Emperor Mansa Musa I, an African king from the late 13th century, is considered the richest person to ever live, with an estimated net worth of $400 billion
Musa came to the throne of West Africa’s Malian Empire through a practice of appointing a deputy when a king goes on his pilgrimage to Mecca or journeys somewhere else and later naming the deputy as heir. According to historians, Musa was appointed the deputy of Abubakari II, the king before him, who had reportedly embarked on an expedition to explore the limits of the Atlantic Ocean and never returned.
Musa made his unprecedented fortune by maximizing his country’s salt and gold production and through widespread construction of mosques that still stand today, 700 years later. He imposed his rule on trans-desert trading towns such as Walata. Musa’s rule produced more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold.
News of the Malian Empire’s city of wealth even traveled across the Mediterranean to southern Europe, where traders from Venice, Granada and Genoa soon added Timbuktu to their maps to trade manufactured goods for gold.
When Musa made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, it was an historic event. He had a procession that included 60,000 men, each carrying four pounds of gold bars. Musa funded the excursion for all, including dozens of animals. The poor on his route were the recipients of gold from him. Musa’s vast dispensing of gold was so huge that he upset the value of goods in the region. Gold became more plentiful and, therefore, worth less. In the cities of Cairo, Medina and Mecca, gold was devalued for an entire decade. To rectify the gold market, Musa borrowed at a high interest rate all the gold he could carry from lenders in Cairo. He directly controlled the price of gold in the Mediterranean, reportedly the only time in history one man has done so. Furthermore, it has been recorded that he built a mosque every Friday.
In 1330, the kingdom of Mossi invaded and conquered the city of Timbuktu. Gao had already been captured by Musa’s general, and Musa quickly regained Timbuktu and built a rampart and stone fort, and placed a standing army to protect the city from future invaders.
Through Musa’s influence, Timbuktu became a center of trade, culture and Islam and one of the most famous cities in the world. Markets brought in merchants from the Middle East, Egypt and other African kingdoms.
The University of Sankore in Timbuktu was restaffed under Musa’s reign with jurists, astronomers and mathematicians. It became a center of learning and culture, drawing Muslim scholars from around the world.
Musa did not only embark on a large building program, building mosques and madrasas in Timbuktu and Gao, he also did so in the cities of Djenné and Ségou. He brought architects from Spain and Cairo to build palaces in Timbuktu and the great Djinguereber Mosque.
During this period, there was an advanced level of urban living in the major centers of Mali. Sergio Domian, an Italian art and architecture scholar, wrote the following about this period: “Thus was laid the foundation of an urban civilization. At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated.”
Musa also enclosed a large part of the Western Sudan within a single system of law and order. He did this so successfully that the Moroccan writer Ibn Battuta, traveling through Mali about 12 years after Musa’s death, found “complete and general safety in the land.” This was a huge political success, and made Musa one of the greatest statesmen in the history of Africa.
The death of Mansa Musa is highly debated among modern historians and the Arab scholars who recorded the history of Mali. After Musa’s death in 1331, his heirs were unable to maintain the fortune, and it was substantially depleted by civil wars and invading armies. While Musa’s palace has since vanished, the university and mosque still stand in Timbuktu today.
At the time of his death, Easy-E was only 31 years old and at the height of his solo career. At a Hollywood news conference on March 17, 1995, former N.W.A frontman Eazy-E told the world that he had AIDS. In a prepared statement, Ron Sweeney, the rapper’s friend and attorney, said that Eric Wright had learned two weeks prior – and that he was listed in critical condition at the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “I’m not religious, but wrong or right, that’s me,” Sweeney said on behalf of Eazy-E. “I’m not saying this because I’m looking for a soft cushion wherever I’m heading. I just feel I’ve got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what’s real when it comes to AIDS. I’ve learned in the last week that this thing is real and it doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone.”
In the years before Wright’s announcement, two other prominent men in the African American community had come forward with their own HIV revelations.
On November 7, 1991, Lakers guard Magic Johnson held a press conference to reveal that he was HIV-positive. Johnson had undergone a routine physical in October of that same year in order to secure a life insurance policy. While he was in Salt Lake City for an exhibition game against the Utah Jazz, he received a call from Lakers team physician, Dr. Michael Mellman, who delivered the news. Johnson simply thought it was a mistake and requested a second test – which also came back positive. As the regular season rolled around, many questioned why Johnson wasn’t in the lineup. After a third positive test, Johnson knew he had to tell the world. Bending his head and speaking into a microphone at the LA Forum, Johnson announced, “Because of the virus I have attained, I will have to retire from the Lakers.”
Tennis champion Arthur Ashe had lived with the disease for five years – unbeknownst to the public – before deciding to come forward after learning that USA Today was planning on releasing the details in a forthcoming story. “I am angry that I was put in the position of having to lie if I wanted to protect my privacy,” Ashe said in April 1992. “Just as I’m sure everyone in this room has some personal matter he or she would like to keep private, so did we. There was certainly no compelling medical or physical necessity to go public with my medical condition. What I came to feel about a year ago was that there was a silent and generous conspiracy to assist me in maintaining my privacy.”
While Johnson has continued to flourish and remains a symbol that HIV is no longer a death sentence, Ashe passed away from pneumonia, a complication of AIDS on February 6, 1993 – a year after his announcement.
