Hey Buddy. Can you Spare a Dime? ... for a Village?
The start of the Great Famine was a relative boon to the abbey. The Abbot manages a large estate so he is harvesting enough salvageable grain. Along with an uptick in donations, the abbey is in the black, so to speak. But as the Famine drags on, more of the poor need charity. It's decision time. Does the Abbot feed the poor or does he ride out the storm in style? Answer: he feeds the poor! The monks are darn near starving, but they continue to hand out whatever charity they can. The Abbot is selling off entire villages to raise the cash under the condition that they be sold back at a later date... a date that has come and gone. An appeal to Pope John XXII for help got them a stern warning and advice... threaten religious sanctions if the creditors don't extend the agreement. With the harvest of 1319, God turns His face toward the congregation. It's not the best harvest they ever saw but from where they are standing it looks like manna from Heaven. 
The Rainbow Muslim and the Friar from Frieberg
Theodoric of Freiberg is a Dominican friar who published a detailed treatise on the workings of the rainbow. At the same time his contemporary, Kamal Al-Din Al-Farisi, published an exhaustive study with similar experimental data. It seems almost impossible that they didn't collaborate on this issue but they never met. They just read the same book: The Book of Optics was written by Ibn al-Haytham of Basra in present day Iraq, and published some time before 1040. It is a treatment of a Greek study of optics with experiments and novel explanations. It didn't quite come up to modern standards until now. With the completion of their work, Theodoric and Farisi will pave the way for Sir Issac Newton to use a prism to separate light into a multitude of colors.       
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