The Breakfast Club (Torchwood)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgBonus points today if you can find the connection between Captain Jack and Sebastian but I’ll distract you further with a brief explanation of why I hate fiddles unless properly prepared.

Fretless instruments of doom, not only do they have no indication that you have struck the correct note but are weak and worthless individually which is why they are deployed in wide platoons across the entire face of an orchestra to be sacrificed to the crowd.  Indeed the most desirable of them are those that screech the loudest.  Their ‘harmony’ is an early example of ‘noise music’ or ‘sampling’ where the overall effect overcomes the non-musical qualities of the source made more difficult by the employment of a Bow more suited to starting fires.

Get a Guitar.

Yet for some reason I can’t fathom they remain enormously popular and many, many works for more reasonable instruments (don’t like rigidity of valves, try a trombone) are simply transcriptions.

Oh, the puzzle.  Sonata #1.

Adagio and Fuga

Siciliana and Presto

If you really like scraping cat guts, here’s two hours of it

Obligatory stuff below the fold-

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

I would never make fun of LaEscapee or blame PhilJD.  And I am highly organized.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

This day in history

Now that’s out of the way.



Fiddleheads are a very ephemeral thing.  For 2 or 3 weeks in the spring the emerging shoots of several types of ferns are available for eating.

Now to me they resemble nothing so much as Asparagus in taste, but perhaps that’s because of my preferred method of preparation about which more shortly.  Others notice a hint of Almond, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  They’re extremely high in Vitamin A, less so in C, and otherwise have all the good nutritional characteristics you expect from a vegetable.

Personally I don’t recommend picking them wild.  I’m not Euell Gibbons and I stay away from toadstools and amateur fugu too.  Fortunately they’re available from some grocery stores in season (my local Stop & Shop carries them), you can get them over the internet (, and also frozen and canned.

If you do choose to go exploring, Wikipedia suggests the following species that grow in North America are edible-

* Bracken, Pteridium aquilinum, found worldwide

* Ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, found in northern regions worldwide, and the central/eastern part of North America

* Cinnamon fern or buckhorn fern, Osmunda cinnamomea, found in the Eastern parts of North America

* Royal fern, Osmunda regalis, found worldwide

You should select shoots that are tightly coiled and don’t bother clipping more than 2 inches of stem.  Pick no more than 3 heads from each group of seven (they grow in groups of seven) or you risk killing the plant.  All Fiddleheads must be cooked to remove shikimic acid.  Bracken is the least desirable as it contains carcinogens, but Ostrich and Cinnamon fern Fiddleheads are perfectly safe.

My preferred method of preparation

I buy them fresh at the store and rinse and clean them in cold water, discarding any that are discolored or not tightly coiled.  I also trim as much of the stem as I can because it’s my least favorite part.

As with all vegetables it’s not how much you can keep, but how much you throw away.

Now the traditional New England method is to boil them twice, discarding the water between boils.  Frankly, I never bother with the second boil (and it hasn’t killed me yet), but I do cook them through until they’re fork tender (meaning you can easily pierce them with a fork and you can cut them with one too).  Don’t boil them until they fall apart.

Hollandaise Sauce is the traditional accompaniment, but I prefer Bernaise because I like Tarragon.

In Asian cusine they roast them, something I haven’t tried myself.  I have slightly undercooked them and sauteed to finish, making pan sauces like olive oil/garlic and lemon/butter.

Below I’m including recipes for traditional Hollendaise and Bernaise Sauces as well as some other preparations I’ve looked up.  If you’re as lazy as I am I find the Knorr brand sauce mixes acceptable substitutes for the real thing.

Hollandaise Sauce

TV Food Netwood, Food 911- Tyler Florence


* 4 egg yolks

* 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)

* Pinch cayenne

* Pinch salt


* Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Bernaise Sauce

TV Food Netwood, Barefoot Contesssa- Ina Garten


* 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar

* 1/4 cup good white wine

* 2 tablespoons minced shallots

* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided

* Kosher salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* 3 extra-large egg yolks

* 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted


* Put the Champagne vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons. Cool slightly.

* Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With blender on, slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in the lid. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves and blend only for a second. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of white wine to thin. Keep at room temperature until serving.

Morel and Fiddlehead Fern Ragout

TV Food Network, Essence of Emeril, Emeril Lagasse


* 1 1/2 pounds fiddlehead ferns

* 2 shallots, minced

* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 2 sprigs fresh thyme

* 1/2 pound fresh morels, trimmed and rinsed well

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 3/4 cup chicken stock

* 1/2 cup heavy cream

* 1 tablespoon chopped chives

* 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

* Salt and pepper

* Parmesan curls, for garnis


In a saucepan, bring 1 1/2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and return to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fiddleheads to an ice bath and chill. Drain and pat dry, removing as much of the outer brown, tissue-like membrane as possible.

In a skillet saute shallots in butter until softened, about 2 minutes. Add thyme, morels, and garlic and continue to cook until morels have softened and given up their liquid, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 2 more minutes. Add chicken stock and cook until reduced by half. Add fiddleheads and cook 2 minutes, add cream, chives, and parsley, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan curls.

Vermont Fiddlehead Pie

The Combes Family Inn


* 1 uncooked 9-inch pie crust

* 2 cups of fiddlehead, coarsely chopped

* 1 small chopped onion

* 2 Tablespoons of olive oil

* 1 cup shredded Vermont cheddar cheese – sharp or mild

* 4 eggs

* 1 cup of evaporated milk or half & half

* 1 Tablespoon of coarse mustard

* 2 Tablespoons of flour


Precook pie crust in preheated 350-degree oven (prevents soggy crust). Saute fiddleheads and onions in olive oil. Put in precooked crust followed by cheese. Blend eggs, mustard, flour, half and half and pour into pie crust over other ingredients. Bake at 350-degree oven for 50 minutes. Pie is cooked when knife comes out clean when inserted in pie. Let set for 5 minutes or so before cutting. Serve hot, warm, or cold as you would quiche.

The following are all from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Shrimp and Fiddlehead Medley


* 1 pound fiddleheads

* 6 ounces linguine, uncooked

* 6 cups water

* 1-3/4 pounds Maine shrimp, fresh or frozen

* 1 teaspoon margarine

* 2/3 cup onion, chopped

* 1/2 cup green pepper, diced

* 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

* 1 teaspoon thyme

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1/8 teaspoon celery seed

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Cut off ends of fiddleheads. Remove scales and wash thoroughly. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add shrimp and cook three to five minutes, or until done. Drain well, and set aside. Cook fiddleheads in boiling water for ten minutes. Drain. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add margarine. Heat until margarine melts. Add onion and green pepper and sauté until crisp-tender. Stir in fiddleheads. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed, without salt or oil. Drain well, set aside and keep warm.

Add sliced mushrooms, thyme, pepper, salt and celery seeds to vegetable mixture; stir well. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat three to four minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring often. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice; cook until heated through, stirring often.

Fiddlehead Dijon


* 1-1/2 pounds fresh fiddleheads

* 1 tablespoon cornstarch

* 1 cup nonfat buttermilk

* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

* 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice

* 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Clean and prepare fiddleheads. Remove scales and wash thoroughly. Place fiddleheads in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 20 minutes or until tender, but still crisp. Set aside, and keep warm.

Combine cornstarch and buttermilk in a small saucepan; stir well. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in mustard, lemon juice, tarragon and pepper.

And finally 6 recipes for pickled Fiddleheads from the same source-

Plain and Pickled Fiddleheads


* cider vinegar

* sugar

* 1/8 teaspoon each of pepper, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and celery seed


Pour enough vinegar over the fiddleheads to cover; then strain it off into a pan. Add 1 cup sugar for every gallon of vinegar. Add a large pinch of each of the spices and celery seed. Boil this syrup for 7-8 minutes; then pour over the fiddleheads in pint-sized jars. Seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water process canner.