Prior to Eazy-E’s own admission, the West Coast rap world was being dominated by the push and pull between N.W.A’s former home, Ruthless Records, and the upstart label, Death Row, which had been formed by Suge Knight – who was intent on launching Dr. Dre as his flagship artist. According to former N.W.A manager and Ruthless Records co-founder, Jerry Heller, Knight got Dre out of his contract by threatening him with baseball bats and lead pipes.
“I think, even more so now, that Suge Knight is an evil human being,” Jerry Heller told the Murder Master Music Show. “Eazy said, ‘You know this guy Suge Knight?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He says, ‘Well, I’m gonna kill him.’ He said, ‘This guy is gonna be a problem and I think I should kill him.’ I said, ‘Let me think this thing through. I said, ‘First of all, we’re doing $10 million a month with six employees. We don’t even have a typewriter in the office.’ I said, ‘We’re the most successful start-up record company in the history of the music business and you want to kill this guy?’ I said, ‘That just doesn’t make any sense to me.’ You know something? I should have let him kill him. I would have done the world a favor. He would have done it, for sure, by himself. He always rolled by himself and he was fearless… I think that he was gonna go do it. I shouldn’t have talked him out of it. Ruthless would probably still be around. Dr. Dre. and Ice Cube would probably still be with Ruthless. It would have been an empire.”
In 1992, Ruthless Records sued Death Row for racketeering – although the suit was dismissed in 1993. However, following Dr. Dre’s departure, Ruthless Records continued to profit off of him. According to The Los Angeles Times, “The firm received about $1 million in combined annual royalty payments from Young and Priority Records, which in 1990 acquired the rights to N.W.A.’s early albums.”
While in critical condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Eazy-E and his long-time girlfriend Tomica Woods – who was pregnant with the couple’s second child – were married at approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 14 surrounded by his immediate family.
At the time of the rapper’s announcement, both Woods and her one-year-old son had tested negative for HIV and AIDS. In the prepared statement which was read by Ron Sweeney, Eazy-E acknowledged that he had led a promiscuous lifestyle, saying, “Before Tomica I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me.”
On March 26, 1995 – one month after the initial diagnosis – Eazy-E passed away at approximately 6:35 p.m. PST. In eulogizing Wright, the Rev. Cecil Murray urged those in attendance at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church to rejoice in Wright’s life but learn lessons from the way he had died. “I know a little blackbird that sings,” Murray said, pointing his finger at the coffin. “And his lyrics are, ‘I want you to live. I want you to be careful. I want you to slow down.’”
Compton Mayor Omar Bradley declared April 7, “Eazy-E Day,” saying, “Eric made Compton famous not just in California, but all over the world. I recognize Eazy as a young man who grew up in the streets of Compton–and brothers and sisters, we know it’s not ‘easy’ growing up in Compton.”
The Los Angeles Times reported in late April 1995 that a fight over Eazy-E’s estate and stake in Ruthless Records occurred almost instantaneously following his death. “Squabbles have erupted between his new wife, Tomica Wood, and the former director of business affairs at Ruthless, Mike Klein,” the Times noted. “Klein filed a lawsuit last week claiming that he owns 50% of the company. Wood maintains that she is the sole owner. Industry insiders said the company is worth around $10 million, including its assets and a double CD compilation finished by Wright before his death. An April 14 Superior Court hearing is expected to send the once profitable company into a conservatorship until a judge can decide its fate.”
As many fans attempted to grapple with the loss of the “Godfather of Gangster Rap,” many couldn’t help but question just how quickly Eazy-E’s condition had deteriorated. However, according to aids.gov, it’s common for people who have contracted HIV to experience no symptoms at all and to look and appear like a healthy individual. After the early stage of HIV infection, the disease moves into a stage called the “clinical latency” stage. “Latency” means a period where a virus is living or developing in a person without producing symptoms.
Eventually the HIV virus will weaken a person’s immune system. The onset of symptoms signals the transition from the clinical latency stage to AIDS – resulting in symptoms like rapid weight loss and pneumonia – the latter which Easy-E succumbed to. But those around him during his final months didn’t notice any rapid changes in his appearance or behavior.
According to members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – who had just been signed to Ruthless Records around the time of his diagnosis – Eazy-E was his normal self. In speaking with Angele Yee, Krayzie Bone said, “Dude had full blown AIDS and looked regular. He still had his weight. Still cocky. Still looking like a regular dude. It just came about all of a sudden.” Layzie Bone added, “He was really built like a little tank.”
“He was smaller because his appetite had decreased. But there were no lesions or dementia. None of the other things you associate with AIDS, ” said Charms Henry, Eazy’s former personal assistant and longtime friend. “I know because I lost an uncle to it last year.”
While the conspiracy rumors have increased in recent years, there was an early indication that Eazy-E may have been HIV-positive.
On Snoop’s debut album, Doggystyle, there’s a skit entitled “House Party” in which Dr. Dre and Daz Dillinger have a conversation. Daz asks, “Aiyyo what’s up with them niggas that was on the TV dissin’ you?” Dre responds, “Man fuck them niggas, man I ain’t thinkin’ about that old shit, man.,” to which Daz echoes, “Busta ass, HIV pussy-ass motherfuckers.,” and Dre retorts, “Yo yo yo Daz, easy come, easy (gunshot noise).”
