January 27, 2015 archive

Today in Fail

Tutankhamun’s botched beard: conservation chief demoted to royal vehicles role

Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian

Tuesday 27 January 2015 09.26 EST

It’s a pharaoh cop, Egyptian archaeology officials have admitted. After initially downplaying reports that Tutankhamun’s beard had been fixed with the wrong glue, the Egyptian Museum has owned up to the error – and moved its chief conservator to less glamorous pastures.

Last week, her duties included the conservation of one of the world’s most important collection of artefacts, including Tutankhamun’s fabled death mask and jewellery, as well as hundreds of ancient mummies, tombs and statues. From now on her role will be limited to overseeing the contents of Egypt’s royal stables.

Her move follows the museum’s admission that Tutankhamun’s beard was damaged last year, and that conservators subsequently fixed it with too conspicuous a glue.

The discovery initially came to light after anonymous curators leaked the information to the press last week. “One night they wanted to fix the lighting in the showcase, and when they did that they held the mask in the wrong way and broke the beard,” one curator told the Guardian at the time. “They tried to fix it overnight with the wrong material, but it wasn’t fixed in the right way.”

For several days, officials downplayed the claims. Abdelrahman argued that while the wrong glue was indeed applied, the beard was never itself broken. “If it was broken, it would have been a big problem, and we would have written a report about it,” she said.

Reality TV

In which I present actual commentary from people who know what they’re talking about as opposed to NeoLibBC.


Yanis Varoufakis, familiar to readers of Naked Capitalism





TBC: Morning Musing 1.27.15

I have 3 articles for you today to get the blood flowing.

First, a great piece on Islam and Terrorism:

The Salience of Islam in Terrorism

Consider the following hypothetical statement: we must kill them before the kill us. We have to protect our women and children and our land from them or they will invade us. Who could say this? So-called Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, right-wing Christians on Fox News in the US? In fact both can and do say this. Radical Islamists and war mongering in the West are both described as ‘right wing’ meaning that the structure, not the content, of their thinking is similar. This rigid and simplistic way of thinking only entrenches each side. It is a failed strategy that only exacerbates the problem.


On This Day In History January 27

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 338 days remaining until the end of the year (339 in leap years)

On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”

The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and elected as the Society’s president a lawyer and philanthropist named Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Neither a scientist nor a geographer, Hubbard represented the Society’s desire to reach out to the layman.


The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to organize “a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.” After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, eventually succeeded him in 1897 following his death. In 1899 Bell’s son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years (1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since.

Bell and his son-in-law, Grosvenor, devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines. The current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Geographic is Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for the Society’s leadership for Geography education. In 2004, the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. was one of the first buildings to receive a “Green” certification from Global Green USA The National Geographic received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanity in October 2006 in Oviedo, Spain.

Late Night Karaoke

Live Blogging the Blizzard 2015

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If you have nothing else to do, like those of us who are stuck in the northeastern USA, you can watch the live video cameras in NYC during the blizzard. Look no traffic, just a few silly pedestrians enjoying it.

New York City Snow Cam: Times Square

New York City Snow Cam: Columbus Circle

The Daily/Nightly Show (Top Shot)

You know, if I had to pick a military specialty (outside of Supreme Commander for which I’m eminently qualified, just ask me) it would be a sniper because I have a keen appreciation of a well aimed kill from outside the range of immediate relatiation which is why when people like me are captured we’re generally executed on the spot as the cowards we are.

Alas my eyesight barely qualifies me for bayonet work and my natural distrust of authority makes me a poor match for the military and besides, I can’t drink with them.

No, seriously.  I ran into some Navy recruiters one night and I woke up in a parking lot miles away with no idea how I got there.  It’s my only black out and an experience I’m not willing to repeat because I could just as easily have found myself in Shanghai and as much as I appreciate the history of the oldest culture on earth I have no desire to visit as a victim of a press gang.  I do my own reporting and don’t need no stinkin’ paparazzi.

We’ll be talking tonight about Chris Kyle, the racist mass murdering asshole celebrated by the senile Clint Eastwood who was so stupid (how stupid was he Gene?), so stupid he gave a guy suffering from extreme PTSD a gun and turned his back on him.

Got a Darwin Award for that he did, but maybe he wanted to die.

We could have asked Larry anything about Veterans including why we treat them like crap when they’re no use as soldiers anymore, but we missed our window of opportunity.

Tonight’s panel- Irving Nicholas, Paul Rickhoff, Matt Taibbi, Sabrina Jalees.


It’s because they’re Black Jon

This week’s guests-

The Daily Show

No, not the colostomy Castro, the twin who couldn’t get elected and is now HUD Secretary.