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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007
8:06 am
time travel as dealt with by science-fiction
Types of time travel

Time travel themes in science fiction and the media can generally be grouped into two main types and a third, less common type (based on effect—methods are extremely varied and numerous), each of which is further subdivided. These type classifications do not address the issue of time travel itself, i.e. how to travel through time, but instead call to attention differing rules of the time line.

1. The time line is consistent and can never be changed.
1.1 One does not have full control of the time travel. One example of this is The Morphail Effect. This concept of time can be referred to as circular causation. For exampes of circular causation, see Robert A. Heinlein's story By His Bootstraps.
1.2 The Novikov self-consistency principle applies (named after Dr. Igor Dmitrievich Novikov, Professor of Astrophysics at Copenhagen University). The principle states that if you travel in time, you cannot act in such a way so as to create a paradox.
1.3 Any event that appears to have changed a time line has instead created a new one. It has been suggested that travel to the past would create an entire new parallel universe where the traveler would be free from paradoxes since he/she is not from that universe[citation needed]
1.3.1 Such an event can be the life line existence of a human (or other intelligence) such that manipulation of history ends up with there being more than one of the same individual, sometimes called time clones.
1.3.2 The new time line may be a copy of the old one with changes caused by the time traveler. For example there is the Accumulative Audience Paradox where multitudes of time traveler tourists wish to attend some event in the life of Jesus or some other historical figure, where history tells us there were no such multitudes. Each tourist arrives in a reality that is a copy of the original with the added people, and no way for the tourist to travel back to the original time line.
2. The time line is flexible and is subject to change.
2.1 The time line is extremely change resistant and requires great effort to change it. Small changes will only alter the immediate future and events will conspire to maintain constant events in the far future; only large changes will alter events in the distant future.
2.2 The time line is easily changed (example: Doctor Who, where the time line is fluid and changes often naturally).
3. The time line is consistent, but only insofar as its consistency can be verified.
3.1 The Novikov self-consistency principle applies, but if and only if it is verified to apply. Attempts to travel into the past to change events are possible, but provided that:
-They do not interfere with the occurrence of such an attempt in the present (as would be the case in the Grandfather Paradox), and
-The change is never ultimately verified to occur by the traveller (e.g. there is no possibility of returning to the present to witness the change).

There are also numerous science fiction stories allegedly about time travel that are not internally consistent, where the traveler makes all kinds of changes to some historical time, but we do not get to see any consequences of this in our present day.[citation needed]

[edit] Immutable timelines

Time travel in a type 1 universe does not allow any paradoxes, although in 1.3, events can appear to be paradoxical.

In 1.1, time travel is constrained to prevent paradox. If one attempts to make a paradox, one undergoes involuntary or uncontrolled time travel. Michael Moorcock uses a form of this principle and calls it The Morphail Effect. In the time-travel stories of Connie Willis, time travelers encounter "slippage" which prevents them from either reaching the intended time or translates them a sufficient distance from their destination at the intended time, as to prevent any paradox from occurring.

Example: A man who travels into the past and attempts to kill Hitler finds himself in Montana in 1945.

In 1.2, the Novikov self-consistency principle asserts that the existence of a method of time travel constrains events to remain self-consistent (i.e. no paradoxes). This will cause any attempt to violate such consistency to fail, even if extremely improbable events are required.

Example: You have a device that can send a single bit of information back to itself at a precise moment in time. You receive a bit at 10:00:00 p.m., then no bits for thirty seconds after that. If you send a bit back to 10:00:00 p.m., everything works fine. However, if you try to send a bit to 10:00:15 p.m. (a time at which no bit was received), your transmitter will mysteriously fail. Or your dog will distract you for fifteen seconds. Or your transmitter will appear to work, but as it turns out your receiver failed at exactly 10:00:15 p.m., etc. Two examples of this kind of universe is found in Timemaster, a novel by Dr. Robert Forward, and the 1980 Jeannot Szwarc film Somewhere In Time (based on Richard Matheson's novel Bid Time Return).
An example which could conceivably fall into either 1.1 or 1.2 can be seen in book and film versions of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry went back in time with Hermione to change history. As they do so it becomes apparent that they are simply performing actions that were previously seen in the story, although neither the characters nor the reader were aware of the causes of those actions at the time. This is another example of the predestination paradox. It is arguable, however, that the mechanics of time travel actually prevented any paradoxes, firstly, by preventing them from realizing a priori that time travel was occurring and secondly, by enabling them to recall the precise action to take at the precise time and keep history consistent.

In 1.3, any event that appears to have caused a paradox has instead created a new time line. The old time line remains unchanged, with the time traveller or information sent simply having vanished, never to return. A difficulty with this explanation, however, is that conservation of mass-energy would be violated for the origin timeline and the destination timeline. A possible solution to this is to have the mechanics of time travel require that mass-energy be exchanged in precise balance between past and future at the moment of travel, or to simply expand the scope of the conservation law to encompass all timelines. Some examples of this kind of time travel can be found in David Gerrold's book The Man Who Folded Himself and The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter.

[edit] Mutable timelines

Time travel in a Type 2 universe is much more complex. The biggest problem is how to explain changes in the past. One method of explanation is that once the past changes, so too do the memories of all observers. This would mean that no observer would ever observe the changing of the past (because they will not remember changing the past). This would make it hard to tell whether you are in a Type 1 universe or a Type 2 universe. You could, however, infer such information by knowing if a) communication with the past were possible or b) it appeared that the time line had never been changed as a result of an action someone remembers taking, although evidence exists that other people are changing their time lines fairly often. An example of this kind of universe is presented in Thrice Upon a Time, a novel by James P. Hogan. In film, the Back to the Future trilogy also seems to feature a single mutable timeline.

