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FYI June 13, 2017

June 13th is Cupcake Lover’s Day!

On this day:

1381 – The Peasants’ Revolt led by Wat Tyler culminated in the burning of the Savoy Palace.
The Peasants’ Revolt, also called Wat Tyler’s Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black Death in the 1340s, the high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years’ War, and instability within the local leadership of London. The final trigger for the revolt was the intervention of a royal official, John Bampton, in Essex on 30 May 1381. His attempts to collect unpaid poll taxes in Brentwood ended in a violent confrontation, which rapidly spread across the south-east of the country. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans and village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records and opening the local gaols. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom and the removal of the King’s senior officials and law courts.

Inspired by the sermons of the radical cleric John Ball, and led by Wat Tyler, a contingent of Kentish rebels advanced on London. They were met at Blackheath by representatives of the royal government, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to return home. King Richard II, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London, but most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London and, joined by many local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to law books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day, Richard met the rebels at Mile End and acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside.

On 15 June, Richard left the city to meet with Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield. Violence broke out, and Richard’s party killed Tyler. Richard defused the tense situation long enough for London’s mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city and disperse the rebel forces. Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his previous grants to the rebels. The revolt had also spread into East Anglia, where the University of Cambridge was attacked and many royal officials were killed. Unrest continued until the intervention of Henry le Despenser, who defeated a rebel army at the Battle of North Walsham on 25 or 26 June. Troubles extended north to York, Beverley and Scarborough, and as far west as Bridgwater in Somerset. Richard mobilised 4,000 soldiers to restore order. Most of the rebel leaders were tracked down and executed; by November, at least 1,500 rebels had been killed.

The Peasants’ Revolt has been widely studied by academics. Late 19th-century historians used a range of sources from contemporary chroniclers to assemble an account of the uprising, and these were supplemented in the 20th century by research using court records and local archives. Interpretations of the revolt have shifted over the years. It was once seen as a defining moment in English history, but modern academics are less certain of its impact on subsequent social and economic history. The revolt heavily influenced the course of the Hundred Years’ War, by deterring later Parliaments from raising additional taxes to pay for military campaigns in France. The revolt has been widely used in socialist literature, including by the author William Morris, and remains a potent political symbol for the political left, informing the arguments surrounding the introduction of the Community Charge in the United Kingdom during the 1980s.

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Born on this day:

1595 – Jan Marek Marci, Czech physician and scientist (d. 1667)
Jan Marek Marci FRS (13 June 1595 – 10 April 1667), or Johannes (Greek: Ioannes) Marcus Marci, was a Bohemian doctor and scientist, rector of the University of Prague, and official physician to the Holy Roman Emperors.[1] The crater Marci on the far side of the Moon is named after him.

Marci was born in Lanškroun, near the border between historical lands Bohemia and Moravia (presently parts of the Czech Republic). He studied under Athanasius Kircher,[1] and spent most of his career as a professor of Charles University in Prague, where he served eight times as Dean of the medical school and once as Rector in 1662. He was also the personal doctor of Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I, and distinguished himself in the defense of Prague against the Swedish armies in 1648. In October 1654 he was given the nobility title (falckrabě) “de Kronland” (anagram of “Landskron”, German name for the city of Lanškroun). In 1667, he was elected as a member of the Royal Society.[1] He joined the Jesuit order shortly before his death.[2]

Marci’s studies covered the mechanics of colliding bodies, epilepsy, and the refraction of light, as well as other topics. Prior to Marci, the prevailing theory of color assumed that light was modified by the action of a medium to produce color. Most theories were based upon the assumption that color was simply a modification of light varying between whiteness and blackness. Marci preceded Isaac Newton in his belief that “Light is not changed into colors except by a certain refraction in a dense medium; and the diverse species of colors are the products of refraction.”[3] Although he thought that different colors were caused by varying angles of incidence across the 1/2 degree apparent diameter of the sun, he stated that each color was condensed or disentangled from the others after refraction into homogeneous or elementary colors of red, green, blue and purple, and that no further change in color was obtained by additional refraction of elementary colors.[4]

Marci at some time came into possession of the Voynich Manuscript, apparently upon the death of its former owner, the alchemist Georg Baresch. He sent the book to his longtime friend Athanasius Kircher, with a cover letter dated 19 August 1666, or possibly 1665.[1] This cover letter has remained intact and was present when the manuscript was obtained by Wilfrid Voynich.

He is remembered today by the award of an annual medal to distinguished scientists by the Slovak-Czech Spectroscopy Society.

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Davide at Raptitude: Want More Time? Get Rid of The Easiest Way to Spend It
This is how I put it in my log:

…after taking even a little time away from these platforms, whenever I check in I can’t help but see them as repositories for stray feelings, and energy that we don’t want to spend on anything consequential. They seem like places to go when you’re bored, or when you’re actively avoiding the thing you know you should be doing. I know a lot of this feeling is pure projection—I have certainly used these platforms that way.
Bryan Menegus: Finally, a Dating App That Doesn’t Allow Talking
Rafi Schwartz: Omaha Police Chief Demands Officers Be Fired After a Mentally Disabled Man They Tased 12 Times Dies

FYI June 12, 2017

June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
June 12 is International Falafel Day

On this day:

1240 – At the instigation of Louis IX of France, an inter-faith debate, known as the Disputation of Paris, starts between a Christian monk and four rabbis.
The Disputation of Paris, also Trial of the Talmud took place in 1240 in the court of the reigning king of France, Louis IX (St. Louis). It followed the work of Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, who translated the Talmud and pressed 35 charges against it to Pope Gregory IX by quoting a series of blasphemous passages about Jesus, Mary or Christianity.[1] Four rabbis defended the Talmud against Donin’s accusations.

