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The First Building Code in Vienna

The city of Vienna has grown beyond its defensive battlements in its first real urban sprawl. In order to protect its citizens, Vienna encompasses these outer areas with new battlements and a moat. Building codes are established in order to blend the new construction into the existing architecture. Building codes are something new. In the case of Vienna, the codes are being used to maintain a sense of continuity between parts of the city that are actually partitioned by walls (for now). However, in Jamaica a different reality has brought about building codes: hurricanes and earthquakes. While storms and earthquakes are considered acts of God in Old Europe and thus a punishment for some misdeed, Jamaica is getting hit so often that they no longer believe that they have been bad. They are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they have established building codes for foundation and wall construction in order to improve survivability for the inhabitants and for the buildings themselves. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The most intrusive building codes are those designed to maintain a certain look to a city. The best modern example can be seen in the city used for the movie: The Truman Show (1998). Seaside, Florida has an onerous building code whose aim is to maintain a certain look. If you don't like that kind of control, don't buy a house there. The other purpose of building codes is to avoid known regional problems. For example, regions prone to hurricanes will have a requirement that a roof be properly strapped to the walls, rather than assuming the weight of the roof and a few nails will hold it in place during a storm. This not only saves your property from excessive damage, but it also saves the life of your neighbor who will not be expecting your roof to fly off of your house and land on his. In earthquake county, windows must be located away from the corners of a building to allow sufficient room for cross bracing. This keeps the corner post of your house from tipping over during an earthquake and then having the second story collapse onto the first story. Very messy. Keep in mind that most building codes are not established just to piss you off. They often solve real problems but when the city inspector is in C.Y.A. mode, you might need an engineer to convince him that the code doesn't apply in your specific situation. [6] [7]

Isaac Newton Discovers the Rainbow Spectrum *

This year Isaac Newton publishes his work entitled, Optiks, where he demonstrates (using prisms) that white light is actually composed of a range of colors. He counts seven distinct colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. He calls it the spectrum and he admits that he is surprised that white light is a mixture of so many colors. Certainly in painting, a mixture of such colors would not produce white. Thus he concludes that the attribute of color of an object is not inherent to the object but rather a result of the perception of the eye as some colors of white light are absorbed by an object and other colors are reflected. This contradicts Aristotle's assumption (and just about everyone's assumption at the time) that light was pure white and color only came about by mixing it with darkness and properties of the matter that the light fell upon. He also publishes this work in English rather than the normal Latin. This is a major step in the promotion of the English language as a means of conveying serious scientific ideas. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Newton was right about light, but he was not rigorous in terms of mathematically proving why light is composed of many colors. He was experimenting with light, demonstrating that whatever was happening with light it was certain that Aristotle's explanation was absolutely wrong. That was enough to turn the scientific world on its head. In fact, color is a process of absorption and reflection of light. One realizes this when one wears white clothing in the summer to reflect the sunlight and thus pushing away the energy contained in that sunlight. The white clothing is more reflective of the broad spectrum of light. Wearing black clothing absorbs light energy. Thus in the colder months one wears darker clothing to absorb as much energy from the sun as possible. It is absorbing all the colors of the spectrum.