The science fiction writer Larry Niven suggests in his essay The Theory and Practice of Time Travel that in a type 2.1 universe, the most efficient way for the universe to "correct" a change is for time travel to never be discovered, and that in a type 2.2 universe, the very large (or infinite) number of time travelers from the endless future will cause the timeline to change wildly until it reaches a history in which time travel is never discovered. However, many other "stable" situations may also exist in which time travel occurs but no paradoxes are created; if the changeable-timeline universe finds itself in such a state no further changes will occur, and to the inhabitants of the universe it will appear identical to the type 1.2 scenario.[citation needed] This is sometimes referred to as the "Time Dilution Effect."

Few if any physicists or philosophers have taken seriously the possibility of "changing" the past except in the case of multiple universes, and in fact many have argued that this idea is logically incoherent,[31] so the mutable timeline idea is rarely considered outside of science fiction.

[edit] Gradual and instantaneous

In literature, there are two methods of time travel:

1. The most commonly used method of time travel in science fiction is the instantaneous movement from one point in time to another, like using the controls on a CD player to skip to a previous or next song, though in most cases, there is a machine of some sort, and some energy expended in order to make this happen (Like the DeLorean in Back to the Future or the phonebooth and the circuits of time in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure). In some cases, there is not even the beginning of a scientific explanation for this kind of time travel; it's popular probably because it is more spectacular and makes time travel easier.

Current Mood: amused
8:01 am
time and populice
Overpopulation is the condition of any organism's numbers exceeding the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. In common parlance, the term usually refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth.

Thomas Malthus argued in An Essay on the Principle of Population, first published in 1798, that if left unrestricted, human populations would continue to grow until they would become too large to be supported by the food grown on available agricultural land, by the middle of the 19th century. He proposed that, while resources tend to grow linearly, population grows exponentially. At that point, the population would be restrained through mass famine and starvation. Malthus argued for population control, through "moral restraint", to avoid this happening. As the population of a species exceeds the amount of available resources, it decreases, sometimes sharply, since the lack of resources causes mortality (deaths) to increase. This process keeps the population in check and ensures it doesn't exceed the amount of resources. His specific predictions failed because he used static analysis, projecting numbers into the future in a way which often fails with complex systems like human society.

Over the two hundred years which followed, famine has overtaken numerous individual regions; proponents of this theory state that these famines were examples of Malthusian catastrophes, though they invariably have occurred because of sudden drops in production, not increases in population. On a global scale, however, food production has grown faster than population. It has been argued that changes impacting earth's ability to function as a suitable habitat for human beings, such as global warming, indicate population growth, while temporarily sustainable, may ultimately lead to a decrease in the carrying capacity of the earth. Among the best-known example of such an argument is The Limits to Growth, a report produced for the Club of Rome in the early 1970s, and The Population Bomb, in the same era, whose predictions were based on static analysis. More recent examples also exist [4]. 

The demographic transition

The theory of demographic transition, while unproven to apply to all world regions, holds that within a generation after the standard of living and life expectancy increases, family sizes start dropping. Factors cited in the decline of birth rates include such social factors as later ages of marriage, the growing desire of many women in such settings to seek careers outside of child rearing and domestic work, and the decreased need of children in industrialized settings. The latter factor stems from the fact that children perform a great deal of work in small-scale agricultural societies, and work less in industrial ones; it has been cited to explain the dropoff in birth rates worldwide in all industrializing regions.

Today, about half the world lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility. All the nations of East Asia, with the exceptions of Mongolia, the Philippines, and Laos are below this level. Russia and Eastern Europe are in most cases quite clearly having a birth dearth. Western Europe also is below replacement fertility levels. In the Middle East, Iran, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, and Lebanon are below replacement. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are similar to Western Europe, while the United States is just barely below replacement with about 2.0 births per female. All four of these nations still have growing populations due to high rates of immigration. The countries having the lowest fertility are Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Lithuania.

Another version of demographic transition is that of Virginia Abernethy in Population Politics, in which she claims that the demographic transition is primarily in effect for nations where women enjoy a special status (see Fertility-opportunity theory). In strongly patriarchal nations, where she claims women enjoy few special rights, a high standard of living tends to result in population growth. She argues that foreign aid to poor countries must include significant components designed to improve the education, human rights, political rights, political power, and also to equalize the economic and sexual status and power of women.

Her theory runs counter to some of the available empirical evidence. For example Iran had a Total Fertility Rate of 1.82 children per couple in 2005, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1 to 2.3 children per couple needed to maintain population. Iran is widely perceived as a patriarchal nation, and yet any population growth that occurred there came not from increased birth rates, but from decreased mortality rates, and therefore not from a lack of reproductive rights.

"Demographic entrapment" is a concept developed by Maurice King that has not gained widespread acceptance. King describes a country stuck in an early stage of the demographic transition, with a persistently high birth rate despite economic growth or increased life expectancy. Many sub-Saharan countries are quoted as examples of demographic entrapment, for example Uganda, where the total fertility rate stands at 6.71 children born per woman, even though the economy has shown steady growth since 1990 and life expectancy stands at 53 (figures from the 2006 edition of the CIA world factbook). Other African countries, such as Zimbabwe, have seen their population growth slow down, but not stop, on account of a decrease in life expectancy and an increase in emigration, with the birth rate remaining high: this illustrates the demographic transition in reverse[6].

