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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29317 times)
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Shirley Marcus
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« Reply #1005 on: September 05, 2007, 02:39:05 AM »

Donotremove
"Wasn't an absolutely humongous rudder discovered buried in the beach sand off the California coast a while back?"


I have not heard of the rudder being discovered..

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Dzimas
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« Reply #1006 on: September 05, 2007, 03:03:18 AM »

According to the copyright the website was registered in 2007,

http://www.1421.tv

Interesting that Polish and Spanish are the two other language choices besides English and Chinese.  Is this book a big hit in Poland?  I see that the book has been translated into 20 languages at last count, including Polish and Russian, and is available in 103 countries, so it would seem Menzies plans on getting his message to as many people as possible.  BTW, I see that amazon has the book filed under History.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1007 on: September 05, 2007, 04:58:02 AM »

DNR, this is a great site on shipbuilding,

http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/michaelofrhodes/ships_toolkit.html#m_02

Unfortunately, no information about the size of stern rudders, but in the case of this 40 foot galley, it is proportionally about 8 feet.  So, finding a 40 foot rudder, which was apparently found in the Nanjing province in 1959, which Menzies notes, doesn't necessarily translate into a 400 foot ship. This seems to be the only bit of hard evidence he has, judging by his evidence page,

http://www.1421.tv/pages/evidence/content.asp?EvidenceID=29

Actual junks found from the 15th century were in the 120-160 feet range.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1008 on: September 05, 2007, 07:31:25 AM »

Sometimes a book like this is good because it compells me to search out many of the pieces of evidence Menzies uses to support his arguments.  For instance, sternpost rudders were developed in China.  Junks were essentially flat-bottom boats that allowed them to travel in more shallow waters, but to negotiate high seas they needed something long to give them stability as well as steer the ship, hence the stern-mounted rudder, much longer than an ordinary rudder, since it acted as both a rudder and a keel, which would explain the unusual length of the rudder found in Nanjing province,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudder

This would also explain why deep-water ports weren't necessary for such ships.  So, I suppose one could use the flat-bottom boat as an argument to support enormous junks, but the length of a rudder in and of itself wouldn't support such an argument.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2007, 07:34:53 AM by Dzimas » Logged
weezo
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« Reply #1009 on: September 05, 2007, 07:53:27 AM »

Dzimas,

It is good that you are seeking out more information, but I tend to think your sources are a bit on the skeptical side. Wikipedia is nice, but far from authentic. How do you determine that a forty foot rudder is not indicative of a larger junk than 120-160 feet? How do you determine that the massive boats never existed? The flotilla included many smaller junks - just a few of the massive ones. It is entirely conceivable that not many of them sank, but returned to China and were recycled into inland shipping.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1010 on: September 05, 2007, 08:04:59 AM »

Weezo, the only physical evidence Menzies provides to warrant such large junks is a 42-foot rudder (see his evidence).  Several sources noted the long sternpost rudders used on Chinese junks.  Wikipedia was the most expedient choice of Internet sites to post, but I can add other sites if you like,

The Chinese junk has other pioneering features later copied elsewhere. Traditionally built without a keel (allowing access to shallow waters), the junk is ill-equipped to sail a straight course until an important innovation of the Song period - the addition of the sternpost rudder. This is a large heavy board which can be lowered on a sternpost when the junk moves into deep water. Coming below the bottom of the boat, and capable of hinging on its post, it fulfils the function both of keel and rudder.
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=107&HistoryID=aa14
 
Menzies evidence notes shipwrecked junks being found in New Zealand that ranged from 20-40 meters in length.  Nothing more than 40 meters.  At 3.28 feet to the meter, that's 131.20 feet, a far cry from 400 feet.
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weezo
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« Reply #1011 on: September 05, 2007, 08:09:11 AM »

Dzimas,

Do you also pan Boorstin's assertion in his 1983 book that the Chinese junks were 444 ft in length? It would seem this is the corroborating evidence you say you are seeking.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1012 on: September 05, 2007, 08:20:55 AM »

Earlier, weezo, you mentioned the age old Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings paternity issue.  As I remember, you once posted that Sally had her son with her in Paris, to which I responded that Sally was 16 at the time and James was her older brother, not her son.  Sally was brought over to take care of Jefferson's daughter.  There is some debate as to whether Sally was pregnant when she returned from Paris, but nothing to confirm this,

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/hemingssally/a/sally_hemings.htm

