe in the Calf, letting run out 10 ounces into a Porringer, which was done in about 40 seconds of a Minute. Then I conveyed Pipes from the Emittent Calves Vein, into the Recipient Sheeps Vein, and there ran a good free stream of blood for a space of 5 minutes...
--From Philosophical transactions--

Thank God for animal testing, becuase these people would have used humans if they could. Of course, they probaby went and used this technique on people after trying it on animals.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Inquiring minds want to know: 1667

Inquiries for Suratte, and other parts of the East-Indies.

15. Whether there grows a Wood in Java, that naturally smells like human Excrement. And if so, what kind of ground it grows in.

17. Whether near the Fort of Ternate there be a Plant, called by the Inhabitants Catopa, whence fall little Leaves, which are turned into Butter-flies.

36. Whether there be found in the head of a certain Snake, a Stone, which laid upon a wound of any Venemous Creature, sticks fast to it, and draws away all the poison; then being put in Milk, voids its poison, and turns the Milk blue; and then applied again, draws out the rest of the poison, that may be behind, till the wound be perfectly cleansed.
--From Philosophical transactions--

These are some questions the Royal Society wanted answered. They were stupid questions, but the type of stupid questions that are good to ask. Modern science is the result of them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Philosophical questions: 1668

He let his wit run much on matters of religion: so that he passed for a bold and determined atheist; though he often protested to me, he was not one; and said, he believed there was not one in the world...
--From History of his own Times--

Today people wonder if God exists, then they wondered if atheists exist.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fertility treatment: 1668

At this time the court fell into much extravagance in masquerading; both king and queen, and all the court, went about masked, and came into houses unknown, and danced there with a great deal of wild frolic. In all this people were so disguised, that without being on the secret none could distinguish them. They were carried about in hackney chairs. Once the queen's chairmen, not knowing who she was, went from her: so she was alone, and was much disturbed, and came to Whitehall in a hackney coach: some say it was in a cart. The duke of Buckingham proposed to the king, that he would give him leave to steal her away, and send her to a plantation, where she should be well and carefully looked to, but never heard of any more; so it should be given out, that she had deserted; and upon that it would fall in with some principles to carry an act for a divorce, grounded upon the pretence of a wilful desertion. Sir Robert Murray told me, that the king himself rejected this with horror. He said, it was a wicked thing to make a poor lady miserable, only because she was his wife, and had no children by him, which was no fault of hers.
--From History of his own Times--

Other options that were suggested included polygamy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mancave: 1667

This I read in a letter that sir Robert Murray writ down to Scotland: and it agrees with a conversation that the king was pleased to have with my self once, when I was alone with him in his closet.
--From History of his own Times--

Even if you're the king of your castle, you still want somewhere to get away from it all sometimes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No recipes

There are ways things should be done, and rules that are meant to guide you. But sometimes you can learn more than the rules would ever let you know by improvising. Just stick to stuff like food, because this rarely works for cutting hair, unless you really like wearing hats or don't mind shaving your head.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weapons of mass destruction: 1666

--From Les fortifications--

We have nuclear physics, they had geometry. (I bet they didn't have any problem getting boys interested in math!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Infinity: 1667

The parliament were upon their first opening set on to destroy lord Clarendon. Some of his friends went to him a few days before the parliament met; and told him, many were at work to find out matter of accusation against him. He best knew what could be brought against him with any truth; for falsehood was infinite, and could not be guessed at.
--From History of his own Times--

A subversive retort to postmodernism: There is but one truth, while falsehoods are infinite.

Friday, February 19, 2010

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy: 1666

When he heard of any that did not go to church, he did not trouble himself to set a fine upon him: but he set as many soldiers upon him, as should eat him up in a night. By this means all people were struck with such a terror, that they came regularly to church. And the clergy were so delighted with it, that they used to speak of that time, as the poets do of the golden age.
--From History of his own Times--

The government would send soldiers to a family, they would be forced to feed the soldiers until their food ran out, and then they would face starvation. One of the reasons why the United States Bill of Rights includes:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Surrealism: 1562

The human mind can come up with more terrifying things than actually exist. We may freak ourselves out occasionally, but at least we have a chance of being prepared for the worst.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Avatar: 1666

Some idealized blue creatures fighting some demonized non-blue creatures, all done with a technique intended to make the viewer able to visualize "perspective". It's been done before.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blogging: 1666

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow neer I did not look,
I waken'd was with thundring nois
And Piteous shreiks of dreadfull voice.
That fearfull sound of fire and fire,
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, starting up, the light did spye,
And to my God my heart did cry
To strengthen me in my Distresse
And not to leave me succourlesse.
Then coming out beheld a space,
The flame consume my dwelling place.
--From Upon the burning of our house--

Reading about the lives of other people, who would want to do that? And who would want to give out their personal information?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fireworks: 1666

Above twelve thousand houses were burnt down, with the greatest part of the furniture and merchandise that was in them. All means used to stop it proved ineffectual; though the blowing up of houses was the most effectual of any.
--From History of his own Times--