As part of its evangelistic efforts, the Church sought to win the beliefs of the Jews through debate. Western Christianity in the 13th century was developing its intellectual acumen, and had assimilated the challenges of Aristotle through the works of Thomas Aquinas. In order to flex its intellectual muscle, the Church sought to engage the Jews in debate, hoping that these Jews would see the intellectual superiority of Christianity and convert.[2]

Paul Johnson states a significant difference between the Jewish and Christian sides of the debate. Christianity had developed a detailed theological system. The teachings were clear, and therefore vulnerable to attack. Judaism had a relative absence of dogmatic theology. Judaism did have many negative dogmas, mainly to combat idolatry. Judaism did not, on the other hand, have a developed positive theology. “The Jews usually avoided the positive dogmas which the vanity of theologians tends to create and which are the source of so much trouble… the Jews had a way of concentrating on life and pushing death—and its dogmas—into the background.”[3]

The debate started on the 12 June 1240,[4][5] Nicholas Donin represented the Christian side. He was a member of the Franciscan Order and a Jewish convert to Christianity. He had translated the Talmud and pressed 35 charges against it to Pope Gregory IX by quoting a series of blasphemous passages about Christianity. There is a Talmudic passage, for example, where someone named Jesus is sent to Hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity, while someone named Mary, whom Donin identified as Mary, the mother of Jesus, is considered as a harlot. Donin also selected injunctions of the Talmud that permit Jews to kill non-Jews, to deceive Christians and to break promises made to them without scruples.[6][7]

The Church had shown little interest in the Talmud until Donin presented his translation to Gregory IX. “It seemed to have been news to the Pope” that the Jews relied on a book other than the Torah and which contained blasphemies against Christianity. This lack of interest also characterized the French monarchy which until the 1230s chiefly considered the Jews as a potential source of income.[8]

Four of the most distinguished rabbis of France, Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry, represented the Jewish side of the debate.

The terms of the disputation demanded that the four rabbis defend the Talmud against Donin’s accusations that the Talmud contains blasphemies against the Christian religion, attacks on Christians themselves, blasphemies against God, and obscene folklore. The attacks on Christianity were from passages referencing Jesus and Mary. There is a passage, for example, of someone named Jesus who was sent to Hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity. The Jews denied that this is the Jesus of the Bible, stating “not every Louis born in France is king.”[9]

Hyam Maccoby gives his opinion that the Jewish representatives in the Paris disputation were less than forthcoming. There are ancient Jewish polemics against the Jesus of Christianity such as the Toledot Yeshu, and the Jesus who was portrayed in the Talmud fits that portrayal. Among the obscene and odd folklore, there are passages that Og of Bashan was a giant. There is also a story that Adam copulated with each of the animals before finding Eve. Noah, according to the Talmudic legends, was castrated by his son Ham.[10] It was common for Christians to equate the religion of the Jews with the Israelite Mosaic Faith of the Old Testament. The Church was therefore surprised to realize that the Jews had developed an authoritative Talmud to complement their understanding of the Bible. Maccoby believed that the purpose of the Paris disputation was to rid the Jews of their belief in the Talmud, in order that they might return to Old Testament Judaism and eventually embrace Christianity.[11]

The hostility of the Church during this disputation may have had less to do with the Church’s attitude and more to do with the Christian proponent, Nicholas Donin. The style of Donin’s argumentation exploited controversies that were debated within Judaism at the time.[12] Maccoby also suggests that the disputation may have been motivated by Donin’s previous affiliations with the Karaite Jews, and that Donin’s motivations for joining the Church involved his desire to attack rabbinic tradition.[13]


A commission of Christian theologians condemned the Talmud to be burned and on June 17, 1244 twenty-four carriage loads of Jewish religious manuscripts were set on fire in the streets of Paris.[14][15] The translation of the Talmud from Hebrew to non-Jewish languages stripped Jewish discourse from its covering, something that was resented by Jews as a profound violation.[16]

The translation of the Talmud changed the Christian perception about Jews. Christians viewed the Jews as the followers of the Old Testament, who honoured “the law of Moses and the prophets”, but the Talmud’s “blasphemies” indicated that the Jewish understanding of Old Testament differed from the Christian understanding.[17]

Louis IX, who sponsored the debate, stated that only skilled clerks could conduct a disputation with Jews but that laymen should plunge a sword into those who speak ill of the Christ.[18][19][20]

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Born on this day:

1827 – Johanna Spyri, Swiss author (d. 1901)
Johanna Louise Spyri (née Heusser; German: [joˈhana ˈʃpiːri]; 12 June 1827 – 7 July 1901) was a Swiss-born author of novels, notably children’s stories, and is best known for her book Heidi. Born in Hirzel, a rural area in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, as a child she spent several summers near Chur in Graubünden, the setting she later would use in her novels.


In 1852, Johanna Heusser married Bernhard Spyri. Bernhard was a lawyer. Whilst living in the city of Zürich she began to write about life in the country. Her first story, A Note on Vrony’s Grave, which deals with a woman’s life of domestic violence, was published in 1880; the following year further stories for both adults and children appeared, among them the novel Heidi, which she wrote in four weeks. Heidi is the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, and is famous for its vivid portrayal of the landscape.