Sweet Pickled Fiddleheads


* 1 quart cider vinegar

* 5 cups sugar

* 2 teaspoons salt


Mix vinegar, sugar and salt in saucepan; bring to a boil, pour over fiddleheads in pint-sized jars; seal; process 10 minutes in boiling water process canner. Makes 6 pints.

Sugar-Free Fiddlehead Pickles


* 1 gallon vinegar

* 1 teaspoon powdered saccharin (if desired)

* 1 teaspoon powdered alum

* 1/2 cup salt

* 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves

* 1 teaspoon powdered allspice

* 1 tablespoon powdered cinnamon

* 1/2 cup dry mustard


Pack fiddleheads into jars; pour enough liquid to cover fiddleheads; seal at once. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Let stand at least two weeks before using. If the product is to be sold, it may be necessary to check with the Food and Drug Administration on the use of saccharin in this type of product.

Mustard Fiddlehead Pickles


* 1 quart button onions (peeled)

* 1 quart fiddleheads

* 2 cups salt

* 4 quarts water

* 1 cup flour

* 6 tablespoons dry mustard

* 2 cups sugar

* 2 quarts vinegar


Wash and prepare button onions and fiddleheads. Mix salt and water. Pour over fiddleheads. Let stand overnight. Bring to boil, and drain in colander. Mix flour and dry mustard. Stir in enough vinegar to make smooth paste. Add sugar and vinegar. Boil until thick and smooth, stir constantly. Add the fiddleheads and cook until they are just heated through. (Overcooking makes them soft instead of crisp.) Pour into jars and seal immediately. Process 10 minutes in boiling water process canner. Makes 8 pints.

Quick Sour Fiddlehead Pickles


* 1/2 gallon cider vinegar

* 2 cups water

* 1/2 cup salt

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 1/2 cup mustard seed


Mix ingredients, bring to boil. Pour over fiddleheads in pint-sized jars; seal; process 10 minutes in boiling water process canner.

Bread and Butter Fiddlehead Pickles


* 4 pounds fiddleheads

* 3 large onions, thinly sliced

* 1/2 cup salt

* cold water

* 3 trays ice cubes

* 5 cups sugar

* 5 cups cider vinegar

* 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

* 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds

* 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds


In 8-quart enamel, stainless steel or glass container, stir fiddleheads, onions, salt and enough cold water to cover fiddleheads until salt dissolves; stir in ice. Cover; let stand in cool place 3 hours. Drain fiddleheads and rinse with cold running water; drain thoroughly.

Measure sugar, vinegar, turmeric, celery seeds and mustard seeds into 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy saucepan. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered 30 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare jars and caps. Add fiddleheads and onions to Dutch oven; heat to boiling. Spoon hot fiddleheads into hot jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Immediately ladle syrup over fiddleheads. Process 10 minutes in boiling water process canner. Cool jars and test for air tightness. Makes about 6 pints.


U.S. Sway in Asia Is Imperiled as China Challenges Alliances


MAY 30, 2014

All around Asia, China is pushing and probing at America’s alliances, trying to loosen the bonds that have kept the countries close to Washington and allowed the United States to be the pre-eminent power in the region since World War II.

“China is deliberately doing these things to demonstrate the unsustainability of the American position of having a good relationship with China and maintaining its alliances in Asia, which constitute the leadership of the United States in Asia,” Mr. White said.

China is betting that America, tired and looking inward, will back off, he said, eroding its traditional place of influence in Asia and enhancing China’s power.

But even as Mr. Hagel and the United States have adopted a public posture that backs Japan – and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, Vietnam and any other country that finds itself at odds with China – some administration officials have privately expressed frustration that the countries are all engaged in a game of

“None of those countries are helping matters,” a senior administration official said. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to talk candidly about American policy, said that the United States would publicly back Japan and that treaty obligations mean that if Japan and China go to war, the United States will almost certainly be dragged into it. But, he added, administration officials have privately prodded their Japanese counterparts to think carefully before acting, and to refrain from backing China into a corner.

