Antique Celestial Chart 1730. Listed on the side are the longitudes and latitudes of the constellations. The mythical figures give it an artistic look, but the precision of the measurements are an indication of the embrace of the scientific method.
Francisco Hernández de Toledo (1514–87) was a court physician, who in 1570 was ordered by King Philip II of Spain to embark on a scientific mission to New Spain (as Mexico was then called) to study the medicinal plants of the New World. For seven years Hernández traveled throughout the country, collecting specimens and gathering information on how plants were used by indigenous physicians. He returned to Spain in 1577 with 16 volumes of notes and with numerous illustrations made by three indigenous painters who assisted him in his work. Hernández died in 1587 without seeing his work published. His editor, Recchi, also died, in 1595, without being able to finish the work. Quatro libros de la naturaleza y virtudes de las plantas y animales que estan receuidos en el uso de la medicina en la Nueva España (Four books on the nature and virtues of plants and animals for medicinal purposes in New Spain) is a Spanish translation of the original Latin of Hernández. It was made by Francisco Ximenez, a friar and nurse at the Convent of San Domingo de Mexico, and published in Mexico in 1615. Because none of the handwritten copies that Hernández left in Mexico survived, Ximenez used a copy of Recchi’s summary for this edition. Ximenez added some personal observations and removed the illustrations. The translation and new observations as to pharmaceutical methods, doses, and preparations showed an advance in knowledge over the original findings of Hernández, but they were not part of the broader European scientific revolution, which generally bypassed the Spanish science of the day.
Such a shame that the original illustrations have been lost. Up until that time no scientific work has so thoroughly detailed the plant life of the New World and possible medicinal properties.
President Obama Was Right – The Private Sector is Doing Fine, Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low
1) Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from “too much regulation” and “too many taxes.” Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren’t).
2) Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don’t employ as many Americans as they used to.
3) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue.
If the White House and Congress are full of socialists, that must mean that socialism is good for corporate profits. Or conservatives are intellectually incapable of defending the plutocratic we have and yelling socialists like the boy who cried wolf is just a way to distract attention from reality. Wealthiest Americans Dramatically Increase Income
A huge share of US economic growth during the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans, who now make an average of $27 million per household, according to new Mother Jones analysis of varied governmental and academic data. In contrast, the average income for the bottom 90% of the US population is $31,244.
Mother Jones analysis shows a more than 400% jump in income between the bottom 90% and top 1-10%, who average $164,467. This figure increases by about nine times to almost $1.14 million for the top 2%, and then almost triples to about $3.24 million for the top 0.1 to 0.01%, before again increasing almost nine times for the very top of the US economic stratosphere.
If you read some conservative Republican pundits on the net, when writing about how the economy should work, they have taken to using buzzwords along the line of – we have an economy that rewards people who try to live up to their potential. Obviously not true. Worker productivity is high, yet wages have either stagnated or gone done. The bottom 75% of workers are working to their potential, but most of the rewards for that work are being redistributed upwards. Taxes and regulation, the allegedly two big barriers to corporate success are obviously not holding down corporate profits.
Mitt Romney and the conservative Republican version of capitalism is not capitalism. Its legalized vampirism. That should be insulting enough for the average American, but they rub salt in the wound when they claim that what they’re doing is virtuous and all-American. Companies’ Ills Did Not Harm Romney’s Firm
Cambridge Industries, an automotive plastics supplier whose losses had been building for three consecutive years, finally filed for bankruptcy in May 2000 under a mountain of debt that had ballooned to more than $300 million.
Yet Bain Capital, the private equity firm that controlled the Michigan-based company, continued to religiously collect its $950,000-a-year “advisory fee” in quarterly installments, even to the very end, according to court documents.
In all, Bain garnered more than $10 million in fees from Cambridge over five years, including a $2.25 million payment just for buying the company, according to bankruptcy records and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, Bain’s investors saw their $16 million investment in Cambridge wiped out.
That Bain was able to reap revenue from Cambridge, even as it foundered, was hardly unusual.
The private equity firm, co-founded and run by Mitt Romney, held a majority stake in more than 40 United States-based companies from its inception in 1984 to early 1999, when Mr. Romney left Bain to lead the Salt Lake City Olympics. Of those companies, at least seven eventually filed for bankruptcy while Bain remained involved, or shortly afterward, according to a review by The New York Times. In some instances, hundreds of employees lost their jobs. In most of those cases, however, records and interviews suggest that Bain and its executives still found a way to make money.
I have never meet or heard of a Democrat to whom moral values were not important. Conservatives, despite their regularly recurring lapses in the area of fidelity and personal behavior, seem to think what goes on in people’s bedrooms is the beginning and end of morality. What a normal, fairly rational American would describe as a kind of theft, cheating, con-game, unearned rewards, merit-less income, a swindle, a scheme – conservative Republicans consider virtue. Conservatives have catapulted past putting lipstick on a pig to making grand theft a noble aspiration. They think because they use spread sheets, lawyers, accountants, bankers and complicated financial instruments to perpetrate their crimes, that makes it legitimate commerce.
Earlier this week, Samuel Wurzelbacher — known to most as Joe the Plumber — posted a campaign ad on YouTube that sought to blame gun control laws for human atrocities, including the Armenian genocide of the early 1900s and the extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II.
Amazingly, Wurzelbacher kept digging. Yesterday in an interview with the Toledo Blade, Wurzelbacher defended the ad by denying he ever mentioned the Holocaust:
“All I said was gun control was implemented, and then governments proceeded to violate human rights,” Mr. Wurzelbacher said. “Nowhere did I mention the Holocaust or was I even talking about it.”
Apparently, Wurzelbacher can’t find any references–explicit or otherwise–to the Holocaust in the lines “In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, 6 million Jews and 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated.” Worse, he goes on to blame “the liberal media” for pointing out the obvious–and deeply offensive–Holocaust reference.
His campaign spokesman Phil Christofanelli told the paper that the story was “generated by left-wing liberal blogs and picked up by the ‘sympathetic liberal media.’” Jewish groups were swift to condemn the ad, as were Democrats and the overwhelming majority of viewers on YouTube. As of publication, the ad has been viewed almost 50,000 times and most of the feedback has been negative. ( When you repeat what someone said on video verbatim that makes you a liberal)
You know what might be the craziest possibility here. That Sam does not think the the Holocaust, and the massive imprisonments and deaths between 1939 and 1945 were the same thing. As recounted elsewhere conservatives have a dreadful and bizarre knowledge of history. I’m a gun owner. While I think some people – those who are disabled, the elderly, single women or men should consider buying and learning to use a hand gun to protect against home invasions if nothing else ( it is an important decision, not to be taken lightly. Children die from mishandling their parents hidden guns all the time.), that does not mean that guns possess some kind of magic. They will not save you in all circumstances. If 80% of your neighbors own guns and become political fanatics the odds of shooting your way out of that situation are slim.
Republican Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty On 45 Counts. I mention that he is a Republican, not because it means that all Republicans are sexual predators, but as a reminder that Republicans give us the daily sanctimonious bullsh*t that they walk on water and are the only good Americans. Though I doubt this will slow the river of self righteous doggerel.