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Old 02-28-2011, 06:36 PM   #76
DiscoLad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drifter
I think I remember reading it long ago...Hell, I should Google and see if I'm right.

Drifter!! You're screwin' up the boards with false information!!
Ha.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:40 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by DiscoLad
Drifter!! You're screwin' up the boards with false information!!
Ha.

Samuel Clemens might as well have said it (if I was wrong). The man was full of great quips.
But, to be back on topic. I also wanna know why China discovering the Americas would be a bad thing. And, no; I'm not trying to put you through the ringer, Disco. I'm just curious.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:41 PM   #78
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When in doubt, ascribe any witty aphorism to either Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin. While you may not be correct, at least you'll be in good company.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:02 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Indy's brother
Well, since this thread shows no signs of dying, I'll stoke the fire a bit and give DiscoLad a potential foothold (along with using his actual screen-name). This review of the book pretty much makes the author's theories sound less valid than Erich von Däniken's evidence of ancient aliens.

MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Here's a taste:

Even the New York Times Magazine quote on the front cover sounds dubious:

Quote:
"[Menzies] make history sound like pure fun...This high-spiritedness, which infuses every page of 1421, makes his book a seductive read."

The editor of the Asian Review of Books doesn't hold back.

Quote:
As a work of historical fiction, 1421: THE YEAR CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD would have been thought-provoking and a good yarn: intrepid Chinese admirals sailing the seven seas, meeting exotic alien peoples, boldly going where no civilized man had gone before in a sort of a 15th century Star Trek.

But, unfortunately, the book is presented as a collection of statements of fact.

In short, Menzies seems to have considerable difficulty with what one would consider normal historical and archaeological investigation and evaluation. He seems to take every inscription and written report at face value, without regard for possible hyperbole, politics, propaganda, superstition or ignorance.

That last part also applies to message boards like this.

On the up-side of pre-Columbiana discovery:

Quote:
He seems to have largely missed the point. There is considerable evidence of both trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic pre-Columbian contact in the Americas. However, while these incidences are fascinating, the historical question is, regardless of who got to point X first, what happened next? Now of course, it was not Columbus's voyage that started the development we now call the Age of Exploration which in turn lead to an era of global expansion and trade that ultimately ushered in the modern age. But his landfall in the New World in 1492 (even if, contrary to Menzies's assertions, he didn't know where he was) is a convenient and not entirely inaccurate place to put the main historical milestone.

But,

Quote:
If Zheng He and Co. really did visit the Americas and Australia, it was a historical dead-end. Perhaps as a result, Menzies also seems to want to demonstrate that the only reason the latter-day Western explorers set out on their voyages was that they already had accurate charts based on the Chinese "discoveries" and so already knew where they were going, and that therefore the explorers were not as "great" as we thought they are, that they did not just set sail into the unknown. But we knew that already, too.

http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/ar...hp?article=201
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:32 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by DiscoLad
I was watching this thing on history channel this morning at breakfast and it was on how the Chinese discovered America before anyone else. I was tuning in and out but they said they found some metal in South Carolina...

I was going to write something else, but this comment re-caught my attention.

The Junk of yore lacked a keel and relied on a huge balanced rudder and daggerboard for both steering and lateral resistance. If it were to strike ground/rock/reef or be snapped off in heavy seas, the entire vessel would be lost; one strong wave to either port or starboard would sink the ship. Since this rudder was so immense, it extended well below the vessel and would be more susceptible to wave action.

On a related note, the Imperial Chinese Navy used square sails that are great for running with the wind, but make tacking extremely difficult to say the least. More so considering that the treasure ships were supposed to be around 438 feet long and 138 feet at the widest beam.

Why is this important? Two things -- the Cape Horn & the Cape of Good Hope. Neither is fun to sail around, and I doubt a junk without a keel would have a snowball's chance in hell of making it around either. And coming around the Cape of Good Hope, the Chinese would have been sailing directly into gale force winds (since they blow in a counter-clockwise direction).