No child survived from this period. Of course it is fun to speculate on these things, and with the wonderful use of DNA testing, people think they can find incontrivertible proof that Jefferson was the father of one or all of Sally Hemings six children. It doesn't matter to me whether or not Jefferson had a relation with Sally Hemings or if he had children by her.  What bothers me is that he could only bring himself to free a handful of his slaves, and the story of James Hemings is enough to break anyone's heart.  Sally was not recorded as a "free woman" until 1833, seven years after Jefferson's death.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1013 on: September 05, 2007, 08:24:29 AM »

Dzimas,

Do you also pan Boorstin's assertion in his 1983 book that the Chinese junks were 444 ft in length? It would seem this is the corroborating evidence you say you are seeking.


Hardly, all Boorstin did was cite a journal reference of the time.  The same journal reference which Menzies used.
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« Reply #1014 on: September 05, 2007, 09:40:27 AM »

weezo  Re: #1054

Excuse me, weezo, but if you want to find out anything from the Chinese, I should caution you they do not take kindly to the use of that expression:"the westernization of China".

This would automatically relegate Boorstin to one of those least informed about what took place following the death of Mao Tse Tung in Sept.1976 when a power struggle took place that kept all of us carefully monitoring everything that we said to each other in usually three different languages. None of us knew who was going to succeed "to the throne". Leadership changed hands rapidly about three times with people declaring themselves the deceased's appointed heir which of course would fly in the face of anything even resembling "democratization" in Communist practice, followed by a show trial of "the Gang of Four" for crimes against the party (designed as a preventative against something the Chinese and most Westerners in the past have also referred to as, "Petticoat Government". And although the wife of Chou En Lai,  prime minister, had always served in a high position in government, the widow of Mao, Chiang Ching was led off to imprisonment with her three cohorts, and, as in a fairy tale,
 "has never been heard from since"....)

I realize that it was very difficult for Westerners to get a grasp of their difference from the Chinese who do not look upon us as the high point of Civilization or "God's Creation", the Han consider themselves vastly Superior Beings. They have any number, somewhere around 56 different "minorities" who despite Marxist,Leninist,Mao Thought (in Chinese, the latter is simply,"Mao syang") taught in all schools, are from time to time treated abominably, as presently has happened to the Muslim minority of the far Western states adjoining the area to which "Mr. Rumsfield's 'lilypads' " reach the border of the Chinese oil reserve. They took a hint from Mr. Bush, following the downed spy plane fiasco, an event which allowed them to drive him up a tree with suspense, and then they conned him by demonstrating how they would cooperatively arrest all their "terrorists" now that he had declared a war on terrorism. So, did they.   They would nevertheless have done so in any case, because they do not allow for religious expressions claiming primary allegiance. I believe that I posted an article but likely not in this forum about the prisoners held at Guantanamo who were caught up in this hooey in trying to leave behind the present state in their indigenous homeland. The migrated "West" all right to join their co-religionists, were immediately trained for combat, and then became our prisoners of the "war on terrorism".

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/world/europe/10resettle.html?ex=1189137600&en=34c41852d822d1b5&ei=5070

Finally, after all was said and done, in the aftermath of the Changing of the Guard, in 1976, a tiny little man inherited the throne and promptly, as a veteran of the Long March, delivered an ultimatum, although he did visit the US(Washington, D.C.), to which all of us listened intently but which translated in short comes to that he would not hesitate to "treat us in kind" for all our saber-rattling.

As you may recall this was still followed by the events as the senior Bush took office in which the Democracy Movement was met with tanks  during the University of Peking demonstrations at Tian An Men square. The upper echelon of Old Veterans was still in charge of the government.  I later realized that many of the dissenters were now in exile in Princeton when I accidentally encountered them at an "International Food Fair" in the Dillon Gym on campus. I turned aside as if I did not recognize anybody, because their teacher ( who is now deceased ) was quite obviously conversing with somebody on faculty, and  from this point on they would be moved through the Ivy League "Underground railway"; as I already pointed out in Immigration Forum, those Chinese who can be seen on most every hand, to be in excellent physical condition, shall we say "buff", are obviously military, and showed up  in the US immediately following these events to locate the dissenters. Their presence had been "radically" cut back in Princeton as far as I could discern earlier this Spring.