In his first public appearance after being released from jail in 2003, Suge Knight appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! – with the host donning a bulletproof vest as a subtle jab at Knight’s notorious reputation for violence and intimidation tactics. When Knight finally acknowledged it, he laughed it off, before going into how shooting someone wasn’t his preferred method of getting his point across, saying, “See, technology is so high. So, if you shoot somebody, you go to jail forever. You don’t want to go to jail forever. They have a new thing out. They have this stuff they called — they get blood from somebody with AIDS and they shoot you with it. That’s a slow death. The Eazy-E thing. You know what I mean?”
Rapper B.G. Knocc Out is perhaps best known for appearing on Eazy-E’s 1993 single, “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s.” In his 2011 song, “N My Prime” from his album, Easy-E’s Protege, he raps “the way my big homie went out, he didn’t deserve it/they say he died of AIDS, but Eazy was cold murdered. I filtered out all the bullshit with my third iris/full blown AIDS but Tamica ain’t got the virus?”
In a 2011 interview with HipHopDX, B.G. Knocc Out stated, ” I believe in my heart somebody did something to Eric. Whether it was Jerry [Heller], whether it was [his widow] Tomica [Woods-Wright], I have yet to really know the truth about it. But, for a person to have full-blown AIDS [that quickly is suspicious]. My little brother, his father died from full-blown AIDS … from sharing a needle [‘cause] he was [an addict]. Now, I seen this man go through these stages, from HIV to full-blown AIDS. And, when you get a cold, any little thing like that, your whole immune system shut down. So you have to go into the hospital just to recover. Now, to be around Eric for the last three years of his life and he never had an episode like this – never ever – something is strange, something is real odd. And then you gon’ come out and tell me when the man go in there for bronchitis, you gon’ come out and tell me this man had full-blown AIDS. And we done been to New York, we done been to Chicago in below zero weather [and] he never got sick. He never had an episode. Like, c’mon bruh. Who are you kidding?”
Jerry Heller was another person close to Eazy-E who believed that foul play was a real possibility. “Do I think something fishy happened to Eazy? Absolutely,” Heller told First Fam Radio. “I don’t believe for a second that someone with as much money as we did – and could afford whatever like Magic Johnson could – who doesn’t even test positive anymore. I don’t believe that he could have possibly died that quickly from full-blown AIDS. I don’t believe that. I think that something went on there. And like I say, I have my own ideas who I think was involved. But all I’m willing to say is this: I’m the only one who didn’t profit from him passing away.”
“I have my own theory,” Layzie Bone told Angela Yee. “He went in for the common cough, or pneumonia, which was January. Then in February, diagnosed as HIV-positive. Then March, full-blow AIDS [and] dead. I was kinda thinking, [what] kind of doctors did he go to?. Even the children that were born after he died, weren’t positive. Even their mothers weren’t positive. Nobody was positive. I believe [it’s] just like the mystery of ‘who killed Tupac’ and ‘who killed Biggie?’”
Before Eazy-E passed away, the oft-feuding members of N.W.A began to band together to support their one-time friend. “I was so fortunate to be able to get on the phone with him and talk about maybe putting N.W.A back together, and we chopped it up about old times and what have you and maybe not even two weeks after that, he was in the hospital,” Dr. Dre told BigBoyTV. “So the last time I actually saw him, he didn’t know I was in the room. He was on life support. I just reached down and whispered a few words in his ear and I think maybe the next day or two he passed away. We had a chance to rekindle it and actually get back in the studio again.”
In 2011, unsealed FBI document linked both Eazy-E and Tupac Shakur to an alleged extortion attempt by the Jewish Defense League – who Jerry Heller had employed to combat threats from Suge Knight, as well as neo-Nazi skinhead groups who had threatened them. The report stated, “On September 11, 1996 reported that JDL, and others yet unidentified have been extorting money from various rap music stars via death threats. The scheme involves [Omitted] and other subjects making telephonic death threats to the rap star. Subjects then intercede by contacting the victim and offering protection for a ‘fee.’ Source reported that ERIC WRIGHT, also known as EAZY-E, who owned RUTHLESS RECORDS, Woodland Hills, California, was a victim of this extortion scheme prior to dying from AIDS. [Omitted] had also reportedly targeted TUPAC SHAKUR prior to his recent murder in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The [JDL] has orchestrated countless terrorist attacks in the U.S. and abroad, and has engaged in intense harassment of foreign diplomats, Muslims, Jewish scholars and community leaders, and officials.”
If other deceased rappers are an indication, Eazy-E’s catalog of previously released songs and the surely mountain of unreleased material are very valuable. Tupac Shakur has released nine albums since his death – with each charting in the top 10 on Billboard. His biggest seller: 2001’s Until The End of Time has moved 2.2 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
While “denial” is one of the first stages of grief, many close to Eazy-E refuse to believe that his rapid decline and subsequent death due to AIDS complications were caused by his reckless, sexual appetite. To this day, no criminal charges have been filed.
In an interview for the documentary, For The Record The Story of Latinos in Hip-Hop, rap pioneer Frost, father of record producer Scoop DeVille who notably crafted “Poetic Justice” for Kendrick Lamar, opened up about his relationship with Eazy-E and the final weeks of the N.W.A rapper’s life based on his intimate relationship with the late emcee after signing to his Ruthless Records imprint in 1995.