In Spanish Riots, Anguish of Those Recovery Forgot

By RAPHAEL MINDER, The New York Times

MAY 30, 2014

Since hosting the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona has become one of Europe’s biggest tourism hubs, with a record 7.5 million visitors last year. The rise in tourism has helped Barcelona weather the economic crisis that hit Spain in 2008 better than many cities. Over all, the city of Barcelona’s unemployment rate is nearly 18 percent, roughly 8 percentage points lower than the national average, although there are big discrepancies between the city’s poorest and richest neighborhoods.

“Barcelona is full of contradictions, especially between those who are now unemployed and those who are just focused on earning even more from tourism,” Mr. Solé said. Can Vies, he added, “is unfortunately a more realistic image of Barcelona than the brand City Hall tries to sell.”

In January, the Gamonal district of Burgos, in northern Spain, was the scene of prolonged street fighting over plans by City Hall to remodel an avenue and remove many of its free parking spaces at a time of deep cuts in other areas of public spending. The plan was eventually shelved.

Mr. Solé described Can Vies as “something of a symbol for the deprived.” As in Burgos, he added, “it is the kind of spark that can set ablaze a fire that has long been simmering.”

California’s fire fighters are braced for a long, hot – and busy – summer

Rory Carroll, The Guardian

Friday 30 May 2014

Lopez, a fire captain with more than 20 years’ experience combating blazes in southern California, is bracing for a long, hot summer. A three-year drought has created tinderbox conditions across much of the American west.

“I’ve seen flames move faster than a truck. Embers can fly across a highway and ignite the other side. In one hour a fire can go from one acre to a thousand.”

A fire torched thousands of acres in Arizona last week days after about a dozen wildfires fuelled by strong winds and record temperatures flared across southern California.

On a good day, they extinguish a fire before it spreads. On a bad day all they can do is try to steer it.

Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong

Daniel Ellsberg, The Guardian

Friday 30 May 2014

John Kerry was in my mind Wednesday morning, and not because he had called me a patriot on NBC News. I was reading the lead story in the New York Times – “US Troops to Leave Afghanistan by End of 2016” – with a photo of American soldiers looking for caves. I recalled not the Secretary of State but a 27-year-old Kerry, asking, as he testified to the Senate about the US troops who were still in Vietnam and were to remain for another two years: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

I wondered how a 70-year-old Kerry would relate to that question as he looked at that picture and that headline. And then there he was on MSNBC an hour later, thinking about me, too, during a round of interviews about Afghanistan that inevitably turned to Edward Snowden ahead of my fellow whistleblower’s own primetime interview that night:

Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, not just for months like Chelsea Manning but for the rest of his sentence, and probably the rest of his life. His legal adviser, Ben Wizner, told me that he estimates Snowden’s chance of being allowed out on bail as zero. (I was out on bond, speaking against the Vietnam war, the whole 23 months I was under indictment).

NSA releases email in dispute over Snowden ‘internal whistleblowing’

Dan Roberts, The Guardian

Thursday 29 May 2014 16.23 EDT

Snowden told interviewer Brian Williams: “I actually did go through channels, and that is documented. The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities.

“The response, more or less, in bureaucratic language, was: ‘You should stop asking questions.'”

Snowden’s description appears to match parts, if not all, of the newly emerged email, which was made public on Thursday via the Senate intelligence chair, Dianne Feinstein.

Ben Wizner, Snowden’s legal adviser, said of the email: “This whole issue is a red herring. The problem was not some unknown and isolated instance of misconduct. The problem was that an entire system of mass surveillance had been deployed – and deemed legal – without the knowledge or consent of the public. Snowden raised many complaints over many channels. The NSA is releasing a single part of a single exchange after previously claiming that no evidence existed.”

During the interview, Snowden also repeated his calls for full disclosure of the communication trail.

“I would say one of my final official acts in government was continuing one of these communications with a legal office,” he told NBC.

“And in fact, I’m so sure that these communications exist that I’ve called on Congress to write a letter to the NSA to verify that they do.”

Six months ago, responding to questions on the subject from Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, the NSA issued a statement claiming there was no evidence of a paper trail at all.

“After extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention,” said the agency.

So, that was a lie.

Oh, and spying on everyone is for your safety and protection and reduces terrorism.

California authorities knew of but didn’t view Elliot Rodger’s videos

Associated Press

Friday 30 May 2014

Law officers who visited Elliot Rodger three weeks before he killed six college students near a Santa Barbara university were aware that he had posted disturbing videos but didn’t watch them, and they didn’t know about his final video detailing his “Day of Retribution” until after the deadly rampage, officials said.

The disclosure in a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s department statement on Thursday corrected an earlier assertion that deputies were unaware of any video when they checked on him on 30 April. The statement also provided new details on the sequence of events during that pivotal visit to Rodger’s apartment, a time when he was plotting the rampage ended with him apparently taking his own life.

The guns he used in the killings last Friday were stashed inside his apartment at the time, but police never searched the residence or conducted a check to determine if he owned firearms because they didn’t consider him a threat.

And torture too?  Yes, and torture too.

Afghanistan 2016 withdrawal keeps secret Bagram detainees in limbo

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

Friday 30 May 2014

On the outskirts of the massive Bagram airfield, about an hour’s drive from the capital of Kabul and in what the military calls the Detention Facility in Parwan, the US holds about 50 prisoners. The government has publicly disclosed nearly nothing about them, not even their names, save for acknowledging that they are not Afghans.

These are the last detainees the US holds in the Afghanistan war. It relinquished hundreds of Afghan detainees, and almost all of the detention facility, to Afghan control last year. Sometimes called, in military parlance, “Enduring Security Threats”, the non-Afghans have posed a dilemma for the Department of Defense for years, as officials pondered what to do about them ahead of a pullout that had been anticipated for December 2014.

The military has considered charging some of them in federal court and, reportedly, at least one before a military tribunal. It has debated transferring them to other countries for continued detention. It has pondered simply letting them go when hostilities officially end. But those discussions have become bogged down, an inertia now added to by Obama’s announcement of an extended US troop presence.

“The United States will continue to have legal authority to detain individuals from al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated forces until the end of the armed conflict as a matter of international law,” said Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon spokesman for detainee matters.

“We will continue to evaluate the appropriateness of detaining the Enduring Security Threats as we move towards the end of 2016.”

BNP shares drop on news of $10bn fine sought by Justice Department

Dominic Rushe, Sean Farrell, The Guardian

Friday 30 May 2014 12.56 EDT

BNP is being investigated by federal authorities and New York’s financial authorities over transactions from Cuba, Iran and Sudan that may have violated US money-laundering rules as well as the economic sanctions that ban US bank offices from doing business with those countries.

HSBC’s 2012 fine was for similar charges. The then-record payment related to transactions HSBC made that benefited Mexican drug cartels as well as countries the US considered “rogue states” – including Iran, Libya and Sudan. But the British bank was also able to escape without admitting criminal wrongdoing.

The record-breaking fine that could be imposed upon France’s largest bank has alarmed French authorities. Christian Noyer, the governor of the Bank of France, said earlier this month that BNP’s did not violate European or French laws.

Kaplan Test Prep Journal-  Public Education Bad.  Cheating for Profit Good.

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good

Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post

Published: May 28

The second-graders paraded to the Dumpster in the rear parking lot, where they chucked boxes of old worksheets, notebooks and other detritus into the trash, emptying their school for good.

Benjamin Banneker Elementary closed Wednesday as New Orleans’s Recovery School District permanently shuttered its last five traditional public schools this week.

With the start of the next school year, the Recovery School District will be the first in the country made up completely of public charter schools, a milestone for New Orleans and a grand experiment in urban education for the nation.

Civil Liberties have nothing to do with Ayn Rand and everything to do with the Bill of Rights.

