Learned two interesting things: Luddites and fake laughter

Stephen King mentioned Luddites in The Shining, and I had missed or forgotten about that term.  Simply put, the Luddites were 19th century workers in England who rose dup as their jobs were replaced by machines during the Industrial Revolution. In the age of offshoring and automation (IT), the term could have meaning again…

Second, I read a New York Times article about fake laughter.  There have been numerous studies and scientists studying laughter, and about 90% of laughter is fake, and people mistake fake laughter for real laughter about 30% of the time.  We get better with age until our 30s at discerning real laughter (it flattens in our 30s) from fake laughter, and fake laughter comes from a different part of our throat since it is more speech based.  Interesting, and not surprising.  The article mentions the hazards of fake laughter, that is if someone perceives fake laughter for real laughter they may continue to do something unacceptable (e.g. fake laughing at someone’s inappropriate joke).  This last part made me think of Feinstein’s quoting a basketball coach who said Bobby Knight lives his life surrounded by uncomfortable laughter.

Learned two interesting things: Luddites and fake laughter

Of Einstein’s 4 initial papers, the general theory of relativity is the one other physicists may not have uncovered separately for many many years

Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which states that space and time are not constant and can be changed by gravity (it is why someone going the speed of light would not age nearly as rapidly as the person sitting on Earth), was truly profound and might not yet have been discovered even more than 100 years later.

Notes: *This 2 means Squared

Of Einstein’s 4 initial papers, the general theory of relativity is the one other physicists may not have uncovered separately for many many years

Vikings History, Etc.

Attended a lecture on the Vikings by Lisa Didier on Celebrity Silohouette.  My notes on her speech:

Vikings began in Petty Kingdoms in Norways in 800s.  King at top, the “Thing” was high society, craftsmen were the “high flyers” and bottom ley were the slaves.  Farming based society, but they grew hemp for linen and livestock, also did iron mongering for other areas.  Lived in long house (including cattle, for heat and saftey).  They were personal hygiene freaks, pressed their clothes, carried sword and pouch of silver and wore jewelry, woold capes and hats.  Females ruled the household.  

Vikings began with Harald, king of a petty kingdom, who proposed to the princess Gyda.  She said only if he became king of all Norway.  He vowed not to cut his hair until he did this.  He increased his slab from western Norway to king of all of Norway in 10 years in 9th Century.  They have 10 sons, and Harald breakes up the kingdoms between each, so they fall into 100 years of civil war, so the remaining kings in southwest kingdoms sent their armies out to “get stuff.”

THey had been sailing merchants along the coasts, modernized their ships to become Viking long ship (speed and flexibility) made from Oak.  Flexibility came wool tucked between long slats, from 13-34 rowing positions.  Open boat, could go 18 knots, shallow allowed to get close to shore.  Rowed from Norway to CHicago in 44 days in 19th century to prove it could be done.  Navigated using a “magic stone” that turned yellow in sun and pointed to East (cordierite).  

Viking was a job, not a title.  They were Pagans with 118 pagan gods, they beleived if die in battle go up to Valhala.  THe one big sin was stealing, but it was okay to take booty from someone killed in battle.  King built the ship and providing helmets and swords.  In winter, stayed home, late Spring “they went Viking.”  Hunted for silver and slaves, with a share given to the king and Thing.  Initially leather helmets, but switched to metal over time.  A viking with a wolf hat was a Berserker (word comes from SHape SHifter).  INgested a mushroom drug, jumped off the ship first, attacked any and all like madmen – may have created the legend of the werewolf.  

First Viking raid recorded by ENglish Monks.  793 Lindisfarn Abbey, slaughtered the monks.  They took slaves and silver, but missed gospels hidden in dung pile.  795 began attacking Ireland, so monks built ring towers for protection.  VIkings took to rivers, and peasnts developed crannogs in bogs, and island bunker.  823 Beflast.  900s changed tactics organized fleets to 3-5 ships, all first viking to touch shore became Captain for the summer.  Ulster cut off his hand and threw it to shore to be Captain, called off Red Hand of Ulster.  Esat Russia, South to into Byzantine, Novgood in RUssia (Rurik).  

Last Viking Raid was 1000.  

Vikings History, Etc.

Australia Mining Towns

White Cliffs was once a boomtown with 4500 people, newspaper, stores, hotels, even a brothel and gambling joints but today is home of 80. Silverton was once a rowdy mining town but now has only a highly filmed pub.  Broken Hill is “a long way from anywhere” that in 1885 as a silver, zinc and lead discover before ballooning within 10 years to 16 mines with 8700 miners before setting in recent years to 23,000 people, 1 mine and 700 workers.

Source: In A Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson

Australia Mining Towns

Research on our few days in Dublin

Later this year, we are heading to Dublin to visit.  Some of our ancestors hail from Ireland, so I am looking forward to the trip.  Here is my research on the history – I don’t dare to to think anyone reads my posts, but if anyone has anything interesting they know about Dublin, I’m all ears…

Dublin (Ireland)

It is Ireland’s capital and largest city.  It was first settled in pre-historic days but the known allusion to it in writing is in 140 AD.  It originally was a pair of Settlements, and was a Viking settlement starting in 841, although the Irish government officially recognizes Dublin’s founding date as 988 AD.

It remained a Viking settlement until a Norman invasion in 1169 and in the midst of a few years of political turmoil.  Finally, King Henry II invaded it in 1171 and dubbed himself King of Ireland.  Dublin Castle was built in 1204 by King John, and it flourished with trade before Robert I (of Scotland fame), invaded it in 1317 as part of his efforts to free Ireland from England while opening  a second front in his wars with England.

In the 16th Century, Ireland was taken over by the Tudor Dynasty in England, and Dublin became the administrative center for England in Ireland.  Dublin prospered in the 18th century, and most of the area’s historical architecture comes from this time, and Guinness Brewerey (which would be Dublin’s largest employer for most of its existence) was founded in 1759.

Dublin was part of the Irish fight for independence, and sustained a lot of damage during this fight.

Note: Much of this research was condensed from Wikipedia, with a few tidbits clarified and/or added from additional Google Searches.  I will add to this from other sources as a I learn more…

Research on our few days in Dublin

First known North American strike was 1619 Jamestown Polish Craftsman’s Strike

During his travels through Europe, John Smith of Virginia and Pocahantas fame was impressed by the expertise of Polish Craftsman, so recruited them to the Virginia colonies.  The first of these craftsmen arrived in 1608, and they brought value not only for their creations such as glassware but because the colony was able to export these back to Europe, as well.  In 1619, these Poles were not allowed to vote, so they refused to work.  Fearing both the immediate impact plus the long-term impications of recruiting future craftsmen to the colony, the General Assembly of Virginia almost retracted their policy and allowed the men to vote.

First known North American strike was 1619 Jamestown Polish Craftsman’s Strike

US prison statistics in lieu of our censuring North Korea…

Was curious about our prison stats after our censuring N Korea for holding 80-120K prisoners: About 1 in 100 Americans (2.5 million) are imprisoned, prisons are 40 percent over capacity, about 1 in 5 prisoners suffers violence and 2 to 4% of prisoners are raped per year. On the plus side, our prisoners make .92/hr. Sheesh, we are are a harsh society…

 

US prison statistics in lieu of our censuring North Korea…