“I’m-a tell you what happened with Eazy getting AIDS and I believe this to this day…And I don’t care if you guys got it on film,” he says. You can tell the world. They gave him tainted needles with acupuncture. Needles that tainted him, they gave it to him.”
Frost then goes on to hint at the alleged murderer’s identity, explaining, “I don’t wanna say that name ‘cause it’s the devil’s name—but another person in rap, if you know your history of rap, calls him the devil” before concluding that “how else could somebody die that fast of AIDS? Have you even heard of somebody dying in two weeks of AIDS, bro? Come on, man, it’s just unheard of, bro.”
It is said that the moon landings were hoaxed by the US government to assert their victory in the space race over Russia.
After the Apollo missions ended in the seventies, why haven’t they taken more people to the moon? Only during the term of Richard Nixon did humanity ever land on the moon.
In this list I have presented some of the proposed evidence to suggest that the moon landings were hoaxes. I tried to include NASA’s explanations to each entry to provide an objective perspective.
Point 1: Flag-Waving-Moon-Landing
Conspiracy theorists have pointed out that when the first moon landing was shown on live television, viewers could clearly see the American flag waving and fluttering as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted it. Photos of the landing also seem to show rippling in a breeze, such as the image above which clearly shows a fold in the flag. The obvious problem here is that there’s no air in the moon’s atmosphere, and therefore no wind to cause the flag to blow. Countless explanations have been put forward to disprove this phenomenon as anything unusual: NASA claimed that the flag was stored in a thin tube and the rippled effect was caused by it being unfurled before being planted. Other explanations involve the ripples caused by the reaction force of the astronauts touching the aluminium pole, which is shown to shake in the video footage.
Point 2 : Lack of Impact by the Crater.
Had NASA really landed us on the moon, there would be a blast crater underneath the lunar module to mark its landing. On any video footage or photograph of the landings, no crater is visible, almost as though the module was simply placed there. The surface of the moon is covered in fine lunar dust, and even this doesn’t seem to have been displaced in photographic evidence. Much like the waving flag theory, however, the lack of an impact crater has a slew of potential explanations. NASA maintains that the module required significantly less thrust in the low-gravity conditions than it would have done on Earth. The surface of the moon itself is solid rock, so a blast crater probably wouldn’t be feasible anyway – in the same way that an aeroplane doesn’t leave a crater when it touches down on a concrete airstrip. Point 3 : Moonlighting discrepancy.
On the moon there is only one strong light source: the Sun. So it’s fair to suggest that all shadows should run parallel to one another. But this was not the case during the moon landing: videos and photographs clearly show that shadows fall in different directions. Conspiracy theorists suggest that this must mean multiple light sources are present -suggesting that the landing photos were taken on a film set. NASA has attempted to blame uneven landscape on the strange shadows, with subtle bumps and hills on the moon’s surface causing the discrepancies. This explanation has been tossed out the window by some theorists; how could hills cause such large angular differences? In the image above the lunar module’s shadow clearly contradicts that of the rocks in the foreground at almost a 45 degree angle.
Point 4 : The Van Allen Radiation Belt.
In order to reach the moon, astronauts had to pass through what is known as the Van Allen radiation belt. The belt is held in place by Earth’s magnetic field and stays perpetually in the same place. The Apollo missions to the moon marked the first ever attempts to transport living humans through the belt. Conspiracy theorists contend that the sheer levels of radiation would have cooked the astronauts en route to the moon, despite the layers of aluminium coating the interior and exterior of the spaceship. NASA have countered this argument by emphasizing the short amount of time it took the astronauts to traverse the belt – meaning they received only very small doses of radiation.
Point 5 : The Unexplained Object
After photographs of the moon landings were released, theorists were quick to notice a mysterious object in the reflection of an astronaut’s helmet from the Apollo 12 mission. The object appears to be hanging from a rope or wire and has no reason to be there at all, leading some to suggest it is an overhead spotlight typically found in film studios.The resemblance is questionable, given the poor quality of the photograph, but the mystery remains as to why something is being suspended in mid-air (or rather lack of air) on the moon. The lunar module in other photos appears to have no extension from it that matches the photo, so the object still remains totally unexplained. Point 6 : Slow-Motion Walking and Hidden Cables
In order to support claims that the moon landings were shot in a studio, conspiracy theorists had to account for the apparent low-gravity conditions, which must have been mimicked by NASA. It has been suggested that if you take the moon landing footage and increase the speed of the film x2.5, the astronauts appear to be moving in Earth’s gravity. As for the astronaut’s impressive jump height, which would be impossible to perform in Earth’s gravity, hidden cables and wires have been suggested as giving the astronauts some extra height. In some screenshots outlines of alleged hidden cables can be seen.
Point 7 : Lack of Stars
One compelling argument for the moon landing hoax is the total lack of stars in any of the photographic/video evidence. There are no clouds on the moon, so stars are perpetually visible and significantly brighter than what we see through the filter of Earth’s atmosphere. The argument here is that NASA would have found it impossible to map out the exact locations of all stars for the hoax without being rumbled, and therefore left them out – intentionally falling back on an excuse that the quality of the photographs washes them out (an excuse they did actually give).Some photographs are high-quality, however, and yet still no stars are shown. Certainly eerie, considering you can take pictures of stars from Earth in much lower quality and still see them.