Her husband and her only child, named Bernard, both died in 1884. Alone, she devoted herself to charitable causes and wrote over fifty more stories before her death in 1901. She was interred in the family plot at the Sihlfeld-A Cemetery in Zürich. An icon in Switzerland, Spyri’s portrait was placed on a postage stamp in 1951 and on a 20 CHF commemorative coin in 2009.

In April 2010 a professor searching for children’s illustrations found a book written in 1830 by a German history teacher, Hermann Adam von Kamp, that Johanna may have used as a basis for Heidi. The 1830 story is titled Adelheide – das Mädchen vom Alpengebirge—translated, “Adelaide, the girl from the Alps”. The two stories share many similarities in plot line and imagery. Spyri biographer Regine Schindler said it was entirely possible that Johanna may have been familiar with the story as she grew up in a literate household with many books.[1]

The following is a list of her main books:

Heidi (1880)
Cornelli (1892)
Erick and Sally (1921)
Gritli’s Children (1885)
Mäzli (1921)
Moni the Goat-Boy (1897)
Rico and Wiseli (1885)
The Story of Rico (1882)
Toni, the Little Woodcarver (1920)
Uncle Titus and His Visit to the Country (1913)
Veronica And Other Friends (1886)
What Sami Sings with the Birds (1917)
Vinzi: A Story of the Swiss Alps (1923)

Her books were originally written in German. The translations into English at the end of the 19th century, or the early 1900s, mention H. A. Melcon (1839-1910), Marie Louise Kirk (1860-1936), Emma Stelter Hopkins, Louise Brooks, Helen B. Dole and the couple Charles Wharton Stork and Elisabeth P. Stork.

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Mount Abu InfraRed Observatory (MIRO) : Unveiling the Universe The Mount Abu InfraRed Telescope is India’s first major facility specifically designed for ground-based infrared observations of celestial objects. The observatory is 5,512 feet (1,680 meters) above sea level, on top of the Gurushikhar peak of Aravali range, in Mount Abu, a hill resort in Rajasthan, India.
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by Vulcaman: 10€ BICYCLE USB CHARGER

by jessyratfink: How to Grow Borax Crystals

Damndelicious 10 Easy and Simple Sheet-Pan Recipes
Recipe Tin Eats: No Knead Cinnamon Rolls



6) Tip for June 2017 | Bountiful Gardens

Source: 6) Tip for June 2017 | Bountiful Gardens

Women Auto Know  June, 2017

Source: What to Do When You Have a Car Breakdown (Hint: “Have a Panic Attack” Is NOT the Answer!)

FYI June 11, 2017

June 11th is National German Chocolate Cake Day
NATIONAL DAY FLAVOR – Week of June 11 – 17

On this day:

631 – Emperor Taizong of Tang, the Emperor of China, sends envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to seek the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier; this embassy succeeded in freeing 80,000 Chinese men and women who were then returned to China.

Emperor Taizong of Tang (28 January 598 – 10 July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for his role in encouraging Li Yuan, his father, to rebel against the Sui dynasty at Jinyang in 617. Taizong subsequently played a pivotal role in defeating several of the dynasty’s most dangerous opponents and solidifying its rule over China.[7]

Taizong is typically considered to be one of the greatest emperors in China’s history and henceforth, his reign became regarded as the exemplary model against which all future emperors were measured. His era, the “Reign of Zhenguan” (贞观之治; 貞觀之治; Zhēnguàn Zhī Zhì) is considered a golden age in Chinese history and was treated as required studying material for future crown princes. Under the Zhenguan era, Tang China flourished economically and militarily. For more than a century after his death, China enjoyed prosperity and peace brought about by the solidification of imperial protection over the Chinese regions. In territorial extent, it covered most of the territories previously held by the Han dynasty, including parts of modern Vietnam, Xinjiang, and Central Asian regions as far as eastern Kazakhstan. This era of consolidation and conquest laid the foundation for Xuanzong’s reign, which is considered to be the height of the Tang dynasty.

In 630, Emperor Taizong sent his general Li Jing against Eastern Turks, defeating and capturing its Jiali Khan Ashina Duobi and destroying Eastern Turk power. This made Tang the dominant power in East and Central Asia, and Emperor Taizong subsequently took the title of Tengeri Qaghan (“Tenger Khan” or the God like Emperor).[8] He also launched a series of campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, and against the armies of their main ally, the Western Turks. During his reign, Tang armies annexed Karakhoja in 640, Karasahr in 644 and Kucha in 648.[9]

Unlike many of the nobility of the time, Emperor Taizong was a frank rationalist and scholar of logic and scientific reason, openly scorning superstitions and claims of signs from the heavens. He also modified important rites in order to ease the burden of agricultural labour.[10] The modern Chinese historian Bo Yang opined that Emperor Taizong achieved greatness by enduring criticism which others would find difficult to accept whilst trying hard not to abuse his absolute power (using Emperor Yang of Sui as a negative example), as well as through his employment of capable chancellors such as Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui and Wei Zheng. Emperor Taizong’s wife Empress Zhangsun also proved to be a capable assistant.[11]

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1726 – Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain (d. 1746)
Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain (María Teresa Antonia Rafaela; 11 June 1726 – 22 July 1746) was an Infanta of Spain by birth and Dauphine of France by marriage to Louis, Dauphin of France, son of Louis XV of France. She died aged 20, three days after giving birth to a daughter who died in 1748.

