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About Childress

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  1. Thanks, JK, long time no see. This was one of my non-political articles submitted on Channel Z. Don't know what happened to the font here. I felt that a mere list of famous people lacked a certain je ne sais quoi; the Tragic Element was mandatory.
  2. THE PAPER MAKER Cai Lun, the inventor of paper, is little known outside of China his name rarely appears in standard Western history textbooks. Until recently, many scholars believed he was an apocryphal figure. However, research makes it clear that Cai Lun was a real man, an official in the Chinese imperial court who, at the dawn of the 2nd century, presented the Emperor with samples of paper. Cai Lun’s name appears in the official history of the Han dynasty and the relevant entry documenting his invention is unambiguous. We’re told he was a eunuch. -In 105AD Cai Lun submitted to the emperor a process for making paper out of the inner bark of mulberry trees, bamboo, and remnants of hemp, rags of cloth, and fishing nets. He mixed them with water, pounded them with a wooden tool, and then poured this mixture onto a flat piece of coarsely woven cloth, letting the water drain through, and leaving only a thin, matted sheet of fibers on the cloth.- -New World Encyclopedia Prior to the introduction of paper in China, most books were made of bamboo or silk. In the West, books were written on parchment processed from animal skins replacing papyrus used by the ancients. All four media were cumbersome to use and expensive to manufacture. The paper revolution enabled China, which had been less advanced in comparison to Western Europe, to leap ahead culturally and scientifically. During the succeeding centuries, as Europe dithered in the Dark Ages, the Chinese brought forth the compass, gunpowder and block printing. Muslims learned Cai Lun’s technique in the 700s by capturing a Chinese paper trader following a winning battle on the frontier. Once the West finally acquired the secret of papermaking five hundred years later it narrowed the technology gap. However, as late as the 13th century, Marco Polo reported that China was far more prosperous than Europe. Cai Lun’s invention made him wealthy and the grateful emperor awarded him an aristocratic title. That promotion proved fatal; following the latter’s demise, he joined the losing side in the ensuing dynastic struggle. Chinese records tell us that upon reading the writing on the wall Cai Lun took a bath then dressed in his finest silk robes and drank poison. THE PRINTER Johann Gutenberg is credited with the invention of printing by combining moveable type and an efficient press in such a way that a large variety of written material could be printed with speed and accuracy. Moveable type had been invented centuries before in China and Korea but Gutenberg vastly improved the entire process marrying all the components including suitable ink, a durable metal alloy for the type, and an efficient press. Above all, he developed all the elements of printing into an effective and reliable system of mass production, a complete manufacturing process. The crucial ingredient, paper, had spread to the West by Gutenberg’s day. However moveable type was rarely used in the Orient and Gutenberg developed his proprietary technique independently. -The Gutenberg Bible The so-called Gutenberg Bible, printed in Mainz, appeared in 1454. We know it came from Gutenberg’s atelier based on the typeface but his name never figures on his work, in retrospect a careless omission on his part. Some idea of Gutenberg’s impact on history can be gained by comparing the subsequent development of China and Europe. At the time of his birth, the two lands were about equally developed technologically. But after Gutenberg’s invention, Europe progressed rapidly spreading knowledge while China, where block printing continued, remained comparatively sterile. Though a mechanical genius Gutenberg was never much of a businessman; it appears he was chronically short of money. Struggling to keep his project alive he partnered with a feisty goldsmith and lawyer named Johann Fust who loaned Gutenberg the funds he needed to continue. However, Fust began losing patience; he pestered Gutenberg claiming that he was doing nothing but blowing money. At last, Fust brought suit against him in court, and the judge ruled in his favour. Everything in the world that Gutenberg possessed, even his tools, came into Fust's possession- including the original, unsigned Gutenberg Bible. Johann Gutenberg died in Mainz, Germany. Pathetically the creator of the (arguably) most important invention in human history lived out most of his later years in dire poverty until the Archbishop of