Point 8 : The “C” Rock
Of the most famous photos from the moon landings shows a rock in the foreground, with what appears to be the letter “C” engraved into it. The letter appears to be almost perfectly symmetrical, meaning it is unlikely to be a natural occurrence. It has been suggested that the rock is simply a prop, with the “C” used as a marker by an alleged film crew. A set designer could have turned the rock the wrong way, accidentally exposing the marking to the camera. NASA has given conflicting excuses for the letter, on the one hand blaming a photographic developer for adding the letter as a practical joke, while on the other hand saying that it may simply have been a stray hair which got tangled up somewhere in the developing process. Point 9 : The Layered Cross-hairs
The cameras used by astronauts during the moon landings had a multitude of cross-hairs to aid with scaling and direction. These are imprinted over the top of all photographs. Some of the images, however, clearly show the cross-hairs behind objects in the scene, implying that photographs may have been edited or doctored after being taken. The photograph shown above is not an isolated occurrence. Many objects are shown to be in front of the cross-hairs, including the American flag in one picture and the lunar rover in another. Conspiracy theorists have suggested NASA printed the man-made objects over a legitimate photograph of the moon to hoax the landings – although if they really planned on doing this, then why they used cross-hairs in the first place is a mystery.
Point 10 : The Duplicate Backdrop
The two photos from the Apollo 15 mission shown above clearly have identical backdrops, despite being officially listed by NASA as having been taken miles apart. One photo even shows the lunar module. When all photographs were taken the module had already landed, so how can it possibly be there for one photo and disappear in another? Well, if you’re a hard-core conspiracy theorist, it may seem viable that NASA simply used the same backdrop when filming different scenes of their moon landing videos. NASA has suggested that since the moon is much smaller than Earth, horizons can appear significantly closer to the human eye. Despite this, to say that the two hills visible in the photographs are miles apart is incontrovertibly false.
Bonus Point : The Stanley Kubrick Theory
This loose extension of the popular conspiracy theory states that acclaimed film director Stanley Kubrick was approached by the US government to hoax the first three moon landings. There are two main branches of this somewhat implausible theory: one group of believers maintain that Kubrick was approached after he released 2001: A Space Odyssey (released in 1968, one year before the first moon landing), after NASA came to appreciate the stunning realism of the film’s outer-space scenes at that time; another group contends that Kubrick was groomed by the government to film the moon landing long before this, and that 2001: A Space Odyssey was a staged practice run for him. So what evidence might support such claims? Well: apparently, if you watch The Shining (another Kubrick picture), you can pick up on some alleged messages hidden by Kubrick to subtly inform the world of his part in the conspiracy. The most obvious is the child’s Apollo 11 shirt worn in only one scene.
Most of us associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen – once.
The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honouring Squanto and the Wampanoags.
But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized land, capturing strong young Natives for slaves and killing the rest. But the Pequot Nation had not agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared “A Day Of Thanksgiving” because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.
Cheered by their “victory”, the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.
Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of “thanksgiving” to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts — where it remained on display for 24 years.
The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War — on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota.
This story doesn’t have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one where the Indians and Pilgrims are all sitting down together at the big feast. But we need to learn our true history so it won’t ever be repeated. Next Thanksgiving, when you gather with your loved ones to Thank God for all your blessings, think about those people who only wanted to live their lives and raise their families. They, also took time out to say “thank you” to Creator for all their blessings.
In 2015 alone the World’s total energy consumption was 13,000 Million Ton Oil Equivalent (13,000 MTOE) in form of coal, oil, hydroelectric, nuclear, renewable
This translates to 17.3 Terawatts continuous power during the year.
Now, if we cover an area of the Earth 335 kilometres by 335 kilometres with solar panels, even with moderate efficiencies achievable easily today, it will provide more than 17,4 TW power. This area is 43,000 square miles. The Great Saharan Desert in Africa is 3.6 million square miles and is prime for solar power (more than twelve hours per day). That means 1.2% of the Sahara desert is sufficient to cover all of the energy needs of the world in solar energy. There is no way coal, oil, wind, geothermal or nuclear can compete with this. The cost of the project will be about five trillion dollars, one time cost at today’s prices without any economy of scale savings. That is less than the bail out cost of banks by Obama in the last recession. Easier to imagine the cost is 1/4 of US national debt, and equal to 10% of world one year GDP. So this cost is rather small compared to other spending in the world. There is no future in other energy forms. In twenty to thirty years solar will replace everything. There will still be need for liquid fuels but likely it will be hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water and that powered by solar. Then tankers and pipelines will haul that hydrogen around the world. One can also envision zirconium or titanium batteries that store large quantities of hydrogen.
By the way, note that the cost of a 1 GWe (Gigawatt electric) nuclear plant is about three billion dollars. the cost of 17.3 TW nuclear power will be fifty-two trillion dollars or ten times that of solar even if all the other issues with safety and uranium supply are resolved.
All that said, there is a niche application for nuclear power. It has the highest power density of any generation and lasts longest without refueling. So where the space is limited or like in space far from the sun, or in submarines nuclear power makes sense.