[edit] Viewpoints on population growth

Many groups (for example, the World Wide Fund for Nature[7]) have argued that the carrying capacity for the human population has been exceeded. The United Nations indicates that about 850 million people are malnourished or starving[2], and 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water[3]. Thus some argue that the Earth may support 6 billion people, but only on the condition that many live in misery. Optimists respond that worldwide poverty is declining. The percentage of the world's population living on less than $1 day per day has halved in twenty years.[8]

Optimists believe that the 2006 population level of over six billion may be supported by current resources, or that the global population may grow to ten billion and still be within the Earth's carrying capacity. In The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjørn Lomborg argues that, because of the falling rate of population growth in most parts of the world and because of new science and technologies, there is little problem with overpopulation. The assumptions that underlie these claims, however, have been roundly criticised[4].

Optimists may also point out that meat production is very energy inefficient, so that food availability would increase if protein sources like soybeans were used in lieu of meat, since humans would then be eating lower on the food chain. However, given that this would require enough people giving up meat for soy and other plant based protein to make an agricultural shift in production meaningful, this argument may be unrealistic. It also assumes that the grain fed to livestock is fit for human consumption. [9].

Optimists claim that there will be no mass starvation due to a shortage of arable land. About 21% of the earth's land is arable. In the past, 160 acres (650,000 m²) of farm land crops fed one person. Hydroponics in autonomous building gardens and greenhouses grow more food in less space, although the requirement for fresh water (itself a scarce resource) limits this technology. Most food production experiments have used vegetable farming because it can support an adult from as little as 15 m² of land.[citation needed] High crop yield vegetables like potatoes and lettuce do not waste space with inedible plant parts, like stalks, husks, vines, and inedible leaves. New varieties of selectively bred and hybrid plants have larger edible parts (fruit, vegetable, grain) and smaller inedible parts. With new technologies, it is now possible to grow crops on some unarable land under certain conditions. Aquaculture could theoretically dramatically increase available area. Hydroponics and food from bacteria and fungi, like Quorn, may allow the growing of food without having to consider land quality, climate, or even available sunlight, although such a process may be very energy-intensive.

Some claim that not all arable land will remain productive if used for agriculture, as they argue that some marginal land can only be made to produce food by unsustainable practices like slash-and-burn agriculture. Even with the modern techniques of agriculture, the sustainability of production is in question. One measure of the world's current overpopulation is established by a non-profit research group, which calculates for each year the date on which the present population has used up the Earth's resources for the present year on a sustainable basis. For the year 2006, that date is October 9 [10]. This analysis implies that the planet Earth is overpopulated by approximately 30 percent as of 2006.

Optimists have also been criticized for failing to account for future shortages in fossil fuels, currently used for fertilizer and transportation for modern agriculture. (See Hubbert peak and Future energy development.) They counter that there will be enough fossil fuels until suitable replacement technologies have been developed, for example hydrogen in a hydrogen economy.[11][12]

There are a variety of viewpoints as to when the Earth's carrying capacity was exceeded. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the date was 1986.[13]

[edit] Population projections

The world's human population has quadrupled in the course of the last hundred years.

The United Nations states that

  • Almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions, where today’s 5.3 billion population of underdeveloped countries is expected to swell to 7.8 billion in 2050. By contrast, the population of the more developed regions will remain mostly unchanged, at 1.2 billion.
  • Worldwide population is currently growing by more than 75 million people per year. Net growth by mid-century is predicted by the United Nations to be 34 million per year in contrast to the roughly 76 million per year that was seen from 2000 to 2005.
  • In 2000-2005, fertility at the world level stood at 2.65 children per woman, about half the level it had in 1950-1955 (5 children per woman). In the medium variant, global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.05 children per woman.
  • During 2005-2050, nine countries are expected to account for half of the world’s projected population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, United States of America, Ethiopia, and China, listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth.
  • Global life expectancy at birth, which is estimated to have risen from 46 years in 1950-1955 to 65 years in 2000-2005, is expected to keep on rising to reach 75 years in 2045-2050. In the more developed regions, the projected increase is from 75 years today to 82 years by mid-century. Among the least developed countries, where life expectancy today is just under 50 years, it is expected to be 66 years in 2045-2050.
  • The population of 51 countries or areas, including Germany, Italy, Japan and most of the successor States of the former Soviet Union, is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005.
  • During 2005-2050, the net number of international migrants to more developed regions is projected to be 98 million. Because deaths are projected to exceed births in the more developed regions by 73 million during 2005-2050, population growth in those regions will largely be due to international migration.
  • In 2000-2005, net migration in 28 countries either prevented population decline or doubled at least the contribution of natural increase (births minus deaths) to population growth. These countries include Austria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.[14]
United Nation's medium variant population projections by location.
United Nation's medium variant population projections by location.

