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Barmaids, Fishwives and WhatsApp (What's App)

Knowledge is power, and women are in a position to gather that power... otherwise known as intelligence in the spy business. The women of Virginia gather intelligence information while working as bar maids and tavern managers. In fact, mid-level wives and widows have a stranglehold on the tavern business in the British colonies. In Holland, women are running the fish markets. Officially, men join the guilds, buy the fishmonger licenses and run the auctions, but their wives run the shops, conduct the sales and listen carefully. Women have a wider view of what is happening in business and in politics than their husbands do. Women have no official power, yet they know everyone, hear everything and when they get upset, they know how to make their feelings known. Political demonstrations and tax riots are plaguing Amsterdam this year and they will continue into next year... all organized by women. These women complain like fishwives... oh yeah. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Today we have a smartphones to coordinate our riots... uh... I mean, peaceful protests. When governments fear a popular revolt, the first thing they do is shutdown phone and Internet access. Recently (in December 2015) a Brazilian judge shut down WhatsApp Messenger to protect the civil rights of Brazilian citizens. (What a guy!) WhatsApp is a smartphone application that allows texting between users while circumventing the phone company's texting charges. (This is legal but it still torques off the phone company.) The connection is encrypted, so the judge demanded the user information. When the company refused, the judge ordered a shutdown. The phone company gleefully cut the WhatsApp connection! 100,000 users had done nothing wrong, but they lost their texting anyway. They could still make a phone call, though, so they called, and called and called. The judge ordered an immediate resumption of service. I've implied that WhatsApp is secure, but it's simply secure from knuckleheads... like Brazilian judges and Iranian government busy-bodies. Skype was once secure, but after Microsoft bought the company they started monitoring Skype connections for the protection of its users. Die, Microsoft. Die. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
"Three can keep a secret if two are dead." -- Benjamin Franklin.

The Discovery of Sugar in Beets

Currently, sugar comes from sugarcane. While people realize that other plants are sweet, they haven't been successful in extracting that sweetness and they are not even sure if that sweetness comes from sugar... until now. A.S. Marggraf is a chemist who is more of a experimentalist than a theorist. He chops up some beet root and boils it in alcohol. He stores the liquid in test tubes and allows the substance to crystallize. He uses a microscope to compare the crystal structure to sugarcane crystals. They are the same. He notes that beets can be substituted for sugarcane at a substantially lower cost, but beyond making some reasonably detailed observations (which is standard operating procedure for him) he does nothing else with the idea. Years after Marggraf's death, one of his students will experiment with beets and propose a commercial process for extracting sugar from beets. By 1802, beets will be processed for its sugar in commercial quantities. [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
When I was in my 20s, I went on a cleansing juice diet that included lots of beet juice. I bought bags and bags of beets and used a Champion commercial juicer to pulverize them. After a month on this diet, I was pretty well burnt out. The diet worked out fine. I felt a lot better, but not about beets.

'I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!'