Most people started knowing her when The U.S. Treasury announced that she will replace Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20 bill.
For those who know her and those who don’t know her let these revelations sink in for a moment.
Harriet Tubman was a black woman famous for escaping from slavery and then coming back to get others.
Harriet Tubman was held captive and bound to unpaid, back-breaking labour since birth under penalty of torture or death. She managed to escape that life, and she turned around and went back to get everyone else who was still trapped in it. And then she did it again eighteen more times.
When Abraham Lincoln was having a dilemma whether to stop slavery or not, Harriet Tubman basically said he should stop being such a baby and that men who are too scared to end slavery don’t deserve to win wars.
Not only did she secretly deliver over 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, but she acted as a spy for the Union Army during the civil war, and became the first woman to lead an armed assault in the Civil War. That raid brought freedom to over 700 slaves in one go.
After the outbreak of the Civil War, Harriet Tubman became a soldier, spy and a nurse.
Harriet was successful as a nurse due to her ability to cure men of dysentery by means of native herbs.
There were several techniques that Harriet Tubman used in her efforts in helping Blacks escape from slavery.
On the first stage of the journey, she would use a horse and carriage, which was usually the master’s property! This daring strategy was based on the idea that no slave would be bold enough to attempt such a thing. “Negroes driving a horse and a carriage must certainly be going on an errand for their master. Usually they drove all night Saturday and all day Sunday before abandoning the horse and buggy. Harriet urged this procedure upon escaping groups that could arrange to take off this way, pointing to it as an unsuspecting means of gaining much distance before search began.” She would then put the escapees “in a cart covering them with vegetables, and drive them to hiding place.”
If you were an enslaved person and you would like to escape, someone would sing ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ as a signal and you would be smuggled that night to different safehouses until you reached the North or Canada where you would achieve your freedom. Harriet Tubman was known as the Moses of the black people. ‘Go Down Moses’ is a song she used to communicate her coming and going.
She always expressed confidence that God would aid her efforts, and threatened to shoot any of her passengers who thought of turning back.
The reward offered for anyone who caught her dead or alive totalled $40,000 (just over $1 million in today’s money)
One time while she was sitting at the Railroad Station she saw some men reading her ‘wanted poster’ talking and looking at her. Even though she was illiterate, she pretended to be reading a book that she carried. One man remarked, “This can’t be the woman, the one we want can’t read or write.”
Harriet only hoped that she had the book right side up.
Of all of the incidents she encountered, there was one that was perhaps her fondest.
On one of her expeditions she had the incredible nerve to enter a village where her former masters lived.
So she disguised herself as an old decrepit woman, which she was known to do, before she entered. She also had the foresight to buy some live chickens, whose legs she loosely tied together by a cord. When she turned a corner, she saw headed straight towards her none other than her former master. However, before he could recognize her, she loosened the cord letting the chickens free. All of the bystanders roared with laughter as she chased after them. Thus, she made her escape as they flew squawking over a nearby fence.At some point in the late 1890s, she underwent brain surgery at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital as she was unable to sleep because of pains in her head. She refused to be given anaesthesia. Instead she chewed a bullet during her surgery. She had seen the Civil War soldiers do this when their limbs had to be amputated
She walked into hell on earth 19 times to save her fellow human beings from the torment she endured, and the second she was given even a modicum of power, she managed to free seven hundred slaves in one day.
She is one of the best example of a freedom fighter in the entirety of History. In her later years, Tubman worked to promote the cause of women’s suffrage. Tubman travelled to New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. to speak out in favour of women’s voting rights. When the National Federation of Afro-American Women was founded in 1896, Tubman was the keynote speaker at its first meeting. Harriet Tubman also helped to organise the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
After the war ended, Harriet Tubman helped a biographer publish her life story.
She died on 10 March 1913 after suffering from pneumonia.
After her death, Harriet Tubman was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn with full Military Honors.
Her famous quote: “I freed a thousand slaves and I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”
The Worst Episode of Hyperinflation in History: Yugoslavia 1993-94
Under Tito, Yugoslavia ran a budget deficit that was financed by printing money. This led to a rate of inflation of 15 to 25 percent per year. After Tito, the Communist Party pursued progressively more irrational economic policies. These policies and the breakup of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia now consists of only Serbia and Montenegro) led to heavier reliance upon printing or otherwise creating money to finance the operation of the government and the socialist economy. This created the hyperinflation.
By the early 1990s the government used up all of its own hard currency reserves and proceded to loot the hard currency savings of private citizens. It did this by imposing more and more difficult restrictions on private citizens’ access to their hard currency savings in government banks.
The government operated a network of stores at which goods were supposed to be available at artificially low prices. In practice these store seldom had anything to sell and goods were only available at free markets where the prices were far above the official prices that goods were supposed to sell at in government stores. All of the government gasoline stations eventually were closed and gasoline was available only from roadside dealers whose operation consisted of a car parked with a plastic can of gasoline sitting on the hood. The market price was the equivalent of $8 per gallon. Most car owners gave up driving and relied upon public transportation. But the Belgrade transit authority (GSP) did not have the funds necessary for keeping its fleet of 1200 buses operating. Instead it ran fewer than 500 buses. These buses were overcrowded and the ticket collectors could not get aboard to collect fares. Thus GSP could not collect fares even though it was desperately short of funds.