Infanta of Spain
Born at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid in Spain, she was the second daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese. Baptised María Teresa Antonia Rafaela she was an Infanta of Spain (infanta de España) by birth and was granted the style of address of Royal Highness. She was known as María Teresa Rafaela though sometimes just Maria Teresa.[1]

Prior to her marriage, the Spanish and French royal courts had been on poor terms: the Spanish had been greatly insulted by the French in 1725 when the engagement between Louis XV of France and Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain, elder sister of Maria Teresa, was broken off. Louis XV had instead married Marie Leszczyńska and by her fathered the Dauphin, Louis. The marriage between the Infanta María Teresa Rafaela and the Dauphin was announced in August 1739 after the marriage of Princess Louise Élisabeth of France (sister of the dauphin) and Infante Felipe of Spain (brother of María Teresa Rafaela) the same month. Under the influence of her mother Elisabeth Farnese, María Teresa Rafaela was not to go to France until she reached a more mature age.[2]

Dauphine of France
The Infanta was married to the dauphin by proxy in Madrid on 18 December 1744 and departed Spain in January 1745. She arrived at Versailles on 21 February 1745. The official marriage took place at the Palace of Versailles on 23 February 1745 and was performed by the Cardinal de Rohan.[1] In France she was known as Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle d’Espagne or de Bourbon. The marriage was intended to improve relations between the cousin courts of France and Spain; during the infancy of Louis XV, he had been engaged to Maria Anna Victoria of Spain, oldest daughter of Philip V of Spain. The betrothal had been broken off and relations between the two countries had been cold. This latest union was meant to improve links between them both. Addressed as Madame la Dauphine at Versailles, Maria Teresa Rafaela was the highest ranking female in the kingdom after Queen Marie. She was the first Dauphine since the 1712 death of Marie Adélaïde of Savoy.
Portrait of Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle in circa 1745 by Daniel Klein the younger

On 24 February the “Ball of the Clipped Yew” was held in honor of the newlyweds. The event also marked the arrival of Madame de Pompadour at Versailles. The ball was attended by the king, the queen, Madame Henriette, Madame Adélaïde; the Duchess of Chartres the Dowager Princess of Conti and the Duchess of Modena along with other princesses of the Blood.

The marriage did not get off on a good start as it was not consummated on the first night. This was a major embarrassment to the young dauphine and as a result her position at court was undermined.[citation needed] Despite this, she had a good relationship with the king and queen, and her husband fell quickly in love with her. Although the dauphine was described as beautiful, dignified, pious, and well educated, negative remarks were made because of her red hair.[citation needed] Her shy nature further isolated her from the court and she was openly hostile to the king for his affair with Madame de Pompadour. The Dauphin and Dauphine disliked the royal mistress for the way she drew attention away from Queen Marie Leszczyńska.[3] Finally, the marriage was consummated in September 1745, ending court gossip. The couple became very close and devoted to each other spending most of their time together. On 19 July 1746 at Versailles, Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle gave birth to a daughter. Her death on 22 July caused an intense sorrow to the Dauphin, which persisted into his second marriage. Louis XV had to physically drag his son away from the death bed of his wife. To make matters worse the Dauphine´s Father King Philip V of Spain died just 13 days before her on July 9.[4] The child was baptised Marie Thérèse and was styled as Madame Royale but died at Versailles in 1748.[5]

Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle was buried at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis, the French royal necropolis outside Paris on 6 August 1746. At her death, her half brother, Ferdinand VI of Spain, proposed that the Dauphin marry her sister the Infanta Maria Antonia Fernanda but Louis XV refused.[6] The following year, her husband married again to Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony a daughter of Augustus III of Poland and Maria Josepha of Austria by whom he had some seven children including the future Louis XVI. When the Dauphin died in 1765, he requested that his heart be placed beside the grave of Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle.[citation needed]



Evan Narcisse: The Importance of Adam West’s ‘Bright Knight’ Batman
Jason Torchinsky: All The Most Important Batmobiles In One Handy Chart

FYI June 10, 2017

June 10th is National Iced Tea Day!

On this day:

671 – Emperor Tenji of Japan introduces a water clock (clepsydra) called Rokoku. The instrument, which measures time and indicates hours, is placed in the capital of Ōtsu.
A water clock or clepsydra (Greek κλεψύδρα from κλέπτειν kleptein, ‘to steal’; ὕδωρ hydor, ‘water’) is any timepiece in which time is measured by the regulated flow of liquid into (inflow type) or out from (outflow type) a vessel where the amount is then measured. Water clocks, along with sundials and hourglasses, are likely to be the oldest time-measuring instruments, with the only exceptions being the vertical gnomon and the day-counting tally stick.[1] Where and when they were first invented is not known, and given their great antiquity it may never be. The bowl-shaped outflow is the simplest form of a water clock and is known to have existed in Babylon and in Egypt around the 16th century BCE. Other regions of the world, including India and China, also have early evidence of water clocks, but the earliest dates are less certain. Some authors, however, claim that water clocks appeared in China as early as 4000 BCE.[2]

Some modern timepieces are called “water clocks” but work differently from the ancient ones. Their timekeeping is governed by a pendulum, but they use water for other purposes, such as providing the power needed to drive the clock by using a water wheel or something similar, or by having water in their displays.

The Greeks and Romans advanced water clock design to include the inflow clepsydra with an early feedback system, gearing, and escapement mechanism, which were connected to fanciful automata and resulted in improved accuracy. Further advances were made in Byzantium, Syria and Mesopotamia, where increasingly accurate water clocks incorporated complex segmental and epicyclic gearing, water wheels, and programmability, advances which eventually made their way to Europe. Independently, the Chinese developed their own advanced water clocks, incorporating gears, escapement mechanisms, and water wheels, passing their ideas on to Korea and Japan[citation needed].