Sometimes you fight fire with fire, sometimes you fight fire with explosives.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Germ warfare: 1665

She began by degrees to slacken in her constant coming to prayers and to sacrament, in which she had been before that regular, almost to superstition. She put that on her ill health: for she fell into an ill habit of body, which some imputed to the effect of some of the duke's distempers communicated to her. A story was set about, and generally believed, that the earl of Southesk, that had married a daughter of duke Hamilton's, suspecting some familiarities between the duke and his wife, had taken a sure method to procure a disease to himself, which he communicated to his wife, and was by that means set round till it came to the duchess, who was so tainted with it, that it was the occasion of the death of all her children, except the two daughters, our two queens; and was believed the cause of an illness under which she languished long, and died so corrupted, that in dressing her body after her death, one of her breasts burst, being a mass of corruption. Lord Southesk was for some years not ill pleased to have this believed. It looked like a peculiar strain of revenge, with which he seemed much delighted.
--From History of his own Times--

 I believe they are talking about syphilis.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Concern for the poor: 1665

He continued in his private and ascetic course of life, and gave all his income, beyond the small expense of his own person, to the poor.
--From History of his own Times--

Some leaders try very hard to show how in-touch they are with the common man. They'll do anything short of actually living like one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Change: 1663

And so his ministry came to an end, after a sort of a reign of much violence and injustice: for he was become very imperious. He and his company were delivered up to so much excess, and to such a madness of frolic and intemperance, that as Scotland had never seen any thing like it, so upon this disgrace there was a general joy over the kingdom: though that lasted not long; for those that came after him grew worse than ever he was like to be.
--From History of his own Times--

People often say they want change, believing things can't get any worse; but that belief is really just a hope, one that isn't always fulfilled.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Forklifts: 1681

Sometimes they were used as pictured above and sometimes they were used thus:
The Keepers of the Kings Elephants sometimes make a sport with them after this manner. They will command an Elephant to take up water, which he does, and stands with it in his Trunk, till they command him to squirt it out at some body, which he immediately will do, it may be a whole paleful together, and with such a force, that a man can hardly stand against it.
--From An historical relation of the island Ceylon--

Things can be both horrifying and humorous, but if you treat everything as a joke, shielding your mind from the existence of horrors, you may find yourself facing some terrifying possibilities.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Insurance: 1661

The king was inclined to restore the lord Lorn; though much pains was taken to persuade him, that all the zeal he had expressed in his service was only an artifice between his father and him to preserve the family in all adventures: it was said, that had been an ordinary practice in Scotland for father and son to put themselves in different sides.
--From History of his own Times--

Always have some members of your family publicly hold views opposing your own. It allows you to plausibly say you were persuaded by them (and not circumstances). Also, in a worse-case scenario, they can take over if your career is prematurely ended.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Family values: 1685

The king had a very numerous issue, though none by his queen. The duke had by both his wives, and some irregular amours, a very numerous issue.
--From History of his own Times--

 Strong, traditional, Christian, family values.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

School: 1662

It looks kind of like a child-labor camp, but I guess all schools are; very non-productive child-labor camps.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reflections on partisanship: 1662

...for thus it may be said, the world goes mad by turns.

--From History of his own Times--

I wonder why it seems like this sometimes: one crazy party replaced by another, each over-reaching and full of excess. Perhaps because when a party achieves victory over its opposition, they assume they have won a victory that can't be overturned. They forget that they are just as replaceable as the people they've replaced.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Baby safe: 1630

Yeah, it's a boy in a dress again. But what's that stabby thing in his hand, on the strangly necklace wrapped around his neck? That's his pacifier. It's a rock.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The perils of advice: 1661

The earl of Lauderdale was not sorry to see him commit errors; since the worse things were managed, his advices would be thereby the more justified.
--From History of his own Times--

Sometimes advisors don't speak up when they hear other people giving bad advice to the person they work for. They want the bad advice to be followed and for bad things to happen, so the people who gave the bad advice are gotten rid of. Just something to think about it you have lots of people trying to help you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Government secrets: 1661

Yet he was a very vicious man: and that perhaps made him the more considered by the king, who loved and trusted him to a high degree. No man had more credit with the king; for he was on the secret as to his religion, and was more trusted with the whole design that was then managed in order to establish it, than any man whatsoever.
--From History of his own Times--

If you are in charge of a nation and have some secret ideology you want to convert it to, best to ask yourself why you need to keep your ideology a secret in the first place.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grocery shopping: 1661

If people couldn't buy their meat in clean, plastic-wrapped containers and instead had to watch it being killed and gutted they'd...

...say "Neat! Guts!" and hang pictures of it on their walls.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I was just following orders: 1661

The substance of his defence was, that during the late wars he was but one among a great many more: he had always acted by authority of parliament, and according to the instructions that were given him, as oft as he was sent on any expedition or negotiation.
--From History of his own Times--

Perhaps you are a cog in the wheel of a military organization, but before a court of law you will be treated like a human being, and held accountable.