Another United Nations report projects that world population will peak at 9.2 billion around 2075 [15].[16] Birth rates are now falling in most developing countries, while the actual populations in many developed countries would fall without immigration.[17]

The already mentioned David Pimentel claims that population outcomes for the 22nd century range from 2 billion people (characterised as thriving in harmony with the environment), to 12 billion people (characterised as miserable and suffering difficult lives with limited resources and widespread famine). [18]

The book The little green handbook reasons that in 2050 about 7.7 billion people would be expected to suffer from illness, lack of adequate sanitation, hunger, and extreme poverty[5], provided that the high population estimates of year 2050 are realised.

Some countries currently have growth rates of over four percent. By 2050, it is estimated that

  • Pakistan’s population will rise substantially, from 142 million to 318 million [19]
  • India will displace China from first place with a population of about 1,550,000,000 [20]

[edit] Effects of overpopulation

Some problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation:

  • Inadequate fresh water[6] for drinking water use as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge
  • Depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels[7]
  • Increased levels of air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination and noise pollution
  • Deforestation and loss of ecosystems[8] that sustain global atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide balance; about eight million hectares of forest are lost each year[21]
  • Changes in atmospheric composition and consequent global warming[9]
  • Irreversible loss of arable land and increases in desertification[10]
  • Mass species extinctions[11]. from reduced habitat in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that sometimes are practiced by shifting cultivators, especially in countries with rapidly expanding rural populations; present extinction rates may be as high as 140,000 species lost per year[12].
  • High infant and child mortality[13]
  • Increased incidence of hemorrhagic fevers, HIV and other infectious diseases from crowding, disturbance of ecological systems and scarcity of available medical resources
  • Starvation, malnutrition[14] or poor diet with ill health and diet-deficiency diseases (e.g. rickets)
  • Poverty coupled with inflation in some regions and a resulting low level of capital formation
  • Low birth weight due to the inability of mothers to get enough resources to sustain a baby from fertilization to birth
  • Low life expectancy in countries with fastest growing populations[15]
  • Unhygienic living conditions for many based upon water resource depletion, discharge of raw sewage[16] and solid waste disposal
  • High rate of unemployment in urban areas (leading to social problems)
  • Elevated crime rate due to drug cartels and increased theft by people stealing resources to survive[17]
  • Conflict over scarce resources and crowding, leading to increased levels of warfare[18]
  • Over-utilization of infrastructure, such as mass transit, highways, and public health systems
  • Higher land prices

[edit] Extra-terrestrial population projections

Even as far back as 1798, Thomas Malthus stated in An Essay on the Principle of Population:

"The germs of existence contained in this spot of earth, with ample food, and ample room to expand in, would fill millions of worlds in the course of a few thousand years."

Gerard O'Neill has suggested that, by taking the completion of his proposed Island One as year zero, maximum population growth could then result in a population of 7.3 billion within 35 years[19]. Space advocates and others have made various projections regarding future human population growth in outer space. Marshall Savage (1992, 1994) has projected a population of five quintillion throughout the solar system by 3000, with the majority in the asteroid belt[20]. Arthur C. Clarke, a fervent supporter of Savage, now argues that by 2057 there will be humans on the Moon, Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan and in orbit around Venus, Neptune and Pluto[21]. Freeman Dyson (1999) favours the Kuiper belt as the future home of humanity, suggesting this could happen within a few centuries[22]. In Mining the Sky, John S. Lewis suggests that the staggering resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion (10^15) people.

K. Eric Drexler, famous inventor of the futuristic concept of Molecular Nanotechnology, has suggested in Engines of Creation that colonizing space will mean breaking the Malthusian limits to growth forever for the human species.

Many authors (eg. Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke[23], Isaac Asimov[24]) have argued that shipping the excess population into space is no solution to human overpopulation, saying that (Clarke, 1999) "the population battle must be fought or won here on Earth." It is not the lack of resources in space that they see as the problem (as books such as Mining the sky demonstrate[25]); it is the sheer physical impracticality of shipping vast numbers of people into space to "solve" overpopulation on Earth that these authors and others regard as absurd.

[edit] Overpopulation as a theme in fiction

In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote the satirical essay A Modest Proposal where he suggests one solution for both the problem of overpopulation and the growing numbers of undernourished people in Ireland can be solved by the raising of infants as food.

Science fiction writers have frequently made famous predictions in which they portrayed dystopian futures in which the world has become massively overpopulated. This became a major theme in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the first depictions of future megacities was The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (1954). The 1960s saw increasing anxiety about the prospect of the exponential growth of world population, underscored by the publication of Paul R. Ehrlich's non-fiction The Population Bomb, in 1968. The 1969 Star Trek: The Original Series episode entitled The Mark of Gideon dealt with a race of overpopulated aliens who abducted Captain Kirk to solve their population problem.

In the same year, John Brunner's science-fictional Stand on Zanzibar was published. This is perhaps the definitive overpopulation novel to date, though others such as Harry Harrison's Make Room! Make Room! also became a powerful movie (Soylent Green). Logan's Run is a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson (1967), describing a dystopian future society in which the population is kept young by euthanizing everyone who reaches a certain age, thus neatly avoiding the problem of overpopulation. A 1972 film called Z.P.G. featured an overpopulated, very polluted future Earth, whose world government practices Zero Population Growth, executing persons who violate the 30-year ban on procreation.

J. G. Ballard's story Billennium pictures a future in which every individual has four, then just three, square meters of living space. Frederik Pohl in The Space Merchants described a future in which even public staircases are rented out as living spaces. Robert Silverberg's The World Inside imagines a future with mile high towers holding a million people each. James Blish and Norman L. Knight in A Torrent of Faces imagine a nightmarish future of 1,000 billion living in just 100,000 cities on Earth.

From the 1980s, there has been an evident lessening[citation needed] of such fears in science fiction. Cyberpunk fiction, such as that of William Gibson, often depicts huge, sprawling cities. Yet these are as remarkable for their energy and diversity as for their more dystopian characteristics.

One of the reasons for this may be the rise of environmental fiction with The End of Nature (1990) by Bill McKibben, the environmental trilogy Ishmael (1992), The Story of B (1996), and My Ishmael (1997) by Daniel Quinn. With the host of environmental problems caused by overpopulation, almost by definition, talking about one is talking about the other.

Current Mood: grim
7:22 am
area of Strays established 1832
April 6 - The Black Hawk War begins

The Black Hawk War was fought in 1832 in the Midwestern United States. The war was named for Black Hawk, the leader of a band of Sauk and Fox Indians, who fought against the United States Army and militia from Illinois and the Michigan Territory (present-day Wisconsin) for possession of lands in the area.

July 10 - President Andrew Jackson vetoes a bill that would re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.

The Second Bank of the United States helped create a robust economy with strong interregional connections and provided a convenient way for the government to handle its affairs. Enemies of all banks and modernization generally, combined with some jealous bankers, urged Andrew Jackson to destroy it as a monstrous threat to American liberties. The head of the Second Bank was Nicholas Biddle. The bank was created after James Madison and Albert Gallatin found the government unable to finance the War of 1812 after the closing of the First Bank of the United States in 1811.

After the war an economic boom created a need for a strong bank. American agricultural products were in demand in Europe, due to the devastation of the Napoleonic Wars. The Bank aided this boom through its uncontrolled lending. At the time, land sales for speculation were being encouraged. This lending allowed almost anyone to borrow money and speculate in land, sometimes doubling or even tripling the prices of land. The land sales for 1819, alone, totaled some 55 million acres (220,000 km²). With such a boom, hardly anyone noticed the widespread fraud occurring at the Bank.

July 24 - Benjamin Bonneville leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming's South Pass.

Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville (April 14, 1796 – June 12, 1878) was a French-born officer in the United States Army, fur trapper, and explorer in the American West. He is noted for his expeditions to the Oregon Country and the Great Basin, and in particular for blazing portions of the Oregon Trail.

The expedition that would become the most famous accomplishment of his life began in May 1832, when he left Missouri with 110 men, including Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth. The voyage was financed by John Jacob Astor, a rival of the Hudson's Bay Company. The expedition proceeded up to the Platte River and across present-day Wyoming. They reached the Green River in August and built a winter fort, which they named Fort Bonneville.

In the spring of 1833 he explored along the Snake River in present-day Idaho. He also sent a party of men under Joseph Walker to explore the Great Salt Lake and to find an overland route to California. Walker discovered a route along the Humboldt River across present-day Nevada, as well as Walker Pass across the Sierra Nevada, a path that later became known as the California Trail, the primary route for the emigrants to the gold fields during the California Gold Rush. Much speculation has surrounded Bonneville's motivations for sending Walker to California. In particular some historians have speculated that Bonneville was attempting to lay the groundwork for an eventual invasion of California, then part of Mexico, by the United States Army.

John McLoughlin, the director of the Columbia operations of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, heard of Bonneville's mission and forbade his traders from doing business with Bonneville and his men. Bonneville reported that many of the Native Americans he encountered in the Snake River were also reluctant to displease the Hudson's Bay Company by trading with the Americans.

In the summer of 1833 Bonneville ventured into the Wind River Range in present-day Wyoming to trade with the Shoshone. By this time he realized that he would not be able to fulfill his obligation to return east by October. He wrote a lengthy letter to Macomb summarizing some of his findings and requesting more time, specifically in order to survey the Columbia and parts of the Southwest before his return.

He was made famous during his lifetime by an account of his explorations in the west, written by Washington Irving.

July-August - Cholera epidemic in New York City

Cholera is a water-borne disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is typically ingested by drinking contaminated water, or by eating improperly cooked fish, especially shellfish. This phenomenon was first described in a scientific manner by the Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta in Colóquios dos Simples e Drogas da India (1563). Europe witnessed several epidemics in the 19th century, but since then the disease is mostly seen in developing countries, due to poor water infrastructure.

Recent epidemiologic research suggests that a person's susceptibility to cholera (and other diarrheas[citation needed]) is affected by their blood type. Those with type O blood are the most susceptible [1]. Those with type AB are the most resistant, virtually immune[citation needed]. Between these two extremes are the A and B blood types, with type A being more resistant than type B [citation needed].

About one million V. cholerae bacteria must be ingested to cause cholera in normally healthy adults, although increased susceptibility may be observed in those with a weakened immune system, individuals with decreased gastric acidity (as from the use of antacids), or those who are malnourished.

Symptoms include those of general GI tract upset, including profuse diarrhea. Symptoms are caused by the enterotoxins that V. cholerae produces. The main enterotoxin, known as cholera toxin, interacts with G proteins and cyclic AMP in the intestinal lining to open ion channels. As ions flow into the intestinal lumen, water follows due to osmosis.

Although cholera can be life-threatening, it is easily prevented. In the United States and Western Europe, because of advanced water and sanitation systems, cholera is not a major threat. The last major outbreak of cholera in the United States was in 1911. However, everyone, especially travellers, should be aware of how the disease is transmitted and what can be done to prevent it.