Mainz granted the printer a meagre pension just before his death in 1468. Gutenberg was buried in a Franciscan church, which was demolished and replaced with another church, which was also subsequently demolished. The location of his final resting place remains unknown. While Gutenberg went without financial reward for creating the process that revolutionized the world, history recognizes him as holding this honour. Without his printing press, the Protestant Reformation would likely never to have had occurred. THE CHEMIST -Antoine Lavoisier and his wife, Marie-Anne The French scientist, Antoine Lavoisier, is generally considered the most significant figure in the development of chemistry. Born into a prosperous bourgeois family in 1743, young Antoine completed a law degree in accordance with his family wishes. But he never practised; his true calling was in science. On the basis of his early researches, he was elected- at the tender age of 25- to the Academy of Sciences, France’s most prestigious scientific society. During his era, water and air were wrongly believed to be elementary substances and that combustible materials contained a substance called ‘phlogiston’. It was Lavoisier that managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together correctly and get chemical theory started on the correct path. Denying the existence of phlogiston, he proved that the process of combustion consisted of the chemical combination of the burning substance with oxygen. Also, air was not an elementary substance either but a chemical compound of oxygen and nitrogen. Many leading scientists refused to accept Lavoisier’s theories but his book, The Elements of Chemistry, silenced most of the doubters. It was published in 1789, a significant year. -Lavoisier’s laboratory Having shown that water and air were not chemical elements Lavoisier included in his book a list of those substances that he believed to be elementary. Our modern periodic table is essentially an enlarged version of his list. His creation of a uniform system of nomenclature enabled chemists throughout the world to clearly communicate their discoveries with each other. In the same year of his election to the Academy, in order to finance his scientific research, Lavoisier bought into the Ferme Générale the private corporation that collected taxes for the Crown. It was essentially a racket, there being no limit to the taxes collected except what the tax collectors could gouge from the populace. The Crown got its share, but everything above that was pure profit. Lavoisier grew rich but the Ferme was bitterly resented by the rising middle-class. Several years later he married Marie-Anne Paulze, the 14-year old daughter of another ‘tax farmer’. A brilliant woman, Madame Lavoisier learned English in order to translate the work of British chemists including Joseph Priestley and Henry Cavendish for her husband. Lavoisier though a political liberal who had worked for many reforms was, as a perceived aristocrat, vulnerable to the revolutionary fervour of the times and he made two mistakes that eventually sealed his fate. He performed a flashy public experiment in Paris demonstrating that a diamond is made from carbon by burning one in an atmosphere of pure oxygen. It didn’t go over well. Given the food scarcity that existed during the early days of the Revolution, it was taken as an unforgivable extravagance. -Jean-Paul Marat Still, he might have survived were it not for the fact that he had acquired a famous enemy, Jean-Paul Marat, a physically repulsive and frustrated scientist who rose to become one of the most prominent members on the increasingly sanguinary Revolutionary Tribunal. Years before, Marat applied for membership in the French Academy and was rejected, with Lavoisier being a major factor in his dismissal. It seems that Lavoisier had publicly ridiculed Marat’s ‘animal magnetism’ theory. Humiliated, the fiery demagogue never forgave him becoming an indefatigable force in the chemist’s destruction. -Lavoisier en route to the guillotine Flogged on by Marat, the Revolutionary government grew increasingly suspicious of Lavoisier. Eventually, he was arrested along with twenty-seven other members of the Ferme Générale. Revolutionary justice may not have been too accurate, but it was certainly speedy. On a single day (May 8, 1794) all of them were tried, convicted and guillotined. At the trial an appeal was made to spare Lavoisier, citing his services to country and science. The judge rejected the plea with the curt remark that, ‘The Republic has no need of geniuses’. Closer to the truth was the remark of the great mathematician Lagrange: ‘It took but a moment to sever that head, though a hundred years may not produce another like it’. GUILLOTINE SIDEBAR
  3. Childress