Some water clock designs were developed independently and some knowledge was transferred through the spread of trade. These early water clocks were calibrated with a sundial. While never reaching a level of accuracy comparable to today’s standards of timekeeping, the water clock was the most accurate and commonly used timekeeping device for millennia, until it was replaced by more accurate pendulum clocks in 17th-century Europe. A water clock uses a flow of water to measure time. If viscosity is neglected, the physical principle required to study such clocks is Torricelli’s law. There are two types of water clocks: inflow and outflow. In an outflow water clock, a container is filled with water, and the water is drained slowly and evenly out of the container. This container has markings that are used to show the passage of time. As the water leaves the container, an observer can see where the water is level with the lines and tell how much time has passed. An inflow water clock works in basically the same way, except instead of flowing out of the container, the water is filling up the marked container. As the container fills, the observer can see where the water meets the lines and tell how much time has passed.

In China, as well as throughout eastern Asia, water clocks were very important in the study of astronomy and astrology. The oldest archaeological evidence of a water clock is around 4000 BCE. The oldest written reference dates the use of the water-clock in China to the 6th century BCE.[3] From about 200 BCE onwards, the outflow clepsydra was replaced almost everywhere in China by the inflow type with an indicator-rod borne on a float.[3]

Huan Tan (40 BCE – 30 CE), a Secretary at the Court in charge of clepsydrae, wrote that he had to compare clepsydrae with sundials because of how temperature and humidity affected their accuracy, demonstrating that the effects of evaporation, as well as of temperature on the speed at which water flows, were known at this time.[4] In 976, Zhang Sixun addressed the problem of the water in clepsydrae freezing in cold weather by using liquid mercury instead.[5] Again, instead of using water, the early Ming Dynasty engineer Zhan Xiyuan (c. 1360-1380) created a sand-driven wheel clock, improved upon by Zhou Shuxue (c. 1530-1558).[6]

The use of clepsydrae to drive mechanisms illustrating astronomical phenomena began with Zhang Heng (78-139) in 117, who also employed a waterwheel.[7] Zhang Heng was the first in China to add an extra compensating tank between the reservoir and the inflow vessel, which solved the problem of the falling pressure head in the reservoir tank.[3] Zhang’s ingenuity led to the creation by Yi Xing (683–727) and Liang Lingzan in 725 of a clock driven by a waterwheel linkwork escapement mechanism.[8] The same mechanism would be used by Su Song (1020–1101) in 1088 to power his astronomical clock tower, as well as a chain drive.[9] Su Song’s clock tower, over 30 feet (9.1 m) tall, possessed a bronze power-driven armillary sphere for observations, an automatically rotating celestial globe, and five front panels with doors that permitted the viewing of changing mannequins which rang bells or gongs, and held tablets indicating the hour or other special times of the day. In the 2000s, in Beijing’s Drum Tower an outflow clepsydra is operational and displayed for tourists. It is connected to automata so that every quarter-hour a small brass statue of a man claps his cymbals.[10]

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Born on this day:

1825 – Sondre Norheim, Norwegian-American skier (d. 1897)
Sondre Norheim, born Sondre Auverson, (June 10, 1825 – March 9, 1897) was a Norwegian skier and pioneer of modern skiing. Sondre Norheim is known as the father of Telemark skiing.

Sondre Auverson was born at Øverbø, a little cotter’s farm and raised in Morgedal in the municipality of Kviteseid in Telemark, Norway. Skiing was a popular activity in Morgedal. Sondre took to downhill skiing as a recreational activity, rising to local fame for his skills. He made important innovations in skiing technology by designing new equipment, such as different bindings and shorter skis with curved sides to facilitate turns. He also designed the Telemark ski, which is the prototype of all those now produced. Sondre Norheim was regarded by his contemporaries as a master of the art of skiing. He combined ordinary skiing with jumping and slalom. In 1868 he won the first national skiing competition in Christiania, beating his younger competitors by a large margin. His reputation grew, and eventually made Norwegian words like ski and slalåm (slalom) known worldwide.[3]

Personal life
On January 15, 1854, Sondre Norheim married Rannei Åmundsdotter from a cotter’s farm at Øyfjell, a neighbouring village. In March 1854 their first daughter, Ingerid, was born. The next year little Hæge came, but she died at 15 weeks old. The next year Olav was born, and then another daughter they called Hæge, then Anne, Auver, Åmund and Talleiv. Sondre and Rannei lost a second child when Auver died at age 12. The family moved around to different places in Morgedal. Their last place was called “Norheim”, which Sondre took as a new family name. [4]

On May 30, 1884 Sondre and Rannei left Norway together with three of their children– Anne (21), Åmund (14) and Talleiv (12). Their son Olav and daughter Hæge had left home previously, and their eldest daughter Ingerid decided to stay back home. Norheim followed in the footsteps of many of his neighbors in Morgedal and emigrated from Norway to the United States. After having first settled in Minnesota, they moved to North Dakota, near Villard in McHenry County. He continued to ski when he could, though the climate and flat topography of the Dakota prairie offered few opportunities for downhill skiing. It was said he always had a pair of skis placed outside his door. Norheim grew more religious with age and helped build a Lutheran church in Villard. He died in 1897 and was buried in Denbigh, McHenry County, North Dakota.[5]