Trip to Truth
Delivery trucks, ambulances, fire trucks and garbage trucks were also short of fuel. The government announced that gasoline would not be sold to farmers for fall harvests and planting.
Despite the government’s desperate printing of money it still did not have the funds to keep the infrastructure in operation. Pot holes developed in the streets, elevators stopped functioning, and construction projects were closed down. The unemployment rate exceeded 30 percent.
The government tried to counter the inflation by imposing price controls. But when inflation continued, the government price controls made the price producers were getting so ridiculous low that they simply stopped producing. In October of 1993 the bakers stopped making bread and Belgrade was without bread for a week. The slaughter houses refused to sell meat to the state stores and this meant meat became unvailable for many sectors of the population. Other stores closed down for inventory rather than sell their goods at the government mandated prices. When farmers refused to sell to the government at the artificially low prices the government dictated, government irrationally used hard currency to buy food from foreign sources rather than remove the price controls. The Ministry of Agriculture also risked creating a famine by selling farmers only 30 percent of the fuel they needed for planting and harvesting.
Later the government tried to curb inflation by requiring stores to file paperwork every time they raised a price. This meant that many store employees had to devote their time to filling out these government forms. Instead of curbing inflation this policy actually increased inflation because the stores tended to increase prices by larger increments so they would not have file forms for another price increase so soon.
In October of 1993 they created a new currency unit. One new dinar was worth one million of the “old” dinars. In effect, the government simply removed six zeroes from the paper money. This, of course, did not stop the inflation.
In November of 1993 the government postponed turning on the heat in the state apartment buildings in which most of the population lived. The residents reacted to this by using electrical space heaters which were inefficient and overloaded the electrical system. The government power company then had to order blackouts to conserve electricity.
A five hundred billion dinar note
In a large psychiatric hospital 87 patients died in November of 1994. The hospital had no heat, there was no food or medicine and the patients were wandering around naked.
Between October 1, 1993 and January 24, 1995 prices increased by 5 quadrillion percent. This number is a 5 with 15 zeroes after it. The social structure began to collapse. Thieves robbed hospitals and clinics of scarce pharmaceuticals and then sold them in front of the same places they robbed. The railway workers went on strike and closed down Yugoslavia’s rail system.
The government set the level of pensions. The pensions were to be paid at the post office but the government did not give the post offices enough funds to pay these pensions. The pensioners lined up in long lines outside the post office. When the post office ran out of state funds to pay the pensions the employees would pay the next pensioner in line whatever money they received when someone came in to mail a letter or package. With inflation being what it was, the value of the pension would decrease drastically if the pensioners went home and came back the next day. So they waited in line knowing that the value of their pension payment was decreasing with each minute they had to wait.
Many Yugoslavian businesses refused to take the Yugoslavian currency, and the German Deutsche Mark effectively became the currency of Yugoslavia. But government organizations, government employees and pensioners still got paid in Yugoslavian dinars so there was still an active exchange in dinars. On November 12, 1993 the exchange rate was 1 DM = 1 million new dinars. Thirteen days later the exchange rate was 1 DM = 6.5 million new dinars and by the end of November it was 1 DM = 37 million new dinars.
At the beginning of December the bus workers went on strike because their pay for two weeks was equivalent to only 4 DM when it cost a family of four 230 DM per month to live. By December 11th the exchange rate was 1 DM = 800 million and on December 15th it was 1 DM = 3.7 billion new dinars. The average daily rate of inflation was nearly 100 percent. When farmers selling in the free markets refused to sell food for Yugoslavian dinars the government closed down the free markets. On December 29 the exchange rate was 1 DM = 950 billion new dinars.
About this time there occurred a tragic incident. As usual, pensioners were waiting in line. Someone passed by the line carrying bags of groceries from the free market. Two pensioners got so upset at their situation and the sight of someone else with groceries that they had heart attacks and died right there.
At the end of December the exchange rate was 1 DM = 3 trillion dinars and on January 4, 1994 it was 1 DM = 6 trillion dinars. On January 6th the government declared that the German Deutsche was an official currency of Yugoslavia. About this time the government announced a NEW “new” Dinar which was equal to 1 billion of the old “new” dinars. This meant that the exchange rate was 1 DM = 6,000 new new Dinars. By January 11 the exchange rate had reached a level of 1 DM = 80,000 new new Dinars. On January 13th the rate was 1 DM = 700,000 new new Dinars and six days later it was 1 DM = 10 million new new Dinars.
The telephone bills for the government operated phone system were collected by the postmen. People postponed paying these bills as much as possible and inflation reduced their real value to next to nothing. One postman found that after trying to collect on 780 phone bills he got nothing so the next day he stayed home and paid all of the phone bills himself for the equivalent of a few American pennies.
Here is another illustration of the irrationality of the government’s policies: James Lyon, a journalist, made twenty hours of international telephone calls from Belgrade in December of 1993. The bill for these calls was 1000 new new dinars and it arrived on January 11th. At the exchange rate for January 11th of 1 DM = 150,000 dinars it would have cost less than one German pfennig to pay the bill. But the bill was not due until January 17th and by that time the exchange rate reached 1 DM = 30 million dinars. Yet the free market value of those twenty hours of international telephone calls was about $5,000. So despite being strapped for hard currency, the government gave James Lyon $5,000 worth of phone calls essentially for nothing.