    The Jewish Doctor

    In contrast to Dr Bloch we have the example of Josef Mengele whose post-WW2 existence reveals how a man's super-ego can fail to monitor his id. Mengele once told his only son, Rolf, “The Jews ought to erect a statue to me! I saved hundreds of thousands of them from death in return for a few blood samples.” Bear in mind that Mengele said this to his son in 1977, when Rolf paid a visit to his father’s hideout in Brazil. Almost thirty years had passed since the end of the war and Mengele still felt that he had played a benign role during the Final Solution. According to those who knew him in Paraguay and Brazil, Mengele was actually a low-key man, unless the subject of Auschwitz was raised. Then he would fly into a rage and begin to shout about persecution and the lies that had spread about him throughout the world. Incidentally, unlike Eichmann, Mengele never hid his identity for long. He took out a West German passport under his own name in Argentina, and “Dr. Josef Mengele” was listed in the Buenos Aires telephone directory. Mengele traveled easily back and forth across the Paraguay-Brazil border and was photographed in Brazilian newspapers. He made one trip to Germany after the war, to wed his sister-in-law. In South America he confessed his real name to his hosts, first a Hungarian family and later an Austrian woman, and trusted them not inform the authorities. Not surprisingly, the West German government made little effort to bring him back home to stand trial. Julio Cesar Pino, Ph.D from University of California, Los Angeles
  4. The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) has been used as in religious rituals, as a narcotic and medicine since the Sumerians named it Hul Gil (joy plant.) The Ancient Greek Gods Hypnos (Sleep), Nyx (Night), and Thanatos (Death) were shown with poppies. #1 By Roman times, Opium (from the Greek word for juice) could be easily bought on the drug and spice markets of Rome. It was known as a powerful pain reliever. #2 Dioscorides was a physician with the Roman Army. He described using poppy leaves of juice in capsules as a sleep aid, in throat lozenges as a pain-killer and as suppositories for bowel disorders. #3 Opium was used as an aphrodisiac but too much could send you into a sleep that ended in death. It was sometimes taken as a method of suicide when confronted with an incurable illness. But it’s life ending properties also meant that it could be used as a tool for murder. The Emperor Nero allegedly only came to power after his mother dosed his stepbrother with a lethal dose of opium. #4 Under Nero’s reign, the physician Galen wrote: “Opium is the strongest of the drugs which numb the senses and induce a deadening sleep, its effects are produced when it is soaked in boiling water, taken up on a flock of wool and used as a suppository.“ #5 He prescribed the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius a daily dose of opium. He mixed it with many other ingredients into a medicine he called ‘Theriac.’ Marcus took it pretty liberally: “During the day he took nothing but Theriac, not because he was afraid of poison, but to ease his stomach and chest”. [Dio Cassius] #6 Gale cut the dose according to the demands of the day, sometimes creating withdrawal symptoms for Marcus. “When he found himself getting drowsy at his duties, he had the poppy juice removed, but then he was unable to sleep at night, so he was obliged again to have recourse to the compound which contained poppy-juice, since this was now habitual for him.” [Galen XIV 4]. Despite his reliance on opium Marcus still attended to his duties and even found time to write one of the world’s most influential books on philosophy, the Meditations. Notable historical figures allegedly addicted to opium: http://listverse.com/2015/09/25/10-historical-figures-who-were-dependent-on-opium/
  5. Childress

    Machiavelli, a bad dude?

    Or a film, better yet a TV series. 'Breaking Mutant'?
  6. Childress

    The Jewish Doctor

    One notices that, in his photo, the good doctor's face positively glows with humanity and compassion.
  7. Childress

    The Jewish Doctor

    De nada, John. BTW, any donation is appreciated. I accept all credit cards EXCEPT American Express.
  8. Childress

    Machiavelli, a bad dude?

    We're irredeemable. Maybe Science will come to the rescue. Mandatory gene therapy?
  9. Childress

