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Gnarly Mummy Head!

Gnarly mummy head! It isn’t even my title – it’s Discovery’s title: Gnarly Mummy Head Reveals Medieval Science.

Neat story. This is the oldest surviving European anatomical dissection. It’s a proper, prepared anatomical specimen, too — the anatomist ran wax into the arteries for preservation and everything. Carbon dating puts its origins round about 1200 AD.

Yup, during the Middle Ages. When things like autopsies were supposedly verboten.

I’ve read for some time that the Dark Ages were unfairly tagged with that moniker. I mean, that’s been a trend in history books for my whole lifetime: rehabilitating that long stretch between the Romans and the Renaissance.

Until I read the article, though, I didn’t put that together in my head with Protestantism. That newly minted Protestants talked a lot of crap about the state of science before their time, as a sort kind of anti-Church thing. “Oh, boohoo — the Pope didn’t let us cut up dead people!” Which was not, apparently, true.

Worth a read, anyway.

Oh, speaking of dead people! I’m delighted to acknowledge that Hugo Chavez is officially dead. I’m even more delighted to point out that his official date of death is today, Tuesday, March 5. Which means he falls between Dead Pools and I don’t owe dick.

Sorry, Hutch. I suspect you wuz robbed.


Comment from Hutch
Time: March 5, 2013, 11:45 pm

The story of my life…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2013, 11:46 pm

Tell you what. Shoot me your address, and I’ll send you a little drawing of a weasel. Or a chicken. Or a dead guy or something.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:14 am

I’m still worried about the horsemeat. It was all fun and games when IKEA was forced to admit Swedish meatballs were really horse. Who eats at IKEA, anyway? But then Taco Bell? omg. Thats hitting close to home.

Since this whole thing originated in UK land — what is the latest news? Has the outbreak of horse been stopped?

Once the Taco Bell news leaked, there has been a blackout of news over here. Getting tired of cheese Y bean burritos, but scared of getting horse if I go back to the “combo” that is soooo good,

Comment from Redd
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:18 am

Whether you were sold into slavery by the Romans or sold into slavery by the Barbarians, it makes little difference. After the Romans cleared out, I think the only lost was some construction skills.

Anyway, they did an autopsy on Catherine of Aragon.

Comment from steve
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:37 am

@ Hutch:

Take it from one who has many, many dicks…

The bits of weaselart ™ are much more memorable than the spotted dick, itself….

Comment from Deborah
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:38 am

My mother was terribly surprised when she moved from San Francisco to west Texas (c.1950) and discovered that she couldn’t buy horse meat from the butcher. Her family bought fresh horse meat every week to cook up for the dogs. The idea of buying already prepared dog food was unknown to her. And it took a long time for the butcher to be cordial to her, too.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:44 am

I went to read the article…

“became the basis of Islamic and European medicine for centuries.”

What the fuck is that? Now we have to include pisslam in every article ever written? No where in that article is pisslam mentioned except that first paragraph!!!

Comment from JeffS
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:56 am

Hutch, you might petition the government of Venezuela for your prize. There are certainly a lot of dicks in the government there.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: March 6, 2013, 1:03 am

I read somewhere (on the internet, it must be true!) that based on the amount and variety of artifacts left behind some researchers believe that when the Roman Empire fell the standard of living in Europe fell to what it was approximately 800 years before. I can believe it. After all, the Roman Empire was a set of political, cultural, economic, and transportation networks that linked southern England with Egypt. When provinces lost legions they also lost access to the rest of the empire and their products.

Not that it was all bad. Freed from the tyranny of Greek philosophy clever people were able to figure out ways to do useful things, which when combined with Greek philosophy in the Renaissance eventually led to Science!.

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: March 6, 2013, 1:57 am

Since she is going to send you a drawing of a weasel, she can’t be accused of trying to weasel out of giving you something!

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: March 6, 2013, 2:27 am

Tell you what. Shoot me your address, and I’ll send you a little drawing of a weasel. Or a chicken. Or a dead guy or something.

Is it too late to invent a time machine, pick Hugon Chives in the dead poo, secretly murder him, & claim a chicken/weasel drawing?

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: March 6, 2013, 3:04 am

What’s wrong with eating horses? Better than dog any day (as long as the horse is my brother’s bone headed gelding and the dog is mine….)

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 6, 2013, 3:23 am

I suppose horse is OK, its just that I want to know whats in the food. Thats why IKEA was funny (to me). Anybody who goes to IKEA to get food kind of deserves to get some horse in their meatball. Its like people getting “free” government cheese – they deserve the melamine thats used as filler. Or the ObamaBots discovering their paychecks got smaller cause Teh One raised their rate along with the “wealthy”.

Its all a hoot when the gullible and/or liberal gets shafted.

But, its not so funny when Taco Bell lies about its food. We need our standards of the past if civilization is to survive!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: March 6, 2013, 3:28 am

Hugo assumed room temperature (officially, at least) 60 years to the day since even more disgusting Commie filthbag Joseph Stalin.

I’m off to the UK in a bit. I think I’ll tell my great niece that I bought her a pony and then hand her a Tesco frozen lasagne. Should be good for a giggle.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 6, 2013, 3:29 am

But isn’t it weird how Romans turned into Italians? Those People logon to Ancestry.com and trace their lineage back to Caesar and Pompey and Spartacus and Ben Hur — but they aren’t like those guys. At all. What happened?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: March 6, 2013, 3:37 am

…and I don’t owe dick.

That was … deft, Weas’! Excellent double-use.

Made me smile!

Comment from mojo
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:10 am

Let the Games begin.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:14 am

Wow. Not much of a mystery on cause of death for THAT guy, eh?

