Evening Open Thread…Richard III, Mary Ingalls and the Devil in New Orleans

Pretty baby in this vintage ad...

Pretty baby in this vintage ad…

Good Evening

Wow, good news out of Alabama...I am so relieved that this little boy is with his mama and daddy. He has a long road ahead of him, this ordeal would be difficult for an adult, much less a 5 year old autistic boy.

Thanks to Dakinikat for covering for me yesterday. Banjoland got hit with a snow storm, which stranded my kids, my mom and me in a hotel for the night. It was a mess…Ground Hog Day storm dumps 3-5 inches of snow in places in north Ga.

click to enlarge

Road on Blood Mountain…

Today has been an active news day, there is one story that I find completely fascinating. Richard III: DNA confirms twisted bones belong to king.

There were cheers when Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the hunt for the king’s body, finally announced that the university team was convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” that it had found the last Plantagenet king, bent by scoliosis of the spine, and twisted further to fit into a hastily dug hole in Grey Friars church, which was slightly too small to hold his body.

But by then it was clear the evidence was overwhelming, as the scientists who carried out the DNA tests, those who created the computer-imaging technology to peer on to and into the bones in raking detail, the genealogists who found a distant descendant with matching DNA, and the academics who scoured contemporary texts for accounts of the king’s death and burial, outlined their findings.

“What a morning. What a story,” said Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society. She had been driving on the project for years, in the face of incredulity from many people, and finding funds from Ricardians all over the world when it looked as if the money would run out before the excavation had even begun.

Have you seen the skeleton?

The complete skeleton showing the curve of the spine of Richard III

The complete skeleton showing the curved spine of Richard III, who was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Photograph: EPA

As far as Langley is concerned, Richard was the true king, the last king of the north, a worthy and brave leader who became a victim of some of the most brilliant propaganda in history, in the hands of the Tudors’ image-maker, Shakespeare.

Foxhall quoted one contemporary description of Richard as “slight in body and weak in strength … to his last breath he held himself nobly in a defending manner”.

The Plantagenets are my favorite historic royal family. So Richard III, being the last of the Plantagenet line, is really exciting to me. BBC has a real cool interactive at this link, so check it out: Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king’s

His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal.

One was a “slice” removing a flap of bone, the other was caused by bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of the skull – a depth of more than 10cm (4ins).

‘Humiliation injuries’

Dr Appleby said: “Both of these injuries would have caused an almost instant loss of consciousness and death would have followed quickly afterwards.

The earliest surviving portrait of Richard III in Leicester Cathedral
“In the case of the larger wound, if the blade had penetrated 7cm into the brain, which we cannot determine from the bones, death would have been instantaneous.”

Other wounds included slashes or stabs to the face and the side of the head. There was also evidence of “humiliation” injuries, including a pelvic wound likely to have been caused by an upward thrust of a weapon, through the buttock.

Didn’t the same thing happen to Qaddafi? Didn’t someone stick a metal pole up his butt too?

Two questions remain…The first one being…Where does skeleton revelation leave legend of Richard III?

We can assume that when Richard III was interred by the monks in the church of the Greyfriars, possibly with a few of Henry Tudor’s henchmen present to see that it was done, it would not have been the burial a king of England could have expected. The confirmation that the remains found in Leicester are those of King Richard means that, at last, this can be put right and he can be laid to rest with the solemnity and dignity that is appropriate for an anointed king.

Even more significantly, the finding and reinterment of Richard III’s remains will, we hope, open up the debate about the king and his reputation. It would make such a difference if people would start to look into the history of this much maligned monarch without the old prejudices. Perhaps, then, they will see past the myth and innuendo that has blackened his name and find the truth. No one is going to suggest that he was a saint – I have said on many occasions that we are not the Richard III Adoration Society – but even a cursory reading of the known facts will show that the Tudor representation of Richard III, especially that in Shakespeare’s well known play, just doesn’t stand up.

The second of course, surrounds the mystery of the two boys in the tower.

