Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Is it just me, or does that number look entirely weird.  Seriously.  Just look at that sucker.    From what I've been able to tell, anything good that happens in a -13 year is a freak anomaly (after 513).  Check this out:

13: Strabo decides the Earth is round.  Seriously?  This guy totally just became one of my heroes.  Also, I downloaded three volumes of his book (which is definitely in the public domain now, meaning that's perfectly legal).
113: The Trojans Emperor Trajan picks a war with Rome without even attempting diplomacy. Okay, so there were a bunch of "Who cares?" things that happened this year, but I just wanted to highlight the sheer stupidity of this move.  Seriously?  You wanted to take on Rome without even saying "Boo?"  No wonder you were named after the Trojans... 
213: Nothing.  Seriously.  Wikipedia only uses 3 bullet points to record the whole thing, and they're even reachign for those.
313: Christian-killing stops being a sport.  Unfortunately, a TON of Chinese royals get killed in a rather gruesome mess and the country ends up with a 13-year-old emperor. 
413: Tax breaks galore and St. Augustine of Hippo gets writing (Dude was one seriously good writer).
513: The Jewish people get their own country (for 7 years) and taxes get lowered in Bithynia (wherever that is...).

And then it all goes downhill.

613: The Byzantine emperor Heraclius marries his niece Martina.  Ew.  Muhammad begins preaching Islam in public.  I'm tempted to just erase this and let it be, because I feel like I'm opening a big can of worms here, but I'm just going to throw it out there that I don't chalk this up to a good thing, because I don't believe that Muhammad was teaching accurately.  Do I respect the guy for jumping in there and doing that? Yes.  Do I think he was right? No.  So I don't count this as a good thing.
713: Giant.  Buddha. This great, big dude started being built in 713.  Personally, I think that's pretty cool, but, you know... when you stop and think about it... idols are idols, and then it's like... Oh...  Well... that's not really all that good, is it?
813: I'm skipping this one. Why?  Because it's boring.  I'm actually working my way backward from 1113 right now, and will probably pick back up when I reach the year 13 or something, but, let's be honest, the records really weren't that good in 3-digit years, so there's not much for me to comment on.
913: A heck of a lot of fighting happens in Africa.  Wikipedia sums it up very succinctly (two sentences, no less - a skimmer's paradise) right here.  Also, one of the shortest papacies began in 913.  Pope Lando ascended.  (Does anyone else picture Lando Calrissian when I talk about this?  Because I do.)
1013: The Jews are expelled from the caliphate of Córdoba. I'm going to go ahead and not remove that link that got pasted over from Wikipedia on this one.  Let's be honest: None of us know what a caliphate is or what Cordoba could potentially be.  Criticize it all you want, but we need Wikipedia on this one.  Why did I copy this over then?  Because  I think it's generally accepted that any time the Jews got expelled from some place, it turned out poorly.  Plus, I don't like the word expelled.  Please remember that I've still spent the vast majority of my life in school, where expulsion = death.
Aug 24, 1113: Geoffrey Plantagenet, France, conquered Normandy on this day in history.  I'm not actually sure this is bad.  I don't know much about the Middle Ages and their politics, but the word Normandy makes my stomach clench, so we're chalking this up to a bad thing.
1213: Genghis Khan.  Dude is pretty cool to think about, but insanely scary in reality.  Plus, he makes me think about Star Trek, and that's really not something I ever appreciate that much.
Aug 13, 1313: Aradia di Toscano, female messianic figure in Italian witchcraft born. Seriously?  She was born on August 13, 1313?  We couldn't have been more original than that?  Next, you're going to tell me it was a Friday, and she had a pet black cat.  (For the record, it was actually a Sunday.)
1413: Henry V becomes the King of England.  Enough said.
1513: Ponce de Leon sights Florida.  But hey, at least Machiavelli is thought to have started distributing The Prince in 1513.  Nevermind its content; I found it an interesting read.
1613: Okay, a lot of really cool stuff happened this year (click on the year to check it out), but I'm going to focus on one that I think everyone my age would easily site as being the most important one: Pocahontas enters the scene.  This sticks out to me because I'm a bit disappointed by the real story.  Apparently, she falls in love with neither of the John Smiths, but rather John Rolfe while she is being held captive (not John).  She converts to Christianity and gives up her princess-ship in favor of adopting the name "Rebecca."  Seriously?  Bummer.
Not this.
This.  Really.  It's disappointing.  I know.
1713: This year is all about Colonel James Moore and the Tuscarora War.  That rhymes.
1813:  We got the Royal Philharmonic Society and Pride and Prejudice.  There were also dragoons (which, sadly, are not to be confused with dragons - I linked it, just in case you live under a rock.) and a bunch more war.
1913: The United States gives itself the right to collect income taxes.  Nevermind that Tasmania had an election or the the Mexican Revolution surges to its climax.  This one really kind of overshadows it all in my mind.

Okay.  I honestly think I deserve some sort of World History credit for that or something.  But, since I'm not in school anymore, I have to tie it in to some sort of moral or something to give meaning to the hour or so I just spent on this, so, here we go:

Can we please do something GOOD with 2013? 
I really feel like these years have gotten a bad reputation.

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