Comment from Chuck S
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:26 am

Regarding Hero-of-the-downtrodden Chavez, will you retroactively award dick, when (if) his actual date of death is revealed? I’ve heard knowledgeable sources theorize that he expired some time ago, but that information was suppressed to allow an orderly succession of power in Venezuela’s highest offices. To wit, if he died before his re-inauguration his VP could not simply switch chairs, but would have to stand for a new election…which they weren’t too sure he could win without Chavez. So…are you gonna do the “balanced” and “reasonable” thing, or just pretend that no dick is owed?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:44 am

Well the anti papism was sort of default for Protestants at the time, but the primary motivation was because they believed that the world was part of the Word of God: that is you can learn about the creator through creation.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 6, 2013, 5:58 am

Chuck S.: The situation in Venezuela is rather more confused than that. The Vice President is appointed by the President, and his term expires when the President’s does. That happened on 10 January. Chavez did not take the oath of office, so the Presidency became vacant with no Vice President. When that happens, the President of the National Assembly is supposed to act as President until a new election, which has to be within 30 days.

That’s what the Venezuelan Constitution (written by Chavez and his henchmen) says, quite unambiguously.

What actually happened? In late December, Chavez designated VP Maduro as his successor, which had no legal force. The Supreme Court (all hand-picked chavistas) ruled that the oath-taking could wait, and in the meantime there was no permanent vacancy, and Maduro could act as President. Constitution? Who cares? PNA Cabello (another chavista) made no objections.

(It’s been speculated that Cabello doesn’t want to own the economic disaster that is hitting Venezuela. The bolivar was just devalued 40%, and the official exchange rate is still about 3x the real market rate.)

Comment from MIke C.
Time: March 6, 2013, 9:31 am

Europe’s foremost dissectionist at the time, Nicoli Stenno, also dabbled in other “natural history” fields, and is known now as “The Father of Geology.” He was the first European to propound the idea of superposition (although he said he didn’t originate it), and drew the earliest known geological cross section. Later in life, he chucked all that and devoted himself to the church. He was a bishop at the time of his death. There was a fascinating, if brief, biography of him published a few years back entitled “The Seashell on the Mountaintop.” I highly recommend it.

Comment from acat
Time: March 6, 2013, 11:40 am

Could always name Hutch the winner of Dead Pool 46 3/4 and send 3/4 of a dick …

The weasel art sounds like a better deal, though.


Comment from Deborah
Time: March 6, 2013, 12:54 pm

The original Dead Pool artwork would make a splendid consolation prize. Imagine that jolly fellow framed and hanging on your wall, or sitting on your desk at work 🙂

(Have you noticed how much Stoaty likes skulls?)

Comment from thefritz
Time: March 6, 2013, 1:39 pm

HEY, HEY, HEY, if we’re talking about fractional dick here I want some action. Remember, I poached ‘ol ‘tumor the size of a baseball’ from Steve on Dec. 7 (DP 43)and all that week stories were rampant he had croaked. Steve regained the pick the next two DP’s so he’d be due some dick too. This just may call for a new rule…the ‘Hugotohell’ rule.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2013, 2:10 pm

Heh. I wondered if anyone would notice the number of gross mummies I’ve posted over the years.

Comment from acat
Time: March 6, 2013, 2:59 pm

Notice? Yes. Think it’s .. odd? No.

Comment from Deborah
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:00 pm

Yeah. I had to go download Zombie Reagan just now. I think I’ll get a poster-size print to hang in my office.

Comment from Hutch
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:17 pm

Weasel art sounds very cool. Where do I send you my address?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2013, 4:24 pm

Just the regular stoaty@

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: March 6, 2013, 5:30 pm

Many things were verboten, but pay the bishop for a dispensation and your activity is now blessed by the church!

For instance, the gathering and mixing of herbs for beer was considered a branch of whichcraft. A few coins to the Bishop, and the angels will protect and guide you.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 6, 2013, 6:03 pm

Almost all of what I know of the Dark Ages comes from Barbara Tuchman’s excellent history of the 14th Century

A Distant Mirror

I’m not so big on the theory that nothing but circuses were lost from the fall of the Roman Empire, although the Plague was a huge factor in slowing the triumphant forward march of mankind… both through the direct death of 1/3 of the population of Europe and through the rise of bandits, and petty fiefdoms….

One should also note however (as stated above) that the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church was pretty abysmal and that there was nothing that you couldn’t buy through them for enough cash, including a night with the Pope’s daughter.

Anyhow, I really love reading Tuchman.

Comment from Deborah
Time: March 6, 2013, 7:32 pm

Barbara Tuchman! Sigh. No one wrote like Tuchman. Here is the glittering first paragraph from her book The Guns of August.

So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back the gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens—four dowager and three regnant—and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 6, 2013, 7:37 pm

Any time Christianity goes from being persecuted and attacked to being powerful and in charge, it suffers greatly. The faith is the same, but all the religion that goes along with it becomes tawdry and miserable at best. Witness nearly any major mainline church these days, from Willow Creek to Lakewood Church under Joel Osteen. Consider Gerry Fallwell and the other fallen televangelists.

When Christians move away from service, humility, love, and the gospel, it always goes horribly wrong.

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 6, 2013, 9:40 pm

Just imagine if Sweasels Dick contained the same virus that was used to kill Chavez?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2013, 10:15 pm

A virus. Of course. Because the affairs of dipshit little nations like Venezuela and New Zealand are so vitally important to the US that we’ll risk everything to assassinate their leaders in brilliantly undetectable ways. While somehow being powerless to touch Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad and needing a whole war to get Saddam. Makes sense.

Tuchman’s March of Folly is not to be missed, either. Hm. I wonder what her stuff goes for on Kindle…

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: March 7, 2013, 2:16 am

Someone get that guy an aspirin, he looks like he has a splitting headache.

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