Richard III was no saint but neither was he a criminal. All but one of the so-called crimes laid at his door can be refuted by the facts. The one that cannot is the disappearance of his nephews, the “Princes in the Tower” and the answer to that question is simply that no-one knows what happened to them. All that follows is conjecture – they just disappeared. Richard had no need to kill them; they had been declared bastards. Henry VII needed them out of the way, but he got so scared whenever a pretender appeared that it is likely that he knew they were alive at the time Richard died at Bosworth. Did they die in 1483 or 1485 or were they spirited out of the country to their aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy? We will probably never know.

What a story!

Okay, now a few quick links…there is a new discovery regarding another historic literary character, this one is about an American pioneer Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister Mary Ingalls.  Meningoencephalitis Brain Inflammation Blinded Mary Ingalls

In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books, she describes her sister Mary going blind from scarlet fever. But brain and spinal cord inflammation likely caused Mary’s blindness, a new study suggests.

The findings, published today (Feb. 4) in the journal Pediatrics, came from poring over the symptoms Wilder described in memoirs and books.

“Since I was in medical school, I had wondered about whether scarlet fever could cause blindness, because I always remembered Mary’s blindness from reading the ‘Little House’ stories and knew that scarlet fever was once a deadly disease,” said study co-author Beth Tarini, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, in a statement.

Wilder wrote several books describing her life as a pioneer in the mid-1800s. In one, she describes her sister Mary going blind at age 14 in 1879.

The consensuses is that scarlet fever was an illness that most people would be familiar with, so the editors who originally published Laura’s books decided no to mention “brain fever.”

“Meningoencephalitis could explain Mary’s symptoms, including the inflammation of the facial nerve that left the side of her face temporarily paralyzed,” Tarini said in a statement. “It could also lead to inflammation of the optic nerve that would result in a slow and progressive loss of sight.”

It’s not clear why the editors of the book tied Mary’s blindness to scarlet fever, but one possibility is that the disease was such a well-known and feared scourge at the time, the researchers suggest.

If you missed any of the commercials from last night, you can see a list of them here: 2013 Super Bowl Ads: GoDaddy, Budweiser, Mercedes, BlackBerry, Samsung and the night’s most interesting commercials. Here is what Slate had to say…

An Audi ad opens with a nervous high school boy getting ready for prom. He’s going stag because he has no date. Even his little sis pities him. Then dad tosses over the keys to a bitchin’ Audi. When next we see the kid, he’s driving recklessly, violating parking rules, frenching the prom queen right in front of her boyfriend, and getting punched in the face. So I guess the takeaway is that driving an Audi will transform you from a sweet, humble guy into a total prick? And since teens can’t afford to buy Audis, this metamorphosis is presumably meant to stoke the fires of middle-aged men. Which is kind of gross.

I’m with Dak on this ad, I found it disgusting. Here is a description of another car ad last night that I found very clever…I tried to embed the video but it would not work, be sure to click the link to see it.

Mercedes-Benz introduces its CLA model with a Faustian tale. Satan (played by Willem Dafoe, enjoying his meatiest role since Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant) offers a Mercedes in exchange for a man’s soul. The man thinks about all the devilish things he’ll do when he gets his new ride. Party with Kate Upton. Dance with Usher. Make the cover of Vanity Fair. He’s ready to sign on the bottom line until he learns that the car costs a mere $29,900. So he opts to pay in cash instead of in metaphysical debt. Well-conceived ad. And take note, Audi: This is how you give your car some evil swagger without suggesting that teen boys should sexually accost teen girls.

Yup…one more commercial to mention, thanks to Ecocatwoman who sent me this link…it is an extended version of the Clydesdale commercial:  Budweiser Super Bowl 2013 Commercial — Extended Version

That is all I got for you tonight…this is an open thread.


35 Comments on “Evening Open Thread…Richard III, Mary Ingalls and the Devil in New Orleans”

  1. This commercial was cute:

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a young girl. Did you know that Rose Wilder, Laura’s daughter was her ghostwriter? Here’s a long article in The New Yorker about it.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    You were stranded by 3-5 inches of snow? I guess you guys don’t have much snow removal equipment down there? Up here, that’s nothing at all.

  4. RalphB says:

    BBC. A facial reconstruction of Richard III from the skeleton.


  5. RalphB says:

    Yes! I’m glad settlement talks broke down in these cases.

    NYT: U.S. Plans to Sue S.&P. for Ratings on Loan Bundles

    The Justice Department plans to file civil fraud charges against the nation’s largest credit-ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, accusing the firm of inflating the ratings of mortgage investments and setting them up for a crash when the financial crisis struck.