The proper term to use,  while Daniel Boorstin reveals perhaps not in ignorance but in order to publish by establishing his Republican credentials, because I think that one should never forget the current state of relationship that we have with the Peoples Republic of China was brought to us by Republican auspices, and even Henry Kissinger would caution you, the Chinese "Modernized", they did not Westernize.

Modern China in which you no longer have to wear your uniform but can dress like the Americans in clothes made in China is a process that began as I have described above.

The Cultural Revolution was an event which took place earlier and is known as Fa Shen (or, the turning over, as with a ploughshare, is a nice way of putting it,to express the "overturn" by an actual revolution in which the peasants killed the landlords and took back the land spurred on by the young people of the Red Guard, many of whom I got to meet in this country under the strangest of circumstances and they were all over the country because that was "the Opening  with China".

I had the oddest experience a year ago in October, I went to Pearl Buck's old home, and it now is exceedingly "old", so that my sister-in-law could see the place, and out of curiosity to check on the status of the "childrens' and adoptive parents' education program" run at the center in Perkasie,Buck's county,
the day following the Laura Bush visit when we had intended to go but the Secret Service had all the usual staff flustered to say the least.

Might I suggest you do as a young 21 year old teacher of mine from Hong Kong used to say to her first year students while I waited in the hall for my tutorial hour with her and could overhear the dialogue, " You should wash your brains...instead of getting ahead of yourself..."

She was about the fourth of my five teachers,one physicist, one biochemist, one American former university student free-lancing whose pronunciations my fourth teacher set about correcting, and one housewife and mother of two small children, Yu Hua Lai  to whom I am grateful for making sense of this all.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1015 on: September 05, 2007, 12:25:25 PM »

Maddie, I'm not sure what all that had to do with the size of ships in China, but it was interesting none the less. 

Menzies has done a very clever job of inverting history, much like Dan Brown did in The Da Vinci Code.  Basically, he throws out a whole lot of ideas built around what ever bit of flimsy information or evidence he can find and leaves it up to historians to disprove him, knowing full well that the vast majority of his readers won't read any of the journals or websites where these rebuttals are published.  His readers will simply accept his theories because Menzies does a pretty good job of projecting himself as a voice of authority.  I really don't see books like this any different from those in which Biblical historians and archeologists search for evidence that the Flood happened and that the Red Sea was parted and a number of other events described in the Bible. They even have a museum dedicated to such findings,

http://www.creationmuseum.org/
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caclark
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« Reply #1016 on: September 05, 2007, 12:46:17 PM »

"Menzies has done a very clever job of inverting history, much like Dan Brown did in The Da Vinci Code.  Basically, he throws out a whole lot of ideas built around what ever bit of flimsy information or evidence he can find and leaves it up to historians to disprove him....." - Dzimas

It kind of makes me wonder if he’s baiting them. Whether he is or isn’t, whenever a legitimate historian does react to Menzies, albeit in a negative way, it calls further attention to him and the book he wants people to buy. So what’s the best way to counter a scam artist like Menzies? Is it better to ignore him than to refute him?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1017 on: September 05, 2007, 01:18:55 PM »

If it only it were that easy, clark.  I thought Postmodernism was dead, but apparently not. Who was it, Derrida, who said, "History is Dead?"  We seem to be in yet another age of mythbuilding and fortune seeking in the search of a new Holy Grail.  Dan Brown made a mint off that book and he had no more to go on than a bogus society created by Pierre Plantard,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_of_Sion

Henry Lincoln, a science-fiction script writer, bought the story hook, line and sinker, even managed to get two documentaries produced on BBC at the time. Dan Brown picked up the thread, capitalized on a gullible market, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In answer to hoffman's earlier question, why rush it?  Menzies supposedly spent 15 years researching this subject so you think he would have had time to proofread his text, as well as get his evidence arranged in a plausible order.  But, he knew that if he was going to get his ideas out there, the more sensational he made them the better, exciting a general public with such tantalizing possiblities so that they would crave for more.
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« Reply #1018 on: September 05, 2007, 01:22:24 PM »

Dzimas....but Dan Brown's work is fiction.  Wink
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1019 on: September 05, 2007, 01:29:20 PM »

Yes, hoffman, but Dan Brown provides a list of "Facts" on the opening page, stating that "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."  He also firmly believes that the Priory of Sion is real, despite its creator, Pierre Plantard, admitting in a court of law that he made it up, and that the parchments Pierre and his cadres planted in the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale were forgeries. 

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