Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Time of Troubles, The Black Hole of Calcutta, The Tall Black Russian and Summer begins

The Time of Troubles refers to an especially dark time in Russian history (1598-1513). It comprised the time of the famine (1601-1613) that killed two million people (roughly one third of the population), the death of several tsars and the ensuing power struggles and social unrest.

On this day in 1605, after serving only three months as tsar following the sudden death of his father, the then 16-year-old Feodor II of Russia is assassinated.

Groomed to take the throne from an early age, Feodor II received the finest education available and was initiated into all aspects of government, even sitting in regularly to council meetings. Possessing remarkable intelligence, Feodor II created a very accurate map of Russia, which is still preserved.


The Historical Inebriant: Tall Black Russian          


1 ½ oz Vodka
¾ oz Kahlua

To a tall glass with ice, add Vodka and Kahlua and stir. Top with Cola.


On this day in 1756, A British garrison is imprisoned in a small dungeon located at Fort William in Calcutta, India. It would later be known as the Black Hole of Calcutta.

The British East India Company built Fort William to protect their business interests in the city of Calcutta.
However, in 1756, with the possibility of a conflict with with nearby French forces, the British built up the Fort Williams troop strength and defenses. Siraj ud-Daulah who ruled the sovereign province of Bengal, perceived the military buildup at the fort a threat to the independence of Bengal and ordered an immediate stop to the Fort's enhancement. The East India Company paid no heed and Siraj had his army surround and laid siege to the fort. 

The story goes that many of the soldiers at the fort managed to escape before the fort was overrun but after the fort was taken, 146 prisoners were held overnight in the small cramped dungeon (less than 20 sq ft), with limited air, no room to move and no water.  When released the next day, only 23 remained alive.  

The Black Hole of Calcutta


Welcome to the first day of summer!


As a side note, and I just found out about this, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, today was world orgasm day, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere it's December 21st.

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