Sondre Norheim was honored during opening ceremonies at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California and at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. His grave was originally unmarked, but a memorial stone now marks its spot. During the week of Norsk Høstfest, held in Minot, N.D., groups visit the grave site and hold a commemorative service in memory of Sondre Norheim. [6]

The movie, Frikaren på ski – The history of Sondre Norheim, the Father of Modern Ski Sport was produced by NRK in 1970. [7] In 1984, Norheim was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame as the first class of inductees. A statue of Sondre Norheim by Norwegian sculptor Knut Skinnarland (1909-1993) was unveiled in 1987 in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, in Minot, North Dakota. During 1988, an identical statue was unveiled in Morgedal, Norway by King Olav V. During 1993, the Sondre Norheim Eternal Flame Monument was added to the Scandinavian Heritage Park. Lars Berge Haugan, a skier representing Morgedal, lit the flame.[8]

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FYI June 09, 2017

June 9th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

On this day:

1934 – Donald Duck makes his debut in The Wise Little Hen.
Donald Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a bow tie. Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters and was included in TV Guide’s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002.[1] He has appeared in more films than any other Disney character,[2] and is the most published comic book character in the world outside of the superhero genre.[3]

Donald Duck rose to fame with his comedic roles in animated cartoons. Donald’s first appearance was in 1934 in The Wise Little Hen, but it was his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit which introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse. Throughout the next two decades, Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, he typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy and was given his own film series in 1937 starting with Don Donald. These films introduced Donald’s love interest Daisy Duck and often included his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. After the 1956 film Chips Ahoy, Donald appeared primarily in educational films before eventually returning to theatrical animation in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983). His most recent appearance in a theatrical film was 1999’s Fantasia 2000. Donald has also appeared in direct-to-video features such as Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004), television series such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2016), and video games such as QuackShot (1991).[4]

Beyond animation, Donald is primarily known for his appearances in comics. Donald was most famously drawn by Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Barks, in particular, is credited for greatly expanding the “Donald Duck universe”, the world in which Donald lives, and creating many additional characters such as Donald’s rich uncle Scrooge McDuck. Donald has been a very popular character in Europe, particularly in Nordic countries where his weekly magazine Donald Duck & Co was the most popular comics publication from the 1950s to 2009. Disney comics’ fandom is sometimes referred to as “Donaldism”, a term which originated in Norway (Norwegian: Donaldisme).[5][6]

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Born on this day:

1768 – Samuel Slater, English-American engineer and businessman (d. 1835)
Samuel Slater (June 9, 1768 – April 21, 1835) was an early English-American industrialist known as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution” (a phrase coined by Andrew Jackson) and the “Father of the American Factory System.” In the UK, he was called “Slater the Traitor”[2] because he brought British textile technology to America, modifying it for United States use. He learned textile machinery as an apprentice to a pioneer in the British industry, then immigrating to the United States at the age of 21. He designed the first textile mills in the US and later went into business for himself, developing a family business with his sons. A wealthy man, he eventually owned thirteen spinning mills and had developed tenant farms and company towns around his textile mills, such as Slatersville, Rhode Island.

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Emerald City Writer’s Conference
October 13-15, 2017
Westin Hotel, Bellevue, WA
Sponsored by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America

Every fall, the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America chapter holds the popular Emerald City Writers’ Conference, which is currently the largest romance writing conference on the west coast. The 2017 Conference is scheduled for October 13 – 15, 2017, at the Bellevue Westin. Three hundred attendees are expected, including leading industry editors and agents, phenomenal speakers.

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Total Eclipse: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Festival of Science, Music, and Celestial Wonder.

FYI June 08, 2017

June 8th is National Jelly-Filled Donut Day


On this day:

793 – Vikings raid the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of Norse activity in the British Isles.

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Viking raids: 793–850

In the final decade of the 8th century AD, Norse raiders attacked a series of Christian monasteries located in the British Isles. In the British Isles, Christian monasteries had often been positioned on small islands and in other remote coastal areas so that the monks could dwell there in seclusion, devoting themselves to worship without the interference of other elements of society. At the same time, it made them isolated and un-protected targets for attack.[15] Historian Peter Hunter Blair remarked that the Viking raiders would have been astonished “at finding so many communities which housed considerable wealth and whose inhabitants carried no arms.”[15] These raids would have been the first contact many Norsemen had with Christianity, but such attacks were not specifically anti-Christian in nature, rather the monasteries were simply seen as ‘easy targets’ for raiders.[13]

Lo, it is nearly 350 years that we and our fathers have inhabited this most lovely land, and never before has such a terror appeared as we have now suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made. Behold the church of St Cuthbert spattered with the blood of the priests of God, despoiled of all its ornaments.
Archbishop Alcuin of York on the sacking of Lindisfarne.[16]

The first known account of a Viking raid taking place in Anglo-Saxon England comes from 789, when three ships from Hordaland (in modern Norway) landed in the Isle of Portland on the southern coast of Wessex. They were approached by the royal reeve from Dorchester, whose job it was to identify all foreign merchants entering the kingdom, and they proceeded to kill him.[16] It is likely that other raids (the records for which have since been lost) occurred soon after, for in 792 King Offa of Mercia began to make arrangements for the defence of Kent from raids perpetrated by “pagan peoples”.[16]

The next recorded attack against the Anglo-Saxons came the following year, in 793, when the monastery at Lindisfarne, an island off England’s eastern coast, was sacked by a Viking raiding party on 8 June.[16] The following year they sacked the nearby Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey.[5]