The reason John Paul "Jones" is not fighting yet is because he is born in Scotland this year to John Paul, the estate gardener and his wife, Jean. At the age of 13 he will go to sea as an apprentice. At 17 he will sign on as 3rd mate to a slaver ship and two years later he will be 1st mate transporting "77 Negroes from Africa." He will finally quit in disgust and take passage home on another ship. Along the voyage the captain and 1st mate will die of fever, leaving John Paul as the only one qualified to captain the ship. The owners will be so delighted they will make him master of the ship on the next voyage to America. (Now comes the bad part.) John Paul Jones is not his name. That is a name he will take after running a man through with his sword, and after some frivolous murder charge and all of that excellent commercial business in the West Indies he so loved. John Paul Jones will be known a pirate... in some circles. He will be famous for his volatile temper. He is often called the Father of the American Navy and Americans will still admire him into the modern day. [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
John Paul "Jones" was freakishly crazy. Just the kind of man you need to win a Revolution at sea against one of the greatest naval forces in the world. For example: in 1779, John Paul Jones took command of the USS Bon Homme Richard, a merchant vessel with 42 mounted guns. 42 guns can pack a punch, but they were smaller than a war ship carried. The ship itself was a merchant vessel and couldn't take much of a beating in battle. It's like mounting a Gatling gun on the back of a Toyota pick-up truck and expecting it to take on a Bradly Fighting Vehicle. As he led a five ship squadron, John Paul Jones engaged the HMS Serapis and her escorts. It was a bloody battle as Jones's ship was ripped apart. His ship was so battered that the captain of the Serapis thought that Jones had struck his colors in surrender. Jones shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!" Jones lashed his ship to the Serapis and fired across the deck. (I assume with grapeshot. Nothing else makes sense.) With Jone's ship on fire and sinking, and half the crew of both ships dead or wounded, the captain of HMS Serapis surrendered. Jones couldn't save the Richard. They cut it loose and it finally slipped beneath the waves. Did it really happen? I doubt that Jones really spoke all those cool lines. His biographer was a scandalous liar. What is true is that the battle was fought. Jones stood no chance and he won, anyway. And he was crazy. That part is definitely true. [15] [16] [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1747, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Van den Heuvel, Danielle (Spring 2012). "The Multiple Identities of Early Modern Dutch Fishwives". Signs (The University of Chicago Press) 37 (3): 587-594. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662705. Retrieved 17 March 2016. "It is claimed that fishwives were among the most important instigators in the many food and tax riots that took place in the province of Holland in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. For example, in 1747 fishwives organized a large political demonstration in Amsterdam, and in 1748 the Amsterdam fish hawker Marretje Arents was one of the principal initiators of a tax riot in the city.". 
  2. Meacham, Sarah Hand (Spring 2005). "Keeping the Trade: The Persistence of Tavernkeeping among Middling Women in Colonial Virginia". Early American Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) 3 (1): 140-163. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23546516. Retrieved 18 March 2016. "In the sprawling farms of early Virginia, taverns were where colonists connected. It was in the taverns that colonists learned current crop prices, purchased goods, read newspapers, and discovered business opportunities. [...] Interestingly, throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many of these taverns—perhaps two-thirds of them—were ran by middling women and prominent widows. [...] Middling white Virginia women during the eighteenth century not only retained tavernkeeping, but also were preferred for it.". 
  3. Dekker, Rudolf M. (May, 1987). "Women in Revolt: Popular Protest and Its Social Basis in Holland in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries". Theory and Society (Springer) 16 (3): 337-362. http://www.jstor.org/stable/657727. Retrieved 18 March 2016. "For our purposes, oproer is described as a local action of a group of at least twenty persons, expressing a protest generally directed against the authorities, which lasted longer than one day but not more than two weeks, and which constituted a disturbance of public order and involved the use of violence.". 
  4. Alex Shrugged notes: As of this writing, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.
  5. Brazil temporarily shuts down WhatsApp messenger (updated). engadget.com (December 17, 2015). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “It's not quite clear why WhatsApp was shuttered, but there was a request to close it down earlier this year, because it reportedly refused to take down illicit photos of minors. What's clear, however, is that the country's telecommunication companies have been trying to convince the government to classify WhatsApp as an unregulated, illegal service.”
  6. Brazilian Judge Shuts Down WhatsApp In Brazil. Slashdot (December 17, 2015). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “Using the Brazilian Civil 'Rights' Framework, a minor Brazilian court ordered WhatsApp service to be suspended in the whole country after WhatsApp refused to provide user's data. The order was happily accomplished by the Brazilian mobile phone companies as they have been lobbying to convince the government to regulate the service in Brazil since their profits are decreasing steadily after Brazilians started using WhastsApp instead of (tolled) SMS and phone calls. Brazil has the most expensive cell phone rates on the planet.”
  7. Microsoft Reads Your Skype Chat Messages -. Slashdot (May 14, 2013). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “They replicated the observation by sending links via Skype, including one to a private file storage account, and found that these URLs are shortly after accessed from a Microsoft IP address. When confronted, Microsoft claimed that this is part of an effort to detect and filter spam and phishing URLs.”
  8. Think your Skype messages get end-to-end encryption? Think again. Ars Technica (May 20, 2013). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “If you think the private messages you send over Skype are protected by end-to-end encryption, think again. The Microsoft-owned service regularly scans message contents for signs of fraud, and company managers may log the results indefinitely, Ars has confirmed.”
  9. WhatsApp - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “Following the ban, but prior to its reversal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded by stating that he was 'stunned that our efforts to protect people's data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp. We hope the Brazilian courts quickly reverse course.' The competing service Telegram reported that 1.5 million Brazilians had downloaded its app while the WhatsApp ban was in place.”
  10. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 344-345. 
  11. Andreas Sigismund Marggraf - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “His extraction of sugar from beets, which was then only available from sugarcane, was the starting point for the sugar industry in Europe.”
  12. Andreas Marggraf Facts. biography.yourdictionary.com (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “First he sliced, dried and pulverized the three plant parts just mentioned. Next, with the use of boiling alcohol, he extracted their juice, by filtering and then letting this juice crystallize in corked tubes for several weeks as the liquid evaporated. Once the crystal stage was reached, he examined these crystals under a microscope. This was perhaps the first use of a microscope for chemical identification. The crystals seen under the microscope were identical to those of cane sugar.”
  13. Franz Karl Achard - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “In 1801, with the support of King Friedrich Wilhelm III, he opened the first sugar beet refinery at Gut Kunern near Steinau Silesia, Prussia. In 1802, the refinery processed 400 tons of beets with a degree of efficiency of 4%.”
  14. John Paul Jones. Wikiquote (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “I have not yet begun to fight!”
  15. John Paul Jones a brief biography. jpj.demon.co.uk (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “The 'Serapis' had superior fire power and Jones had to manoeuvre skilfully to bring his ship alongside and lash her to the 'Serapis'. During the dreadful 3 1/2 hour fight on a millpond sea, the 'Alliance', part of Jones' squadron, fired at the 'Bonhomme Richard,' holing her so badly that she later sank. Over half of the crews of the two ships, including Jones himself, were either killed or wounded and many men were horribly burned.”
  16. John Paul Jones - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “In 1779, Captain Jones took command of the 42-gun USS Bonhomme Richard (or as he preferred it, Bon Homme Richard),[19] a merchant ship rebuilt and given to America by the French shipping magnate, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray.”
  17. As I Please -- Unfirling Paul Jones Flags. seacoastnh.com (2014). Retrieved on 18 March 2016. “According to Buell, Jones promised the Portsmouth girls that he would return the flag someday, then sailed off to France in RANGER in 1777. But when he returned to Portsmouth in 1782, he explained that the flag went down on his ship BONHOMME RICHARD after a bloody battle off the British Isles. Jones (at least in Buell's vivid imagination) said that he 'could not deny to the dead on her decks, who had given their lives to keep it flying, the glory of taking it with them.'”

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