The winds off Cape Horn can blow Eastward practically unimpeded by land, and give rise to the "roaring forties," "furious fifties," and "shrieking sixties." To round the cape, you'll have to dip to about 56° south. The extreme wind, waves, and ice around there make it highly unlikely that that any ship would without a keel or lug sails would survive.

Junks are great for river and littoral sailing, but anything that wants to attempt blue water needs a keel and lug/lanteen sails.

Oh, and metal can be moved by currents. It doesn't require human manipulation.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:15 PM   #81
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Richard Halliburton, the 1920's and 1930's adventure travel writer,
disappeared in 1939 while trying to sail a Chinese junk across the
Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #82
Montana Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
Richard Halliburton, the 1920's and 1930's adventure travel writer,
disappeared in 1939 while trying to sail a Chinese junk across the
Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to San Francisco.


I blame marauding Chinese pirates who were prevalent at that time.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:53 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drifter
Samuel Clemens might as well have said it (if I was wrong). The man was full of great quips.
But, to be back on topic. I also wanna know why China discovering the Americas would be a bad thing. And, no; I'm not trying to put you through the ringer, Disco. I'm just curious.
Perhaps ironically, you have just opened your mouth and removed all doubt.

The quote that I'm familiar with is "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt," and it's usually attributed to Abraham Lincoln, though because I haven't found any references to the original (a letter, a note, or something) I don't know that he's actually the source.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:09 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by WillKill4Food
Perhaps ironically, you have just opened your mouth and removed all doubt.

The quote that I'm familiar with is "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt," and it's usually attributed to Abraham Lincoln, though because I haven't found any references to the original (a letter, a note, or something) I don't know that he's actually the source.

Sounds like a bit of Shakespeare's wisdom. Something Hamlet would have said while feigning madness.

And for some more of Shakespeare on this subject:

"The dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits." (As You Like It)
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:32 PM   #85
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Im pretty sure that Native Americans discoverd America first... after all they do have "Reservations"
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by JRJENNINGS86
Im pretty sure that Native Americans discoverd America first... after all they do have "Reservations"

Then the Europeans came along and told them all the tables had really been pre-booked for their coach party.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:45 PM   #87
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If the Chinese discovered America first, who discovered China first (don't say Americans)? That's what I'd like to know! (just to throw a spanner in the works )
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:34 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Mickiana
If the Chinese discovered America first, who discovered China first (don't say Americans)? That's what I'd like to know! (just to throw a spanner in the works )

To hit them with a really big spanner, it was the Tibetans!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:18 AM   #89
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Ouch! They should have left well enough alone! Expansionist revisionist communism would have been hard to foresee I suppose.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:15 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Mickiana
If the Chinese discovered America first, who discovered China first (don't say Americans)? That's what I'd like to know! (just to throw a spanner in the works )

Perhaps, if the Chinese discovered America first then it must be a dark twist of fate that the United States is basically owned by China at the moment and we're in a mighty fine quill pen of red ink.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:08 PM   #91
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....Oh.... This thread
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #92
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This is a reply to the thread.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #93
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What if the Chinese discover this thread? Maybe they could answer the question for us...

The thread topic reminds me, in an oblique way, of the poster for Easy Rider: "A man went looking for America and couldn't find it anywhere."
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Then the Europeans came along and told them all the tables had really been pre-booked for their coach party.

heh heh i like it
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:29 PM   #95
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People interested in who might have discovered America before Columbus might like to read "Secret Voyages To The New World" by Gunnar Thompson (Misty Isles Press 2006).
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
Richard Halliburton, the 1920's and 1930's adventure travel writer,
disappeared in 1939 while trying to sail a Chinese junk across the
Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

To be fair Haliburton was sailing a small Chinese junk by himself not the massive seven masted monstrosities that Menzies claims the Chinese were using in "1421".
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #97
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Richard Halliburton was not alone on his Chinese Junk,
he had a crew of several men with him.

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:14 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamBoyd8
Richard Halliburton was not alone on his Chinese Junk,
he had a crew of several men with him.

Sorry, I thought that he was alone. That makes the trip sound a little less crazy I guess.
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