In 795 they once again attacked, this time raiding Iona Abbey on Scotland’s west coast.[5] This monastery would be attacked again in 802 and 806, when 68 people dwelling there were killed. Following such devastation, the monastic community at Iona abandoned the site and fled instead to Kells in Ireland.[17]

In the first decade of the 9th century AD, Viking raiders began to attack coastal districts along Ireland.[18] In 835, the first major Viking raid in southern England took place and was directed against the Isle of Sheppey.[19]

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Born on this day:

1508 – Primož Trubar, Slovenian Protestant reformer (d. 1586)

Primož Trubar or Primož Truber[nb 2] (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (1508[nb 1] – 28 June 1586)[1] was a Slovenian Protestant Reformer of the Lutheran tradition, mostly known as the author of the first Slovene language printed book,[2] the founder and the first superintendent of the Protestant Church of the Duchy of Carniola, and for consolidating the Slovene language. Trubar introduced Lutheranism in Slovenia, but after the Austrian Habsburgs introduced the Counter-Reformation only a small community remained in the Prekmurje region. Trubar is the key figure of Slovenian cultural history and in many aspects a major historical personality.[1][3]

Life and work
Trubar was born in the village of Rašica[4] (now in the Municipality of Velike Lašče) in the Duchy of Carniola, then under the Habsburgs. In the years 1520–1521 he attended school in Rijeka,[4] in 1522–1524 he continued his education in Salzburg. From there he went to Trieste under the tutorship of the Roman Catholic bishop Pietro Bonomo, where he got in touch with the Humanist writers, in particular Erasmus of Rotterdam. In 1527 the bishop Pietro Bonomo assigned Trubar a priest position in Loka pri Zidanem Mostu. In 1528 he enrolled at the University of Vienna, but did not complete his studies. In 1530 he returned to the Slovene Lands and became a preacher. He gradually leaned towards Protestantism and was expelled from Ljubljana in 1547.

In 1550, while a Protestant preacher in Rothenburg, he wrote the first two books in Slovene, Catechismus and Abecedarium, which were then printed that year in Schwäbisch Hall by Peter Frentz.[5] Catechismus also contained the first Slovene musical manuscript in print.

Altogether, Trubar authored 22 books in Slovene and two books in German. He was the first to translate parts of the Bible to Slovene. After the exhortation by Pier Paolo Vergerio, he translated the Gospel of Matthew in 1555 and until 1577 in three parts published the translation of the entire New Testament.[4] In period between 1561 and 1565 Trubar was the manager and supervisor of the South Slavic Bible Institute.[6]

Trubar died in Derendingen, Holy Roman Empire (now part of the city of Tübingen, Germany), where he is also buried.

The monument to Primož Trubar by Franc Berneker (sl). White marble, 1910. The statue stands in Trubar Park opposite the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.

In 1986, the Slovenian television produced a TV series, directed by Andrej Strojan with the screenplay written by Drago Jančar, in which Trubar was played by the Slovenian actor Polde Bibič.

Trubar was commemorated on the 10 tolar banknote[7] in 1992, and on the Slovenian 1 euro coin in 2007. In 2008, the Government of Slovenia proclaimed the Year of Primož Trubar and the 500th anniversary of Trubar’s birth was celebrated throughout the country.[8] A commemorative €2 coin and a postage stamp were issued.[9][10][11] An exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Primož Trubar, and the achievements of the Slovenian Reformation Movement was on display at the National Museum of Slovenia from 6 March to 31 December 2008.

In 2009, the Trubar Forum Association printed Trubar’s Catechism and Abecedarium in modern Slovene, in a scholarly edition that includes both the Trubar-era Slovene and the modern Slovene translation with scholarly notes.[12] The “Sermon on Faith”, a portion of the Catechism, is available in modern Slovene, English, German and Esperanto.[citation needed]

Since 2010, 8 June is commemorated in Slovenia as Primož Trubar Day.[13] Google celebrated his 505th birthday anniversary with a dedicated Google Doodle.[14]

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A view of the 9th century Armenian Monastery of Tatev in southern Armenia.
Photograph by: Alexander Naumov

Centuries before the modern seismograph, Armenian monks measured quakes with this tilting pillar.
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FYI June 07, 2017

June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!

On this day:

1776 – Richard Henry Lee presents the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress. The motion is seconded by John Adams and will lead to the United States Declaration of Independence.
The Lee Resolution, also known as the Resolution of Independence, was a three–part resolve by the Second Continental Congress on June 7, 1776, to declare the United Colonies rightfully independent of the British Empire, to establish a plan for ensuing American foreign relations, and to establish a plan of a confederation to unite them officially. The resolution is named for Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who proposed it to Congress, after receiving instructions from the Virginia Convention and its President, Edmund Pendleton. Some sources indicate Lee used, almost verbatim, the language from the instructions in his resolution. Voting on the first part of the resolution was delayed for several weeks while state support and legislative instruction for independence were consolidated, but the press of events indicated the other less-discussed parts should immediately proceed. On June 11 Congress decided to establish three committees to develop the resolution’s parts, and appointed a Committee of Five (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston) to prepare a document to explain the reasons for independence. The following day, another committee of five (John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Benjamin Harrison V, and Robert Morris) was appointed to prepare a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers, and the third committee of thirteen members was appointed from each colony to prepare a draft of a constitution for confederation of the states.