Simple sanitation is usually sufficient to stop an epidemic. There are several points along the transmission path at which the spread may be halted:

Sickbed: Proper disposal and treatment of waste produced by cholera victims.
Sewage: Treatment of general sewage before it enters the waterways.
Sources: Warnings about cholera contamination posted around contaminated water sources.
Sterilization: Boiling, filtering, and chlorination of water before use.
Filtration and boiling is by far the most effective means of halting transmission. Cloth filters, though very basic, have greatly reduced the occurrence of cholera when used in poor villages in Bangladesh that rely on untreated surface water.

In general, education and sanitation are the limiting factors in prevention of cholera epidemics.

[edit] Treatment

Nurses encouraging this patient to drink an Oral Rehydration Solution to improve dehydration he acquired from cholera.
Courtesy:Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTreatment typically consists of aggressive rehydration and replacement of electrolytes, since the death rate is generally high due to the serious dehydration caused by the illness.

Tetracycline antibiotics may have a role in reducing the duration and severity of cholera, although drug-resistance is occurring,[4] and their effects on overall mortality is questioned.[5] Other antibiotics that have been used include ciprofloxacin and azithromycin.[6]

October 8 - Washington Irving and Henry Leavitt Ellsworth arrive at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory (later Fort Gibson, Oklahoma) in the late morning hours. They left the fort on October 10, with a small company of Rangers who escorted them to the camp of Captain Jesse Bean who was waiting for them near the Arkansas River. Thus began one of the first steps in the United States effort to remove the Indians from their homes on the east coast in what would become known as the "Trail of Tears" some six years later.

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783–November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. He is perhaps best known for his short stories, his most famous being “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip van Winkle” (both appearing in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon), but he was a prolific writer of essays, biographies, and other forms as well. He and James Fenimore Cooper were the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving is said to have mentored authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was born in Manhattan. A lawyer, he was a member of the American diplomatic staff in Britain and in Spain. He spoke fluent Spanish, which served him well in his writings on that country, and he could read several other languages, including German and Dutch. He was a prolific essayist who wrote widely respected biographies of George Washington, Muhammad, and others, and he wrote a number of books on 15th century Spain dealing with subjects such as Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. While in Europe as a young man, Irving dabbled in the theatre and even served as manager of the famed Globe for a period of time.

Irving traveled on the Western frontier in the 1830s and recorded his glimpses of western tribes in A Tour on the Prairies (1835). He was noted for speaking against the mishandling of relations with the Native American tribes by Europeans and Americans:

It has been the lot of the unfortunate aborigines of America, in the early periods of colonization, to be doubly wronged by the white men. They have been dispossessed of their hereditary possessions by mercenary and frequently wanton warfare, and their characters have been traduced by bigoted and interested writers.
Irving is also the author of The Adventures of Captain Bonneville and Astoria and used firsthand accounts of these American west journeys, although most readers continue to believe they are "embellished" history.

In the 1840s, he returned to Europe as the American ambassador to Spain.

Irving’s famous home Sunnyside in Tarrytown, New York.He lived in his famous home of Sunnyside, which is still standing just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown, New York. The original house and the surrounding property were once owned by 18th-century colonialist Wolfert Acker, about whom Irving wrote his sketch “Wolfert’s Roost” (the name of the house).

Irving’s name appears across the country. The village of Irvington, New York, and the town of Irvington, New Jersey, were named after the author, and also, it is believed, the city of Irving, Texas. Both Washington Street and Irving Street in Birmingham, Alabama, also bear the author’s name. His book Bracebridge Hall was the inspiration for the naming of the town of Bracebridge, Ontario. In addition, a library in Los Angeles, California, is named in his honor. Irving Avenue in Port Chester, N.Y., is named after him, as is a condominium townhouse community along this road called Washington Mews, which was built during the 1980s.

In Spain, the room at which he stayed in the Alhambra is labelled and referred to as his room and there is a hotel named for him just outside the Alhambra.

The Trail of Tears refers to the forced relocation in 1838 of the Cherokee Native American tribe to the Western United States, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—"the Trail Where We Cried." The Cherokees were not the only Native Americans forced to emigrate during this; the phrase "Trail of Tears" is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other Indian peoples, especially among the "Five Civilized Tribes," which consisted of The Seminole, Creek, Chickisaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee Indians. The phrase may have originated as a description of the earlier emigration of the Choctaw nation.

The Cherokee Trail of Tears resulted from the enforcement of the Treaty of New Echota, an agreement signed under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the east for lands west of the Mississippi River. In December 1835, the U.S. sought out a minority to effect a treaty at New Echota, Georgia. Only 300 to 500 Cherokees were there; none were elected officials of the Cherokee Nation. Twenty unelected Cherokee men signed the treaty, ceding all Cherokee territory east of the Mississippi to the U.S., in exchange for $5 million and new homelands in Indian Territory.

More than 15,000 Cherokees protested the treaty. Yet, on May 23, 1836, the Treaty of New Echota was ratified by the U.S. Senate--by just one vote.

The treaty was enforced by President Andrew Jackson, who sent federal troops to round up about 17,000 Cherokees in camps before being sent to the West. Most of the deaths occurred from disease in these camps. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military played a limited role in the journey itself, with the Cherokee Nation taking over supervision of most of the emigration.