Off to the Races: The First Thoroughbred Comes to England

Queen Anne of England's ambassador to the Levant (which is mainly Syria at this time) is named Thomas Darley. He buys an Arabian colt and smuggles it home to his father, Richard, who raises it. It is such a beautiful and tall horse that he puts it out to stud, never racing it. It's line becomes known as the Darley Arabian, and this horse's bloodline will become part of 95% of all thoroughbred racing horses into the modern day. [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Frankly, everything I know about horses, I've learned from reading novels by Elizabeth Moon. She has actually raised horses in Texas and she has written a number of science fiction novels featuring a little old lady named Cecelia who races horses while the universe is falling apart all around her. The publisher has been releasing the stories under new titles such as "Heris Serrano", "The Serrano Connection" and "The Serrano Succession", but the original titles are "Hunting Party", "Sporting Chance", and "Winning Colors." I liked reading them. As one reviewer said, they are not brilliant but they are good. [12] [13] [14] [15]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1704, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Historical Timeline of Vienna (PDF). Expat Center Vienna. 2014 [last update] (TIMELINE) Quote: "1704 First building code in Vienna; houses are required to fit in with the prevailing architecture of the city."
  2. Glacis - definition of glacis (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “A slope extending down from a fortification.”
  3. Fosse - definition of fosse (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “(Fortifications) a ditch or moat, esp one dug as a fortification [from Old French, from Latin fossa]”
  4. Patrick Abercrombie (October 1910). "Vienna: Parts I and II". The Town Planning Review (Liverpool University Press) 1 (3): 220-234. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/40100043. Retrieved January 7, 2016. "Of course, there was a gradual suburban growth of the 'vegetable type,' but this was cut off from the main city by the space of the glacis, nearly half a mile wide, and it was to protect these suburbs, that the Linie-wall, a rampart some 12 feet thick with a fosse, was erected in 1704 against the incursion of Rakoczy's Hungarians; this, as before-mentioned, is the sole historical event which may be said to have shaped the plan of the city, as these outer walls have been replaced by the Girdle Street; but even this does not follow them exactly.". 
  5. Matthew Mulcahy (Fall 2008). "The Port Royal Earthquake and the World of Wonders in Seventeenth-Century Jamaica". Early American Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) 6 (2): 391-421. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/23546578. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  6. Seaside, Florida - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “As Seaside is privately owned, the municipal government does not have jurisdiction over Seaside, and therefore the developers were able to write their own zoning codes. Seaside's commercial hub is located at the town centre. The streets are designed in a radiating street pattern with pedestrian alleys and open spaces located throughout the town. There is a mix of uses and residential types throughout the community.”
  7. The Truman Show (3/9) Movie CLIP - Being Spontaneous (1998). YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016.
  8. Robert Finlay (December 2007). "Weaving the Rainbow: Visions of Color in World History". Journal of World History (University of Hawai'i Press) 18 (4): 383-431. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/20079447. Retrieved 7 January 2016. "In Newton's renowned experimentum crucis of 1666, described in his Optiks (1704), the scientist used glass prisms to demonstrate that sun light (or white light) comprised a mixture of rays of different colors, not a uniform, pure substance, as previously thought.". 
  9. Opticks - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “The book analyzes the fundamental nature of light by means of the refraction of light with prisms and lenses, the diffraction of light by closely spaced sheets of glass, and the behaviour of color mixtures with spectral lights or pigment powders. It is considered one of the great works of science in history. Opticks was Newton's second major book on physical science.”
  10. Thomas Darley - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “Through his offspring, including his great grandson, the famous and never beaten Eclipse, he has had the greater influence of the three foundation stallions of the thoroughbred breed. His bloodline is said to be present in about 95% of today's thoroughbred racehorses.”
  11. Darley Arabian. Thoroughbred Heritage Portraits (2006). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “The Darley Arabian's story begins on the Syrian desert outside Aleppo, among the herds and tents of the Fedan Bedouins. Their Sheikh Mirza II owned a fine bay colt that caught the attention of the British Consul, Thomas Darley, a merchant and member of a local hunting club. One story says that Darley arranged for the purchase of the colt, then a yearling, for 300 golden sovereigns. Awaiting delivery of his prize, Darley learned that the Sheikh had reneged on the deal, claiming it impossible for him to part with his finest colt. Having the right sort of connections, Darley arranged with some sailors to acquire the colt by their own means and smuggle him out via Smyrna, which is apparently how the young stallion arrived in England, in 1704.”
  12. Aunts in Space: Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano series - Tor.com. tor.com (October 23, 2009). Retrieved on 7 January 2016. “I hadn’t re-read Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano books (now available in omnibus editions as Heris Serrano, The Serrano Connection and The Serrano Succession) since I first read them all in one gulp. They do a lot of things right. They’re military SF with good adventures, a believable and effective military, and a much better done background than you often see in this sort of thing. I like them, they’re a lot of fun, and it wouldn’t take much for me to really love them, the way I love the Miles books or Cherryh’s Alliance Union series. They’re very good, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but they fall short of brilliant.”
  13. Elizabeth Moon. Hunting Party. Baen. 0671721763. ISBN 9780671721763. 
  14. Elizabeth Moon. Sporting Chance. Baen. 0671876198. ISBN 9780671876197. 
  15. Elizabeth Moon. Winning Colors. Baen. 0671876775. ISBN 9780671876777. 

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