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Childress

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  1. In the early 20th century German science was in full ebullition, notably in physics. The most famous among the gifted was, of course, Albert Einstein but other men were also collecting Nobels, notably among them Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg. These two altered our conception of the physical world and both would be inextricably tied to the 3rd Reich- with different outcomes.MAX PLANCK (1858-1947)In 1900, Planck shook the scientific world with his bold hypothesis that radiant energy (i.e., light waves) is not emitted in a continuous flow, but rather consists of small chunks, which he called q
  2. In the early 20th century German science was in full ebullition, notably in physics. The most famous among the gifted was, of course, Albert Einstein but other men were also collecting Nobels, notably among them Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg. These two altered our conception of the physical world and both would be inextricably tied to the 3rd Reich- with different outcomes.MAX PLANCK (1858-1947)In 1900, Planck shook the scientific world with his bold hypothesis that radiant energy (i.e., light waves) is not emitted in a continuous flow, but rather consists of small chunks, which he called q
  3. ...he was going to lose anyway.Yes. With a quarter-million Germans and Russians- and more to follow- closing in the writing was on the wall. In retrospect, Napoleon's (arguable) near-miss at Waterloo was the very best outcome for his legend. He can bid adieu to his weeping grognards while French historians sharpen their pens concocting their 'might-have-been' scenarios. If only....
  4. Napoleon fought more than 70 battles, winning all but only seven, mostly at the end.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_ ... ular%20War.First-hand descriptions of Napoleon by his contemporaries:https://www.napoleon-series.org/researc ... ption.htmlAn excerpt:He dictated while walking to and fro in his cabinet. When he grew angry he would use violent imprecations, which were suppressed in writing and which had, at least, the advantage of giving the writer time to catch up with him. He never repeated anything that he had once said, even if it had not been heard; and this was very hard on the
  5. Question: Who is being discussed? Napoleon or Hitler? Excellent point, Erwin. The coincidences are eerie, even including the prodigious powers of memory they shared.
  6. A man does not have himself killed for a few halfpence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify the man.- NapoleonEven after 200 years we still feel the reverberations of Napoleon’s personality. We identify with the Corsican; many of us glory in his triumphs and regret his downfall- it's personal. He left a lasting imprint upon his contemporaries who speak of his iron will, power of concentration, and near inhuman work ethic not to mention a charismatic charm that we still fell today. Napoleon’s soldiers adored him; at times it seemed they- both French
  7. Note: consider this essay as a diversion from the coronavirus. Some of our most notorious dictators have had, in addition to the usual depredations, a hobby in common: an infatuation with cinema. The mise en scene appears common to all; the leader invites his minions to see a movie, these, typically a dozen or two, are seated in his personal screening room. They watch a film (woe to the guest who nods off) and at the end- or during- the leader delivers pronouncements on its director and actors; he’s rarely contradicted. Frequently the attendees are forced to sit through multiple, and ofte
  8. California, where I live, and New York have applied the most stringent rules vi-a-vis the virus. Simply walking on the sidewalk here in LA- without serious purpose- risks a ticket. One notices that there are two opposing sides: those that wish to clamp down on nearly all economic activity in the interest of 'health' and those fearing a recession or worse, don't. Saving humanity or, borrowing from Tacitus, a case of leaving a desert and calling it peace. Maybe a compromise?
  9. Not all of Kepler’s siblings rushed to her side like he did — a sister pleaded hardship, a brother withdrew his support when he began to feel threatened, and another brother joined the prosecution. I’d like to meet that guy. Part 1: The Ancient Background: Burning at the stake- and its variations- is one of those most fearful modes of execution; the practice goes back to ancient Babylonia. It’s also mentioned in the book of Genesis, usually reserved for sexual crimes but that Hebraic custom eventually died out. Diodorus Siculus, a 1st century Greek historian, mentions the so-ca
  10. An interesting map of Vienna just prior to WW1. A single section of Vienna played host to Adolf Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Tito, Sigmund Freud and Joseph Stalin. The two revolutionaries, Stalin and Trotsky, were on the run while Sigmund Freud was already well established. Hitler was hawking his paintings and postcards. All men, for better or worse, would shape the 20th century. Although Karl Marx never lived in Vienna that city honored him with the Karl-Marx-Hof , the longest single residential building in the world. It was built between 1927 and 1930.
  11. THE ASTRONOMER Johannes Kepler, the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, was born 1571 in the town of Weil der Stadt, Germany; he received a master’s degree from the University of Tubingen in 1588. The great Polish astronomer Copernicus had, in 1533, proposed that the planets revolved in predictable cycles around the sun rather than the earth. For many Christian prelates of the day, this amounted to heresy; after all, the Old Testament tells us that Joshua defeated the Amorites by God’s intervention, halting the sun in its path and extending the daylight. As a student, Kepler becam
  12. Imagine yourself riding a noble steed, wearing a plumed hat and sitting athwart a a tiger's hide. Think of the babes you'd...