The rapidly expanding population of the United States early in the 19th century created tensions with American Indian tribes located within the borders of the various states. While state governments did not want independent Indian enclaves within state boundaries, Indian tribes did not want to relocate or to give up their distinct identities.

With the Deed of Articles and Mutual Cession, the state of Georgia relinquished to the national government its western land claims (which became the states of Alabama and Mississippi). In exchange, the national government promised to eventually conduct treaties to relocate those Indian tribes living within Georgia, thus giving Georgia control of all land within its borders.

However, the Cherokees, whose ancestral tribal lands overlapped the boundaries of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama, declined to move. They established a capital in 1825 at New Echota (near present-day Calhoun, Georgia). Furthermore, led by principal Chief John Ross and Major Ridge, the speaker of the Cherokee National Council, the Cherokees adopted a written constitution on 26 July 1827, declaring the Cherokee Nation to be a sovereign and independent nation.

November - Andrew Jackson defeats Henry Clay in the U.S. presidential election

December - Skull and Bones secret society of Yale University established.

The group was founded in 1832 by Phi Beta Kappa pledges William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft. [1] The first Skull and Bones class, or "cohort," was the very next year, 1832-33. The society was all male until 1992.

Traditionally, the Yale Daily News published the names of newly "tapped" members of all major secret societies at Yale, but this practice was abandoned during the student rebellion of the sixties. It has since been reinstated informally by the campus tabloid The Rumpus. Hence, although the society's current membership rosters and activities are not officially disclosed, the membership is in fact a matter of knowledge among the incoming and outgoing Yale senior class, university administration, active alumni from other societies, and underclassmen. This may be said of the other societies, as well, particularly Scroll and Key and Wolf's Head.

The society inducts only rising seniors during the late junior year prior to their graduation.

By reputation, "Boners" tapped the current football and heavyweight rowing captains as well as notables from the Yale Daily News and Yale Lit before the 1970s. However, the group's decision, after much dispute, to admit women eventually diversified the membership. Numerous undergraduate constituencies are better represented among the recently-tapped membership compared to the cohorts, or delegations, that included the 27th, 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States.

The Skull and Bones tomb.- Beginning in 1833, one of the responsibilities of the cohort of fifteen seniors is to select fifteen new junior members to replace them, which is called being "tapped" for the society. Tapped members meet in the Bones "Tomb" on certain evenings of each week for the duration of their senior year. - - According to "dissident" Bones members interviewed by Alexandra Robbins for her book Secrets of The Tomb [p. 5], members dine off a set of Adolf Hitler's silverware while in the tomb, consuming expensive gourmet meals with each other over the span of the year. Members are given new code names. The members call themselves "Knights," and simultaneously call everyone else in the world at large "barbarians." Another dissociation is that clocks in the Bones "tomb" run intentionally five minutes ahead of the rest of the world, to give the members an ongoing sense that the Bonesmen's space is a totally separate world — and a world just a bit ahead of the curve of the rest of the "barbarians" outside. [2]

[edit] Bonesmen
Main article: List of Skull and Bones members

Skull and Bones 1947, with George H.W. Bush just left of clockMany people believe that the membership of Skull and Bones had been totally secret. However the membership for each year is held in the Yale University archives. The membership rosters cover the years 1833-1985, with some additional years. The top repetitive families in Skull and Bones are also known because in 1985 an anonymous source leaked rosters to a private researcher, Antony C. Sutton who wrote a book on the group titled America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones. This leaked 1985 data was kept privately for over 15 years, as Sutton feared that the photocopied pages could somehow identify the member who leaked it. The information was finally reformatted as an appendix in the book Fleshing out Skull and Bones, a compilation edited by Kris Millegan, published in 2003.

Many influential figures have been in Bones, and influential families have often had multiple members over successive generations. Bonesmen range from U.S. Presidents such as George H. W. Bush, and William Howard Taft along with Supreme Court Justices, and U.S. business leaders.

Both 2004 Presidential Nominees, Democratic Massachusetts Sentator John Kerry and Republican President George W. Bush, were members of Skull and Bones. They refused to talk about their common membership in Skull and Bones when interviewed on Meet the Press. [3]

Bush: "It's so secret, we can't talk about it."
Tim Russert: "What does that mean for America?"
Bush refused to answer that question. In another interview, when Kerry was in turn asked what could he reveal about Skull and Bones, Kerry said: "Well not much, because it's a secret... Sorry, I wish there was something I could manifest".

[edit] Numerical symbolism "322"
Skull and Bones pay obeisance to Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence, who took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes, in 322 B.C., [4]and who is said to have returned in a kind of Second Coming on the occasion of the society's inception. Today the numerical symbolism number 322, recalling the date of Demosthenes' and Aristotles' (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) death, appears on society stationery. The number has such mystical overtones that in 1967 a graduate student with no ties to Skull and Bones donated $322,000 to the society.