The independence portion of the resolution was the first approved by Congress, on July 2, 1776. News of its adoption was published that evening in the Pennsylvania Evening Post and the next day in the Pennsylvania Gazette. The text of the document formally announcing this action, the United States Declaration of Independence, was approved on July 4th, 1776 which is celebrated as Independence Day. However, the document wasn’t signed by all delegates of the United States until August 2nd.

The committee drafting a plan of confederation, chaired by John Dickinson, presented their initial results to Congress on July 12, 1776. Long debates would follow on such issues as sovereignty, the exact powers to be given the confederate government, whether to have a judiciary, and voting procedures.[1] The final draft of the Articles of Confederation were prepared during the summer of 1777 and approved by Congress for ratification by the individual states on November 15, 1777, after a year of debate.[2] Although in use from that time, it would be almost four years before final ratification by all states, on March 1, 1781.

The committee appointed to prepare a plan of treaties made its first report on July 18, largely in the writing of John Adams; while prompt action was planned, it was delayed, and a limited printing of the document was authorized. Over the next five weeks it would be reviewed and amended by Congress. On August 27, the amended plan of treaties was referred back to the committee to develop instructions pursuant to the amendments, and two additional members (Richard Henry Lee and James Wilson) were added to the committee; two days later the committee was empowered to prepare further instructions as deemed proper, and report back to Congress. The formal version of the plan of treaties was adopted on September 17. On September 24, Congress approved negotiating instructions for commissioners to obtain a treaty with France, based on the template provided in the plan of treaties; the next day Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Thomas Jefferson were elected commissioners to the court of France.[3] Alliance with France was considered vital if the war with England was to be won and the newly declared country was to survive.

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1761 – John Rennie the Elder, Scottish engineer (d. 1821)
John Rennie FRSE FRS (7 June 1761 – 4 October 1821) was a Scottish civil engineer who designed many bridges, canals, and docks.

Early years
Rennie, a farmer’s younger son, was born at Phantassie, near East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland, and showed a taste for mechanics at a very early age, and was allowed to spend much time in the workshop of Andrew Meikle, millwright, the inventor of the threshing machine, who lived at Houston Mill on the Phantassie estate. After receiving a rudimentary education at the parish school of Prestonkirk Parish Church, he was sent to the burgh school at Dunbar, and in November 1780 he matriculated at the University of Edinburgh, where he remained until 1783. His older brother George remained to assist in the family agricultural business, achieving notability in this arena.

He seems to have employed his vacations in working as a millwright, and so to have established a business on his own account. At this early date the originality of his mind was exhibited by the introduction of cast iron pinions instead of wooden trundles. In 1784 he took a journey south for the purpose of enlarging his knowledge, visiting James Watt at Soho, Staffordshire. Watt offered him an engagement, which he accepted, and after a short stay at Soho he left for London in 1784 to take charge of the works at the Albion Flour Mills, Blackfriars, for which Boulton & Watt were building a steam-engine. The machinery was all designed by Rennie, a distinguishing feature being the use of iron instead of wood for the shafting and framing. About 1791 he started in business as a mechanical engineer on his own account in Holland Street, Blackfriars, whence he and his successors long conducted engineering operations of vast importance. (In the same year, the Albion Flour Mills were destroyed by arson).

Canals and waterways
In 1791, he moved to London and set up his own engineering business, having by then begun to expand into civil engineering, particularly the construction of canals. His early projects included the Lancaster Canal (started 1792), the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation (1793), the Crinan Canal (1794-1801), Rudyard Lake (1797) and the Rochdale Canal, which passes through difficult country between Rochdale and Todmorden (1799). The Kennet and Avon Canal including the Dundas Aqueduct, Caen Hill Locks and Crofton Pumping Station occupied him between 1794 and 1810. In 1802 he revised the plans for the Royal Canal of Ireland from Dublin to the Shannon near Longford. For many years he was engaged in extensive drainage operations in the Lincolnshire and Norfolk fens (1802–1810), and in the improvement of the River Witham. The Eau Brink Cut, a new channel for the River Ouse, was completed just before his death.[1]

Over the next few years Rennie also attained a deserved reputation as a builder of bridges, combining stone with new cast-iron techniques to create previously unheard-of low, wide, elliptical arches, at Leeds Bridge, and in London at Waterloo Bridge (1811–1817), with its nine equal arches and perfectly flat roadway (thought to be influenced by Thomas Harrison’s design of Skerton Bridge over the River Lune in Lancaster). His later efforts in this line also show that he was a skilful architect, endowed with a keen sense of beauty of design. Waterloo Bridge was considered his masterpiece and was the most prestigious bridge project in England, described as ‘perhaps the finest large masonry bridge ever built in this or any other country’.[2] The Italian sculptor Canova called it ‘the noblest bridge in the world’ and said that ‘it is worth going to England solely to see Rennie’s bridge.’[3] London Bridge, built from his design by his sons, though not constructed until after his death, replaced the medieval bridge which was proving a serious impediment to the flow of the river and was eventually moved to Arizona. Southwark Bridge (1815–1819) was built as three cast-iron spans over the river. He also designed the Old Vauxhall Bridge.

Docks and harbours
Rennie was also responsible for designing and building docks at Hull, Liverpool, Greenock, London (London, East India and West India docks), and Leith and improving the harbours and dockyards at Chatham, Devonport, Portsmouth, Holyhead, Ramsgate, Sheerness, Howth and Dunleary. He devoted much time to the preparation of plans for a government dockyard at Northfleet, but they were not carried out. Rennie’s last project was London Bridge, still under construction when he died in 1821 but completed by his son, also John Rennie.

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