    The Jewish Doctor

    Dr Eduard Bloch was a general physician, practicing on the main street of the poor neighborhood of Austria’s third largest city, Linz. A promise was given to this Jewish doctor by a grateful patient: “I shall be grateful to you forever, A.H.,” followed by a postcard sent from Vienna. Eduard Bloch was born in 1869 to a Jewish family in Frauenburg, a small southern Bohemian village. He studied medicine in Prague, enlisted in the army of the Habsburg Empire, and was sent to Linz. After his discharge from the army he decided to settle in Linz, where he practiced for 37 years, serving the underprivileged and earning the title of “the poor man’s doctor”. He charged patients according to their financial status; he often took nothing at all. In this capacity, in 1901, Dr Bloch came to look after the family of Alois Schicklgruber, later changed to Hitler. He cared for Alois’s first wife and two daughters and for his second wife Klara, the mother of Adolf and his sister Klara Jr. The illnesses treated were mainly children’s diseases, with four siblings succumbing to sickness—a statistic not uncommon for that time. He also published his memories about the encounter in which he painted a remarkably positive picture of young Hitler, saying that he was neither a ruffian nor untidy nor impolite: Adolf left school at the age of 16 and lived in Vienna. Twice he attempted to obtain acceptance in the Academy of Arts. He was rejected but was advised to study architecture, a topic more suitable for his talents. This advice was not heeded, and Adolf remained a wanderer in Vienna, surviving by painting postcards, and supported by a Jewish friend, the artist Joseph Neumann (later on called “a very decent man”). Adolf'a bohemian lifestyle was interrupted in early 1907 when he was summoned to Linz; his beloved mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The young son, always neatly dressed and quite courteous, was distraught over the suffering of his mother, and even more so later on following a clearly unsuccessful surgery. After protracted suffering, Klara died in December of 1907. A few days after the funeral Adolf and his three surviving sisters came to thank Dr Bloch for the help he had given to the family. Their gratitude was expressed repeatedly over the years. Indeed, back in Vienna, Adolf sent a congratulatory New Year’s postcard two years in a row. Years would pass until their life-paths would—figuratively—cross again. 1937, Berlin The Fuehrer received Nazi delegates from Austria. He inquired about Linz and about Dr Bloch— whether he was alive and, if so, if he was still practicing medicine. The Fuehrer stated that Dr Bloch was a noble Jew, (“Edeljude”), further stating that “if all Jews would be like Dr. Bloch, there would be no Jewish question” 1938, March, Linz The German Army entered the Eastern province (Österreich), recently annexed to the Third Empire. The Fuehrer was in an open car traversing the main street in Linz. Whilst looking up to the old building of Dr Bloch, he made eye contact with the old physician, who was observing the parade from an upper window. EPILOGUE Dr Bloch and his family were given special privileges that were probably not accorded to any other Jews in the Reich. Dr Bloch wrote (in his review dated 1941 in New York that two Gestapo officers came to his flat, requesting that he return several of the postcards that Adolf had sent to him in the past. The request was for “safekeeping the cards,” and a receipt was duly issued for them. The Blochs were allowed to keep their passports and their money; they were even finally able to withdraw their funds from the bank. Eventually, Dr Bloch was allowed to emigrate to the US with his family. In New York, Dr Bloch wrote in his review that during his entire career, he never saw a more distraught person than the young Adolf upon the death of his mother. He recalled asking himself “could this gentle boy be the Fuehrer?” He also asked: “What does a doctor think when he sees one of his patients grow into the persecutor of his race?” Dr Bloch lived in the Bronx until 1945. Before he succumbed to gastric carcinoma, he declared “I am 100% Jewish.” He was buried in the local Jewish cemetery. (Adapted from the Maimonides Medical Journal)
  10. Childress


    Former Seattle running back, Marshawn Lynch: 'I'm here because I don't want to get fined'. Me, on this radioactive topic: 'I'm not replying to your post because I don't want to get banned'.
  11. Childress


    Very poignant, Deadmarsh. I also agree that the sexual revolution was /is a disaster, particularly for men. Though having dipped my toe into the swamp, I consider myself a rank hypocrite. My summary on free- or, if you will, promiscuous- sex: 1- The more numerous one's sexual experiences the faster ennui sets in, and the greater turnover of partners. (See gays) 2- As far as marriage is concerned, the fewer prior experiences the better. This applies to men and women. 3- Since women crave sex less, they decide when intimacy takes place. They're in the driver's seat. 4- So status considerations loom larger with them. 5- This phenomenon marginalises average men. 6- Ready availability of porn, i.e., the internet, has proved a negative. 7- The best and most enduring sex is based on mutual innocence, if not ignorance. 8- We've been deceived by propaganda on the subject of sex since the 60s.
  12. Childress


    Hehe. That's why this post garnered 140+ views instead of 12.
  13. Notice a trend? http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-cities-where-you-can-make-a-decent-living-and-actually-save-money-2017-05-23?mod=MW_story_top_stories
  14. Fair or unfair, this vid is priceless.The previous link was removed.