It was against the law to refuse to accept personal checks. Some people wrote personal checks knowing that in the few days it took for the checks to clear, inflation would wipe out as much as 90 percent of the cost of covering those checks.
On January 24, 1994 the government introduced the “super” Dinar equal to 10 million of the new new Dinars. The Yugoslav government’s official position was that the hyperinflation occurred “because of the unjustly implemented sanctions against the Serbian people and state.”
Original Name for Africa Alkebulan is the oldest and the only name of indigenous origin. Africa, the current name adopted by almost everyone today , was given to this continent by a European invader by the name of Louis Africanus. Like all methods of manipulation the Romans sought to completely disconnect the indigenous Africans from their culture, deities, and knowledge.
African Origin of Modern Humans
As for Africa, scientists have formerly concluded that it is the birthplace of mankind, as large numbers of human-like fossils (discovered no where else) were found on the continent, some dating back 3.5 million years.
About 1.75 million years ago, early man spread throughout parts of Africa. They became aggressive hunters, lived in caves and used fire and their ability to create stone tools just to survive.
The Neanderthals arose some 200,000 years ago and inhabited regions in northern Africa and across parts of southern Europe. There is also clear evidence that they had control of fire, lived in caves, as well as open-air structures of stone and vegetation.
One of the most important developments of primitive man was the creation of stone tools. By 5000 BC farming was somewhat common in the northern areas of Africa, as people were growing crops and herding livestock. During that time the Sahara Desert was a fertile area.
Ancient African History
In 3200 BC the Egyptian culture emerged along the lower reaches of the Nile River; it was among the earliest civilizations and their tools and weapons were made of bronze. They also pioneered the building of massive pyramids and temples.
Egyptians also developed mathematics, an innovative system of medicine, irrigation and agricultural production techniques, writing and the first ships. In short, the Egyptians left a lasting legacy upon the world.
Around 600 BC the use of metal tools spread across small population bases and farming groups in North Africa, and their use gradually spread south into what is now called South Africa.
The Phoenicians were an enterprising maritime trading culture from Lebanon who spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC. In 814 BC, they founded the city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia in north Africa; only to be destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC.
Meanwhile, the Egyptians continued to spread their culture across Northern Africa, and kingdoms were created in Ethiopia and Sudan. The then-growing Roman Empire continued to expand its influence, and in 30 BC Egypt became a province of Rome; Morocco the same in 42 AD.
Before the Middle Ages began, the Roman Empire collapsed and the Arabs quickly took their place on the continent. In 698-700 they invaded Tunis and Carthage and soon controlled all of coastal North Africa. The Arabs were Muslims, and most of North Africa converted to Islam; Ethiopia was the exception.
Soon kingdoms emerged in Africa; they traded with the Arabs using gold plus a valuable commodity – slaves. One of the first kingdoms was Ghana, located in what is now southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. The empire grew rich from the trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt, but then lost its power in the 11th century.
Additional kingdoms developed across the continent, including those in Benin and Mali.Both became rich by trading in gold, horse salt, and of course, slaves. And like most kingdoms before them on any continent, they were invaded and in the end destroyed.
Mogadishu, the now largest city in Somalia, was settled by Arabs who traveled and traded on the east coast of Africa. The Arabs’ reach extended to Zanzibar, which was used as a base for voyages between the Middle East and India.
As other organized kingdoms were formed in central and southern Africa, the Portuguese began to explore the western coast of Africa. By 1445 they reached the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Senegal, and the mouth of the River Congo in 1482. They even sailed around the Cape of Good Hope.
African Colonization and the Slave Trade
The continent-changing 16th Century began with Europeans transporting African slaves to the Americas for profit. A slave purchased on the African coast for the equivalent of 14 English pounds in bartered goods could sell for 45 pounds in the American market.
The best-known method of commerce at the time was called the Triangular Trading System. It involved British and other European countries’ manufactured goods which were shipped to Africa, then slaves from there to the West Indies and then sugar and other products back to Europe.
At the same time, Barbary pirates along the North African coast captured thousands of ships. From the 16th to 19th century, an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people were taken captive as slaves. The pirates’ impact on the continent, however, peaked in the early to mid-17th century.
As tales of African riches spread north, the Europeans founded their first real colonies in the early 16th century, when the Portuguese settled in what is now Angola. Later, the Dutch founded a colony in what is now South Africa.
Strong movements to end slavery began in the late 18th century. France became one of the first countries to abolish slavery in 1794. Britain banned slave trade in 1807, but it was not officially abolished for good until 1848. In some parts of Africa, slave-like practices continue to this day and have proven difficult to eliminate.
Wholesale colonization of Africa by European countries began in 1814 when the Britishsnatched the Dutch Colony of South Africa. Carved up like a large pie, the Brits, Dutch,French,Germans and Portuguese grabbed all of the available pieces.
By the end of the 19th century, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, and from Botswana to Niger,the continent was now all but controlled by European powers. In the early 20th century the land grab continued as the British took control of Egypt.
By 1920, the forced occupation of African lands began to sour in Europe, and change was in the wind. Africans were also driven by their passionate desire for independence and the movement for same became unstoppable. By mid-century most of the continent was independent, with Angola finally free in 1975.