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 Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his previous grants to the rebels.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