The number 322 has also been a particular favorite of conspiracy-minded hunters for evidence of Skull and Bones's global connections. It was the combination to Averell Harriman's briefcase when he carried classified dispatches between London and Moscow during World War II. Antony C. Sutton claims that 322 doubles as a reminder of the society's mother organization in Germany; the American group, founded in 1832, is the second chapter -- thus 32-2. [citation needed]

Victor Ashe (1967), Tenn. State House (1968-1975); Tenn. State Senate (1976-1984); Mayor of Knoxville, Tenn. (1988-2003); appointed Ambassador to Poland (2004-Present) by George W. Bush
Roy Leslie Austin (1968), Appointed ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago by George W. Bush
Howard M. Baldridge (1918) - U.S. Representative (R-Nebraska 1931-1933)
Simeon Eben Baldwin (1861), Governor and Chief Justice, State of Connecticut; son of Roger Sherman Baldwin
Jonathan Brewster Bingham (1936), U.S. Representative (D-New York 1965-1983); Council on Foreign Relations
William Bissell, Governor of Illinois (1857-1860); brother of Richard M. Bissell, Jr.)
David Boren (1963), Governor of Oklahoma, U.S. Senator, President of the University of Oklahoma
Augustus Brandegee (1849), Speaker of the Connecticut State Legislature in 1861
Frank Bosworth Brandegee (1885), U.S. Representative (R-Connecticut 1902-1905); U.S. Senator (R-Connecticut 1905-1924)
James L. Buckley (1944), U.S. Senator (R-New York 1971-1977)
McGeorge Bundy (1940), Special Assistant for National Security Affairs; National Security Advisor; Professor of History
William P. Bundy (1939), State Department liaison for the Bay of Pigs invasion
George H. W. Bush (1948), 41st President of the United States; 43rd Vice-President of the United States; son of Prescott Bush; father of George W. Bush
George W. Bush (1968), 43rd President of the United States; Governor of Texas
Prescott Bush (1916), Father of George H.W. Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush
John Chafee (1947), U.S. Senator; Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Rhode Island; father of Lincoln Chafee
John Sherman Cooper (1923), U.S. Senator (R-Kentucky 1946-1949, 1952-73); member of the Warren Commission
Hugh Cunningham (1934), Rhodes Scholar; CIA
F. Trubee Davison (1918), Director of Personnel at the CIA
Endicott Peabody Davison (1948), George H.W. Bush lawyer
Chauncey Depew (1855), U.S. Senator (R-New York 1899-1911)
Richard Dale Drain (1943), CIA; co-authored early paper proposing the Bay of Pigs invasion, "A Program of Covert Action against the Castro Regime"
William Henry Draper III (1950), Chair of United Nations Development Programme and Import-Export Bank of the United States
William Maxwell Evarts (1837), U.S. Secretary of State; Attorney General; Senator; grandson of Roger Sherman
Evan G. Galbraith (1950), Ambassador to France; managing director of Morgan Stanley
William Henry Gleason (1853), Lt. Governor of Florida; founder of Eau Gallie, Florida; lawyer and land speculator
Averell Harriman (1913), U.S. Ambassador and Secretary of Commerce; Governor of New York; Chairman and CEO of the Union Pacific Railroad, Brown Brothers & Harriman, and the Southern Pacific Railroad; wife Pamela Churchill Harriman helped fund Bill Clinton's presidential campaign
H. J. Heinz II (1931), Heir to H. J. Heinz Company; father of H. John Heinz III
William Jorden (1925), U.S. Ambassador to Panama; National Security Council
John Kerry (1966), U.S. Senator (D-Massachusetts 1985-present); Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts 1983-1985; 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee
Charles Edwin Lord (1949), U.S. Comptroller of the Currency
Winston Lord (1959), Chairman of Council on Foreign Relations; Ambassador to China; Assistant U.S. Secretary of State
Robert A. Lovett (1918), Partner of Prescott Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman; Secretary of Defense; "Father of the CIA"
Robert McCallum, Jr (1968), Ambassador to Australia
Lee McClung (1892), Yale Treasurer 1904-1909; U.S. Treasurer 1909-1912
Gifford Pinchot (1889), First Chief of U.S. Forest Service
Dino Pionzio (1950), CIA Deputy Chief of Station during Allende overthrow
Potter Stewart (1936), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
William Howard Taft (1878), 27th President of the United States; Chief Justice of the United States; Secretary of War; son of Alphonso Taft
Robert A. Taft (1910), U.S. Senator (R-Ohio 1939-1953)
Morrison R. Waite (1837), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Howard Weaver (1945), CIA
Edward Baldwin Whitney (1878), New York Supreme Court Justice
William Collins Whitney (1863), U.S. Secretary of the Navy; New York City financier

December 28 - John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.

John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was a prominent United States Southern politician and political philosopher from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century.

Calhoun began his career as a staunch nationalist, favoring war with Britain in 1812 and a vast program of internal improvements afterwards. He reversed course in the 1820s to attack nationalism in favor of States Rights of the sort Thomas Jefferson had propounded in 1798. Although he died a decade before the American Civil War broke out, Calhoun was a major inspiration to the secessionists who created the short-lived Confederate States of America. Nicknamed the "cast-steel man" for his staunch determination to defend the causes in which he believed, Calhoun pushed the theory of nullification, a states' rights theory under which states could declare null and void any federal law they deemed to be unconstitutional. He was an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, which he defended as a "positive good" rather than as a necessary evil. His rhetorical defense of slavery was partially responsible for escalating Southern threats of secession in the face of mounting abolitionist sentiment in the North.

Calhoun spent his entire career working for the national government in a variety of high offices. He served as the seventh Vice President of the United States, first under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and then under Andrew Jackson (1829-1832), but resigned the Vice Presidency to enter the United States Senate, where he had more power. He served in the United States House of Representatives (1810-1817) and was Secretary of War (1817-1824) under Monroe and Secretary of State (1844-1845) under Tyler.

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