1544

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The Battle of the Shirts and the Audacity of Running for President *

A battle in July between several Scottish clans over a question of leadership becomes so heated that they pull off their plaids (a tartan wool cloth worn over the shoulder) and fight in their shirts. The battle takes place in the Great Glen which is a major travel route through Scotland. The battle itself was caused by a power vacuum created when King James the 5th of Scotland had several clan leaders arrested. When their seconds stepped into their places, one particular man, "Ranald of the Hens", was a little too humble for a Scotsman. Every time the fatted calf was killed in celebration, he would say, "Chickens would be enough." Thus when the leaders returned it became a battle over who was best suited to lead the clans and in the end, Ranald was not it. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Ranald of the Hens was a capable leader, but not sufficiently self-aggrandizing to lead the clans. This reminds me of the obvious esteem in which US presidential candidates hold themselves. It takes real brass ones to run for that job but if a candidate thinks that his opponent could do a better job, then he should step down and vote for that better person. In the past I've seen presidential candidates act like a place-holders, and I wondered why they hadn't stepped aside early on to make room for someone else. Bill Clinton was a second-tier candidate who believed in himself. The first-tier candidates thought that President George H.W. Bush (the Elder) was unbeatable after Gulf War I, so Bill Clinton stepped in and even with his liabilities (which were legion) he won because he believed in himself... and because he lied his backside off but if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't vote. [4]

A Little "Rough Wooing" for Scotland

King Henry the 8th is looking to Scotland for a wife for his son, Edward, who is all of 7 years old at this time. Mary of Scotland (one day to become Mary, Queen of Scots) is a baby. Nevertheless, royalty is always looking ahead to what is on the horizon. The Scottish seem reluctant so King Henry puts major pressure on the Scots in the first "wooing" of the war. The forces of England sack and burn Edinburgh and take two ships belonging to King James the 5th. Presently, this is called a war, but later historians will use tongue-in-cheek to call this war the "Rough Wooing" of Scotland by England. This little war of affection is going to take a few years, but Prince Edward is still young. [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is no love lost between nations. They only have their separate interests. I found it mystifying that while the Mullahs of Iran are shouting "Death to America" they are also negotiating a treaty with the United States. Perhaps it has always been this way. The Great Seal of the United States features an eagle with 13 arrows in one claw and an olive branch in the other symbolizing "a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war." The peace treaty between the Allied Forces and Japan after World War II was signed on the deck of the Missouri, the battleship at anchor in Tokyo harbor. Some people think that simply talking things out and signing treaties solves problems because they see treaties being signed and the problems ending. They fail to realize that the major treaties were signed after a contest of arms or a threat of arms so peace seemed the better option at the time. [7] [8]

The Father of Electrical Engineering is Born... Darn It!

The man who coined the word "electricity" is born this year in Colchester, England which is a small but wealthy town on the east coast of England. When William Gilbert grows up he will go to college and perform experiments with the compass. Apparently Columbus thought that magnetism was caused by an attraction to the North Star (Polaris). Others believe that garlic interferes with magnetism. (Perhaps these people are carrying garlic in tin boxes!) In any case, his experiments and reports from sea captains will convince him that magnetism comes from the earth itself. He is considered by many to be the father of electrical engineering. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
We are talking about magnetic north, though it is not exactly north and it tends to travel over time. The magnetic field of the earth is caused by the spinning of molten iron at the earth's core. A magnet has a directional force between positive and negative poles. When Paula Abdul sings, "Opposites attract!" the phrase comes from the notion that the positive pole of the magnet is attracted to the negative pole of another but if you flip it around, positive-to-positive or negative-to-negative the lines of force repel each other. One can create a magnetic field by running an electric current through a wire looped around an iron core such as a nail. This is the basis for many modern devices from the electric motor to the charger for an electric tooth brush. Often these devices must be shielded from each other so that they don't interfere with or damage each other. You also need a shield when someone tries to read that magnetic strip on the back of your credit card or the RFID chip in your ID badge, library book or bag of potato chips. "Hands up! Don't eat!" You are being tracked.[11] [12]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1544, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Great Glen - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “The glen is a natural travelling route in the Highlands of Scotland, which is used by both the Caledonian Canal and the A82 road, which link the city of Inverness on the northeast coast with Fort William on the west coast.”
  2. plaids - definition of plaids. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “A rectangular woolen scarf of a tartan pattern worn over the left shoulder by Scottish Highlanders.”
  3. Clan Macdonald of Clanranald - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “John Moidartach, 8th of Clanranald, on the death of his father, possessed Moidart, Arasaig and Castle Tioram. In 1540 he was apprehended by James V and placed in prison.”
  4. James V of Scotland - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “The Douglas family were forced into exile and James besieged their castle at Tantallon.”
  5. Rough Wooing - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “Major hostilities began with an attack on Edinburgh on 3 May 1544,[11] led by the Earl of Hertford and Viscount Lisle. Hertford had instructions to burn Edinburgh and issue Henry's proclamation of 24 March 1544, which laid the blame on Cardinal Beaton's 'sinister enticement' of Regent Arran.”
  6. Burning of Edinburgh - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “The Provost of Edinburgh was compelled to allow the English to sack Leith and Edinburgh. However, the Scottish artillery within Edinburgh Castle harassed the English forces, who had neither the time nor the resources to besiege the Castle. The English fleet sailed away loaded with captured goods, and with two ships that had belonged to James V of Scotland.”
  7. Great Seal of the United States - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “The supporter of the shield is a bald eagle with its wings outstretched (or 'displayed,' in heraldic terms). From the eagle's perspective, it holds a bundle of 13 arrows in its left talon, (referring to the 13 original states), and an olive branch in its right talon, together symbolizing that the United States has 'a strong desire for peace, but will always be ready for war.'”
  8. World War II: Battleship USS Missouri (BB-63). about.com (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “With the surrender of Japan, Missouri entered Tokyo Bay with other Allied ships on August 29. Selected to host the surrender ceremony, Allied commanders, led by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur received the Japanese delegation aboard Missouri on September 2, 1945.”
  9. William Gilbert (astronomer) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “He is remembered today largely for his book De Magnete (1600), and is credited as one of the originators of the term 'electricity'. He is regarded by some as the father of electrical engineering or electricity and magnetism.”
  10. William Gilbert. rare-earth-magnets.com (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “Christopher Columbus thought that the Pole Star attracted the compass needle, others thought that magnetism was caused by mountains in the Arctic, and many believed that garlic actually interfered with the device. Intrigued by the mystery, Gilbert conducted experiments for about 17 years to clarify his understanding of the compass and the phenomenon of magnetism.”
  11. How RFID Works. HowStuffWorks (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “Soon, these lines could disappear when the ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code is replaced by smart labels, also called radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can talk to a networked system to track every product that you put in your shopping cart.”
  12. Opposites Attract. YouTube (2015). Retrieved on 26 March 2015. “Paula Abdul”

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