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A Lack of Air Conditioning Foils the Unification of Italy

The Guelfs are rejoicing. Henry VII, the Holy Roman Emperor has died of malaria after barely a year of rule. Throughout Italy the fight goes on between the Guelfs who support the Pope against the Ghibellines who support the Holy Roman Emperor in a struggle for power. King Henry's reconciliation tour through Italy was foiled when he dropped dead at 40 years old of a mysterious disease the Italians called "bad air" or "malaria". Dante's Divine Comedy will feature the place in Heaven that awaits Henry for his attempt to unite an unwilling Italy. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
A "cure" for malaria will be discovered accidentally in 1845 in the Florida swamps when a Dr. Gorrie will attempt to "condition the bad air" with buckets of ice. This "air conditioning" will require sealing up his hospital and placing special drapes across the windows to filter out the "bad air"... inadvertently blocking mosquitoes from flying through the windows at night (though no one will realize it until 1908!!!) The good doctor will build a compressor machine to create the ice and will be issued Patent #8080 in 1851 thus inventing the first ice machine. While the original machine was impractical, a man named Carrier will build the first production model AC and we are all the cooler for it. Thank you very much. [3] [4] [5] [6]

FYI... Climate Change Warning

Just a warning... the last few years have been getting colder. More rain has caused certain crops (like cereal crops) to produce less at harvest time. And a volcano is rumbling out there... and it's going to be bad... very, very bad.

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've contacted someone at Texas A&M's Atmospheric Science department for an opinion on the weather history for this time period. I'm seeing speculation from historians... not weather scientists. I'd like an expert opinion. Let's see if they can come up with one.

The Devil Comes Down to Tuscany

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... it gets worse. The Pagan Messiah Aradia is born in Tuscany by the Goddess Diana. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... I'm making light of this but this particular woman in history is the part of the Neopaganism and Wiccan beliefs so I thought I'd mention it. Historically speaking I doubt she was really born on this date, or that she ever existed but her name does appear in one of the texts that they use. Since I'm religious, the Bible tells me to oppose all the pagans, but the pagans of the Bible were murderers and these guys are not murderers as a rule.... so I'm just going to ignore them.

See Also


  1. Durant, Will and Durant, Ariel. The Story Of Civilization, Volume 5, The Renaissance: A History of Civilization in Italy from 1304-1576 A.D.. 1953. (BOOK)
  2. Guelphs and Ghibellines - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Burke, James. Connections: Episode 8: Eat, Drink and Be Merry - Wikipedia, BBC Science and Features. 1978. At time mark: 00:30:00. (TV SERIES)
  4. John Gorrie - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Willis Carrier - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Malaria: History - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Patzer, Mirella. (Novelist) History and Women: Aradia (1313-Unknown), historyandwomen.com, December 10, 2009.
  8. Arteal. Aradia: The Female Avatar, orderwhitemoon.org, 2011 [last update]

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