Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Feb 5, 2013
February 5, 2013
Dino-mania and other archaeological items:
British archaeologists confirmed they've found the bones of 15th century KING RICHARD III buried under a parking garage. The parking garage is built over the site of a medieval friary. The DNA samples from the skeleton were matched with a direct descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York. It appears that Richard was tied up, axed in the head as many as eight times (part of the skull had been sheared away) and stabbed in the buttocks.
Editor's note: Interestingly, British historians have often claimed that WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was doing the bidding of his patrons, The TUDORS, to portray Richard as a villain. He portrayed Richard in his plays as a hunchback with a withered arm, or as Shakespeare put it, a "bunch-backed toad." Richard did have scoliosis, but the preliminary examination of the skeleton reveals his arms were fine. He was 32 when he was killed, the last British king to die in battle, on Bosworth's field, ending the War of the Roses.
And Shakespeare was just one of the people the Tudors used to parlay that image of a gnarled, evil schemer. He's described a hunchback consumed by a warped ambition, and of famously having his brothers and nephews executed and then trying to marry a niece. (Kaye)
Editor's note: You may be a king, but the ones who find your bones will be ditch-diggers.
--This is rather surprising that Richard III was buried in a parking lot. Parking lots were not as common in the 15th century as they are today. (Cars were a symbol of power back then, ya know.)
--Now is the winter of our disinterment.
--A hearse! a hearse! My kingdom for a hearse!
--Is that the parking lot from when they paved Paradise? (Maiman)
Diseases and Dat Boid Flu:
"Little House on the Prairie" fans... We now know the real reason MARY INGALLS went blind. And it was not from scarlet fever, the way it was shown on the classic TV series. Researchers say viral meningo-encephalitis is most likely the real cause for the real-life Mary going blind.
Viral meningo-encephalitis causes inflammation of both the brain and the membrane around it. In severe cases, it can damage the optic nerve, causing slow, progressive vision loss. The TV show (starring MICHAEL LANDON, MELISSA GILBERT and MELISSA SUE ANDERSON), based Mary's blindness on books written by LAURA INGALLS WILDER about her childhood.
DR. BETH TARINI of the University of Michigan told CNN that her research team spent 10 years studying Wilder's original letters and manuscripts, looking for clues about the real cause. She said it was important to debunk the scarlet-fever-blinded-Mary myth because about 10 percent of strep infection cases can turn into scarlet fever. When that happens, parents freak out, but it's actually easy to treat with modern medicine.
So why would Wilder have changed the cause of Mary's blindness? The researchers' best guess: Real-life Mary really did have scarlet fever when she was very young. More people would have heard of scarlet fever when the "Little House" books were first published. And scarlet fever can cause temporary blindness when it gets severe, which was more of a possibility in the 19th century. The findings were published this week in the journal Pediatrics. (Bartha)
A British artist has created a line of zombie teddy bears.
Orange.co.uksays 45-year-old PHILLIP BLACKMAN repurposes used teddy bears, transforming them into "fluffy, bloody horrors to keep you awake at night". Blackman says he's a huge fan of zombie filmmaker GEORGE ROMERO, so he went to school to learn to apply gory horror makeup. Now he's putting his horror skills to use transforming children's stuffed toys.
Blackman applies stage blood and prosthetics to the bears, and some of them appear to have their hearts ripped out. Each "UndeadTed" toy takes over eight-hours to make. Blackman sells them for 60 to 100-bucks each. (Still)
REG PRESLEY, lead singer for THE TROGGS, has died. He battled lung cancer for the last year, and passed away at his home in England yesterday. Reg was 71. The Troggs came out of the British Invasion in the early 1960's and scored a number one with "Wild Thing" in the summer of 1966. Proving that Reg could sing garage rock AND ballads, The Troggs had a Top 10 hit in 1968 with "Love Is All Around." Reg was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2012 and retired from the music business soon after. (Marino)
BEYONCE has turned a little-known designer named RUBIN SINGER into an overnight sensation. He's the guy behind the smoking-hot costumes she wore for her Superbowl halftime show performance. People magazine says he also created MICHELLE WILLIAMS' get-up and the looks for all 120 back-up dancers. It took more than 200 hours over two months and a team of 14 people to create the whole collection. (Bartha)
National Pancake Day (at IHOP):
Today is National Pancake Day! And, for the eighth consecutive year, participating IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer each guest a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes and in return, IHOP hopes you'll make a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to mark the organization's 30th Anniversary. It's a great deal, since all the money raised by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals stays in the local area.
To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.
Last year, IHOP served four million free pancakes and pancake lovers donated more than $3 million. It was the largest one-day event in the company's 54-year history.
Editors note: Pancake Day is a tradition that dates back several centuries to when the English prepared for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products ...hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday. But this year, IHOP's National Pancake Day is being celebrated a week early.
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