  13. During the Napoleonic era the paintings of soldiers may have represented the culmination of military plumage; many of the officers were veritable peacocks. The Emperor stressed, to an obsessional degree, the value of a well turned out soldier; he felt it was essential for morale. During a review in 1811 he grew furious over the uniforms issued to a newly created regiment: Too small, too short, too tight, badly cut, badly made, badly sewed; many of the buttonholes made only with a simple snip of the scissors … sleeves not lined … capotes so tight that they cannot be worn over the uniform c
  14. It's true that the Incas did not engage in cannibalism. But they had their quirks. Tamara Bray, an associate professor of anthropology, documents that the young boys and girls were killed during sacrificial ceremonies. A mummified Incan girl Bray says the state would issue a levy for all provinces within the empire to tribute young children. Girls generally came from the ranks of the acllakun, which means "chosen women." "They [the Inca leaders] went through communities on a regular basis and took young girls away to live in the acllawasi (houses of the chosen women) and becom
  15. This is probably your book: Voice of the Vanquished, the Story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortes https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Vanquished-Marina-Hernan-Cortes/dp/1560025301 4.5 Stars The blurb: They triumphed over youthful hardships -- hers in Aztec-ruled Mexico and his in rural Spain -- to become a team that changed two continents forever. Without his loyal slave and interpreter Marina, the conquistador Hernan Cortes could not have toppled the empire of Moctezuma II. Without Cortes, Marina would have been crushed by the treachery of her ruthless stepfather. Together, the
  16. Unlikely. The Europeans benefited from a degree of immunity, smallpox had been ravaging the continent from Roman times, or even earlier. The Spaniards also gifted the Indians with syphilis. Cortes allegedly acquired the disease in Hispaniola before sailing to Mexico, but that hasn't been proven.
  17. "Conquistadors sacrificed and eaten by Aztec-era people, archaeologists say" https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/10/conquistadors-sacrificed-eaten-aztec-acolhuas -The Guardian
  18. You're getting ahead. The invention that the Aztecs should have perfected first was the wheel. The Spaniards did notice that wheels were common on their children's toys. The Indians didn't make the leap. By the way, all the Indians in Mexico- including the Spaniards' allies- were devotees of cannibalism. Cortes would plead with them to forsake that practice but to no avail. The Indians were puzzled with his attitude, for them it was perfectly normal.
  19. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin's_poetry As a young man, Stalin avidly studied the works of Shakespeare and Goethe in translation. One of his poems: "The pinkish bud has opened,Rushing to the pale-blue violetAnd, stirred by a light breeze,The lily of the valley has bent over the grass." He wrote in his native Georgian language and later Russian. Robert Service, one of his biographers, wasn't enthusiastic: "fairly standard for early 19th-century Romantic poetry", and as "very conventional, ... very standardized and rather self-indulgent". Stalin published all of his wor
  20. Oops. Noticed an error: The Spaniards faced odds of 100 to 1. Make that 10,000-1: 50 million Indians vs 500+ conquistadors.
  21. The ravages of smallpox on a population without immunity: Virologists believe that early explorers first brought the virus to the littoral regions Once Cortes arrived it took two years for the smallpox to spread to the Aztec capitol. A native account describes of the effects of smallpox upon the people of Tenochtitlan: It began to spread…striking everywhere in the city and killing a vast number of our people. Sores erupted on our faces, our breasts, our bellies; we were covered with agonizing sores from head to foot. The illness was so dreadful that no one could could walk or move
  22. When you realized you were becoming an imperialist?
  23. Tks, benpark. The Spanish conquest remains an immense historical event, it transformed a continent creating a new racial category, the Mestizo, that now constitutes over 90 percent of the Mexican population. Unlike our plantation owners and imperialists, the conquistadors were not squeamish about hooking up with the natives. “Aguirre, Wrath of God” dealt with the later conquest of the Incas, arguably an even greater military achievement given the challenges: the Inca empire was larger and situated in mountainous terrain. However Pizarro, a brave but an illiterate thug, was considerably more r
  24. We Spaniards know a sickness of the heart that only gold can cure. - Cortes Hernán Cortés was born in Medellin in 1485, the son of a minor noble. At the age of 19 he left Spain, abandoning a promising legal career, to seek his fortune in the newly-discovered Western Hemisphere. He arrived in Hispaniola, a recent Spanish acquisition, in 1504 and spent several years as a gentleman farmer and a local Don Juan. Following the conquest of Cuba, he married the sister of the governor of Cuba, Diego Velasquez, who appointed him mayor of Santiago. Cortés as a young man Expeditions
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