The Emperor's Tax Collector is Dying to Come to Dinner
The Emperor of China's eunuch, Liu Jin, has initiated tax reform so naturally, taxes are going up, especially for the military. Enforcers are sent out to catch tax evaders and this has made the military unhappy. Prince Zhu sees this as an opportunity to overthrow the Emperor so government officials in his district are invited to a lavish dinner. Sometime between the drinks and the appetizers, the local military rush in and slaughter everyone in attendance. Those who failed to show are hunted down the next day. The "Prince of Anhua Rebellion" is in full swing. Prince Zhu releases his justifications for rebellion in the hope of convincing the regional commanders to join him, but it doesn't work. Not all the lower-level officers are with him either, so after a few weeks the Prince is captured. By next year Prince Zhu will kill himself rather than be executed by the state. Execution at this time is slow, painful and not very pretty. 
Sunflowers in Spain, Random Does Not Equal Good *
Any number of plants are being carried from the New World to the Old, mostly for their ornamental value. They look strange and pretty. The sunflower comes to Spain in 1510, but it has been thousands of years in the making. The first domesticated sunflower seeds were found in caves on the east coast of North America about 3000 years ago. Indians have been using them for food and a cure for rheumatism. The English will finally start pressing oil from sunflowers in 1716.     
Fahrenheit 451: The Burning of Hebrew Books
Johannes Pfefferkorn believes that the Jews would convert to Christianity if they didn't have Hebrew books, so he is calling for the burning of the Talmud and the confiscation of all Hebrew books. Maximilian the 1st, Holy Roman Emperor is avoiding supporting him. The only one who seems to oppose Johannes is a German fellow name Johann Reuchlin. He is a Christian who has published a Hebrew grammar and lexicon. He has also delved into Kabbalah (which is Jewish mysticism) to find support for the Christian faith. In a couple of years he will come before the Inquisition and fight them by legal means. It will cause much disharmony and division within the Church and though Johann Reuchlin will win his case in the end the whole episode will be swept under the rug.   
This Year on Wikipedia
Year 1510, Wikipedia.
- * The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
- Prince of Anhua (Prince Zhu) rebellion - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 February 2015.
- Lingchi (Death by a Thousand Cuts) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 February 2015.
- 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “Hope for the peasantry was provided by American crops, which by 1642 have ridden the silver route across the Atlantic. As the plane sweeps over Europe, it descends low enough for passengers to view the marks of the Columbian Exchange: plots of American maize in Italy, carpets of American beans in Spain, fields crowded with the shining, upturned visages of American sunflowers in France.”
- The Strange History of the Sunflower. Kuriositas.com (12 June 2014). Retrieved on 1 February 2015. “Sunflowers originate from North America but would travel to the Old World and back -- and back again -- in their centuries old journey to become the plant we know today. They were probably one of the first crops to be grown in the Americas.”
- Sunflower history. Botanical-Online.com (2015). Retrieved on 1 February 2015. “Sunflower was brought to Europe in the late sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers imported its culture, as well as bring numerous representations of 'The Indian Sun' or 'Golden Flower of Peru', made of gold.”
- Sunflower History. National Sunflower Association (2015). Retrieved on 1 February 2015. “This exotic North American plant was taken to Europe by Spanish explorers some time around 1500. The plant became widespread throughout present-day Western Europe mainly as an ornamental, but some medicinal uses were developed. By 1716, an English patent was granted for squeezing oil from sunflower seed.”
- Helianthus (Sunflower) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 29 January 2015.
- Johannes Pfefferkorn - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
- Johann Reuchlin - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
- Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
- Fahrenheit 451 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 February 2015.
- Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451. Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780345410016.