For Libertarian Utopia, Float Away on ‘Startup’ Nation

By Edward Robinson, Bloomberg News

May 30, 2014

As dawn breaks over the Gulf of Fonseca, southeast of El Salvador, Patri Friedman sets out for a jog. He trots past domed hothouses filled with fruit trees and feels the sidewalk sway gently underfoot as a tugboat chugs by with a floating apartment building in tow. The year is 2024, and Friedman lives on a so-called seastead, a waterbound city of some 1,000 people who produce their own food, their own energy and — most important — their own laws.

That’s the dream that Friedman, a libertarian software engineer at Google Inc. (GOOG) and the grandson of Nobel Memorial Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, is working to make a reality. As Bloomberg Pursuits will report in its Summer 2014 issue, Friedman is chairman of The Seasteading Institute, an Oakland, California-based group financed with $1.2 million in seed money from PayPal Inc. billionaire Peter Thiel.

The five-year-old organization is pursuing an ambitious aquatic mission: to develop floating microcountries that will dwell in international waters with the same sovereign status enjoyed by cruise ships. Think secessionist, do-it-yourself nation building meets the 1995 post-apocalyptic science-fiction stinker ‘Waterworld.’

Shakespearian Propaganda (to be fair he did a lot of work for the Red Rose and as an artist had no certain income of his own).

Shakespeare’s Deformed Richard III Disputed by Scientists

By Makiko Kitamura, Bloomberg News

May 29, 2014

Richard III, who died offering to trade his kingdom for a horse in Shakespeare’s version of his life, had scoliosis that wasn’t severe enough to warrant the hunchback depiction, scientists at the University of Cambridge and the University of Leicester said in a paper published in the Lancet journal. No evidence was found of a withered arm or uneven legs that would have caused him to limp.

Richard III’s demise ended Britain’s Plantagenet dynasty and inspired one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, with the title role performed by Kevin Spacey at London’s Old Vic a year before the bones were unearthed.

His death also may have inspired some to malign the king to give legitimacy to the succeeding Tudor dynasty. The exaggeration of physical defects may obscure the truth about the supposed villainy of the monarch, according to some scholars.

Richard III is sometimes accused of having arranged the killing of two young princes, the sons of the previous king, Edward IV. His death marked the end of the Wars of the Roses and he was succeeded by Henry VII.

Wounds were discovered on the skeleton that were consistent with dying in battle, scientists said at the time, and the corpse was probably “subjected to humiliation injuries, including a sword through the right buttock.”

I blame it on the news, McClatchy has notably switched to a subscription model and altogether it has made my life more difficult.

It has made my life more difficult

Very good.


The Administration’s Non-Appeal Appeal on the Awlaki Memo

By emptywheel

Published May 27, 2014

DOD Reasserts Its Right to Force Feed While Not Denying Force Feeding Is Torture

By emptywheel

Published May 27, 2014

Edward Snowden, the patriotic traitor

Andrew Leonard, Salon

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thomas Piketty’s numbers aren’t wrong: The Financial Times’ big whiff misstates his central argument

Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:28 AM EDT

A Liberal Moderate’s Critique of Snowden and Greenwald

Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

May 28 2014

New document details America’s war machine – and secret mass of contractors in Afghanistan

Tim Shorrock, Salon

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 09:35 AM EDT

Everything You Need to Know About Thomas Piketty vs. The Financial Times

Neil Irwin, The New York Times

MAY 30, 2014

“Bush’s Fourth Term Continues”: Guantanamo, Torture, Secret Renditions; Indefinite Detention

By Adam Hudson, Truthout

Friday, 30 May 2014 12:31

Mr. Kerry: Why Snowden can’t “Make his Case” in “Our System of Justice”

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

May. 30, 2014

Why Is It So Acceptable to Lie to Promote Trade Deals?

Dean Baker, CEPR

Friday, 30 May 2014 04:36

Time announces our victory…or defeat

by rserven, Daily Kos

Fri May 30, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT

The Evening Blues – 5-30-14

by joe shikspack, Daily Kos

Fri May 30, 2014 at 05:00 PM PDT

Juan Cole is a Treasure

by LaEscapee, Daily Kos

Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:02 PM PDT

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