    The suit, expected to be filed as early as this week, would be the first significant federal action against the ratings industry, which during the boom years reaped record profits as it bestowed gilt-edged ratings on complex bundles of home loans that quickly went sour. The high ratings made many investments appear safer than they actually were, and are now seen as having contributed to a crisis that brought the financial system and the broader economy to its knees.

    More than a dozen state prosecutors are expected to join the federal suit, and the New York attorney general is preparing a separate action. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also been investigating possible wrongdoing at S.& P.

  6. RalphB says:

    OMG, this could be huge with far-reaching effects! Like a TVA for the internet.

    Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks

    The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.

    The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor.

    The airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in households. They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I heard about that. Comcast already has an app you can download so you can access your internet connection from any place with WiFi. This would be fantastic. Of course big business will probably block it.

      • RalphB says:

        The much more powerful WiFi is a big thing. The new types of devices and technology which could come out of this could be a huge thing for the future economy. The social good would be freaking outstanding,

    • NW Luna says:

      This would be really valuable for low and mid-income people. What I have to pay for a slow internet connection for home seems pricey enough. I balk at paying for a smartphone with web access because the rate is so high.

      I tend to agree with BB. Business will lobby against this and we’ll get screwed over as usual.

      • RalphB says:

        Big business will definitely try killing it but Google and Microsoft are on the other side because this opens up so much more room for them. It’s gonna be a fight.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s going to happen eventually. The wingnuts aren’t having much luck holding back progress, but they’ll make it as difficult as they can.

  7. RalphB says:

    Time: Just Who Do They Represent: At Hagel Hearing, Concern for Israel Tops U.S. Troops in Combat

    Since McCain spoke against a filibuster, Hagel is virtually assured confirmation.

  8. RalphB says:

    Fear and paranoia runs deep among these nutters.


    As I told you a couple of weeks ago, when John Noveske, a much-admired gunmaker, and Keith Ratliff, a popular gun reviewer, died within a day of each other last month, a lot of folks on the Internet were speculating that the two of them had been killed by the Vast Kenyan Fascist Gun-Grabbing Conspiracy. Now some people think Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered on a Texas gun range over the weekend, was the third victim.

  9. HT says:

    I’ve always thought that Richard 111 was maligned – because that was the way that victors of the day swayed people to their cause – in those days it was that or die if you disagree. Interesting that he was the last of his line and then the Tudors took over. I wonder what the real issues were – power and wealth perhaps?
    BTW Shakespeare wrote a mighty fine play, but it was a play, nothing more nothing less. It was not history, nor was it based on history beyond the protaganist and antagonist. Shakespeare was an artist and took many liberties with truth and history. I wish more people would recognize that face.

    • NW Luna says:

      Power and wealth most definitely are the issues.

      History gets written by whoever won the war. It’s rather like wondering what some civilization was really like from reading what the Roman historians wrote. All other groups were “barbarians” to the Romans, regardless of how much art and science they had.

      Years ago I read Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time novel, which sparked my curiosity about Richard III. So it is fascinating to read about this Richard III Society project and wonderful that they were vindicated in their search for his burial.

  10. RalphB says:

    Names to remember, these asshats voted against the VAWA reauthorization.

    Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and James Risch (R-ID)

  11. RalphB says:

    Bloomberg: Nazi Goebbels’ Step-Grandchildren Are Hidden Billionaires

    Maybe this helps explain some problems?

  12. RalphB says:

    Salon: Watch the bizarre Will Ferrell Super Bowl ad that only played in three cities

    Will Ferrell is in another Old Milwaukee beer ad. RadarOnline reports that the commercial, which aired during last night’s Super Bowl, was broadcast only in Glendive, Mont.; Sherman, Texas; and Ardmore, Okla.

  13. NW Luna says:

    Re: Richard III story

    I’ve been following links from the BBC site, and on the University of Leicester R III site (which is pretty interesting; their experts were on the team) I found this comment:

    As a teaser, this will make you laugh – the [TV] programme is on now- the car parking space under which the bones were found was marked with an…. R.

    Richard III was the king in whose reign “innocent until proven guilty” became English law.