Today is the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter poking his head into the 3,000-year-old tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamen:
After World War I, Carter began an intensive search for Tutankhamen’s tomb and on November 4, 1922, discovered a step leading to its entrance. Lord Carnarvon rushed to Egypt, and on November 23 they broke through a mud-brick door, revealing the passageway that led to Tutankhamen’s tomb. There was evidence that robbers had entered the structure at some point, and the archaeologists feared they had discovered yet another pillaged tomb. However, on November 26 they broke through another door, and Carter leaned in with a candle to take a look. Behind him, Lord Carnarvon asked, “Can you see anything?” Carter replied, “Yes, wonderful things.”
Thus began a monumental excavation process in which Carter carefully explored the four-room tomb over several years, uncovering an incredible collection of several thousand objects. In addition to numerous pieces of jewelry and gold, there was statuary, furniture, clothes, a chariot, weapons, and numerous other objects that shed a brilliant light on the culture and history of ancient Egypt. The most splendid find was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other. Inside the final coffin, made out of solid gold, was the mummified body of the boy-king Tutankhamen, preserved for 3,200 years. Most of these treasures are now housed in the Cairo Museum.
Skip ahead 50 years or so into my childhood when two brilliant bits of comedy emerged as the King Tut exhibit traveled through the US. The first needs no introduction, but gets one anyway:
The second came from architect and author David Macaulay, who imagined a future archaeologist finding a late-20th-century American "tomb" in the year CE 4022. If you can find a copy of Motel of the Mysteries, read the Howard Carter story and then Macaulay's take on it. It still cracks me up.
The new boss of Twitter, who laid off half his workforce and watched as half the remaining employees quit last night, found the silver lining:
And yes, I linked to the Tweet, because I cite my sources. Kind of like putting a bookmark in a scroll in Alexandria as the fire spreads to the next room, I suppose...
While the site still keeps going, check out the #RIPTwitter memes.
Will Twitter last longer than this head of lettuce?
And as I'm typing this, the BBC News Hour presenter just said they'll have a former Twitter vice president on who says Elon Musk has told everyone to "hold his beer," which sounded perfect in RP.
The Democratic Party got another governor yesterday when Katie Hobbs beat election-denier and former news anchor Kari Lake 51%-49%.
Someday this won't make any sense at all, but this was the perfect meme for Hobbs' win:
Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Lake also had a delicious spat on Twitter. Cheney's response gets a chef's kiss from The Daily Parker.
I recognize that links to Twitter will just be lint by this time next year, but for now, enjoy.
The Registrar General for Scotland finally released a death certificate that raised more questions than it answered:
Queen Elizabeth II’s cause of death is described as “old age” in the register of deaths released on Thursday.
The registrar general for Scotland, Paul Lowe, confirmed that the Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on 16 September.
Suspicious, innit? She survived in power for 70 years and this is the best you've got? Apparently Scottish law allows this sort of obfuscation:
Old age is acceptable if the doctor certifying death has cared for the patient for a long time, was not aware of any disease or injury that contributed to death and had observed a gradual decline in the person’s general health and functioning.
The Queen had been experiencing sporadic mobility problems during the final period of her life and used a walking stick regularly in public. Her use of a walking stick came after she was admitted to a private London hospital for “preliminary investigations” in October last year – her first overnight admission for eight years.
Oh? The People deserve a full investigation! A similar fate could befall the current heads of state of not just the UK, but Cameroon, Lebanon, Norway—or even the United States.
We demand the truth!
Wow, yesterday went on a bit. From getting on the bus to Peoria to getting off the bus back in Chicago, I spent 18 hours and 20 minutes doing something connected with the Peoria Symphony's performance of Beethoven's 9th yesterday. I think it went quite well, and I expect they'll ask us back the next time they do a huge symphonic choral work.
Right now, Cassie has plotzed completely after two nights in boarding, and I need to figure out what I'm eating this week. So I'll post something more interesting later today.
In the meantime, enjoy this Saturday Night Live bit that will challenge even the most attentive English speakers throughout the former colonies:
It's mid-July today, at least until around 8pm, when late April should return. The Tribune reported this morning that our spring has had nearly three times the rain as last spring, but actually hasn't gotten much wetter than normal.
Finally, via The Onion, Google Maps now shows you shortcuts through people's houses when they're not home.
It turns out, tenors don't actually spread Covid more readily than the other three sections, despite what you may have heard from the Welsh Government:
The advice appears to have been motivated by a spoof social media news post, created by meme page Quire Memes to appear as if written by us here at Classic FM. A doctored headline claimed that ‘Tenors should sit three metres away from other choir members, COVID study says’.
The post, which is categorically fake news, is captioned: “Tenors found to disperse aerosols the furthest, in this in-depth coronavirus study.”
A government spokesperson denied that the advice was based on a spoof post, but said they “apologise unreservedly for this error and for any confusion it may have caused”.
Professional tenor and choral director Charles MacDougall told The Telegraph it was “preposterous” that the Welsh government appeared to have based their official guidance on a meme.
Believe me, tenors have enough problems without being blamed for spreading this particular disease. Gonorrhea, however...
I swear, the local poké place used three shots of chili oil instead of one today. Whew. (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)
While my mouth slowly incinerates, I'm reading these:
On that last point, comedians Jimmy Carr and Emil Wakim lay down epic burns against anti-vaxxers:
Happy Wednesday! Here's what I'm reading before my 8pm meeting, now that my 6:30pm meeting just ended:
And finally, the New Yorker's Tom Papa introduces you to "asshole cat behaviors."
With apologies to Radio Netherlands, Goldberg hits Jeffrey Toobin's latest HR incident with frequency until it hertz:
There’s been a lot of handwringing—so to speak—about Toobin, the New Yorker’s legal correspondent. One writer, after running through a string of jokes about Toobin’s prosecution of his “southern district,” insists that we should act like a jury ordered by the judge to ignore evidence. In one of the greatest understatements ever written, he says, “Granted, there are few things more unprofessional than masturbating during a company meeting,” and then goes on to say that Toobin’s just too good at providing perspective to be shunned for toobin’.
Over at the Daily News, Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, wants to make this seminal moment into a seminal moment. You see, the people who should really be embarrassed are the ones making a big deal about this. Zimmerman makes the perfectly fine point that people should be more upset about Toobin’s past behavior, specifically his adultery, and not hoist him on a petard for hoisting his own petard on a Zoom call. We’re all prudes, you see, because everybody does it, but doing it has been “a big no-no since the advent of the Enlightenment.”
In a country with over 1.3 million lawyers, I love the idea that the one guy caught badgering his own friendly witness is just too indispensable.
I won't spoil the rest of it, except to say Goldberg really pulls it out. He's not dicking around here, he grabs it with both hands. And he's not just writing for the house organ; he let it hang out for all to see.
Bonus: Here's Sir Paul McCartney explaining Jeffrey Toobin's new reality: