I finally got around to reading National Geographic’s feature on the “family secrets” of King Tut. The famous Egyptian king has been popping up a lot lately due to a bunch of new exhibits (took my mom to the AGO’s earlier this year; if you missed it, you really missed out) and new insights into his life gleaned from genetic testings. Yes, looks like he had malaria, and his club foot was likely the result of inbreeding. Doesn’t look like he was murdered though, which was previously the most popular theory on his too-young death.
The DNA tests have also established a family. More inbreeding. The mummy previously referred to only as “Elder Lady” (on left) has been revealed to be Tut’s grandmother, Tiye. His only grandmother, since Tut’s parents, we now know, were brother and sister, Tiye’s offspring. Evidence also suggests that maybe Tut himself indulged in some of the ol’ incest — two mummified children are likely to be his and his half-sister’s.
You can read Zahi Hawass’s story here, but I encourage you to seek out the September issue print version because Kenneth Garrett’s photos are lush in a way only Nat Geo’s glossed pages can capture. I was particularly drawn to this photo of Tiye, still with her beautiful reddish hair flowing behind her, left hand forever clenched in a sign of queendom. She stayed fly, that Tiye.
According to Keith Jeffery’s new book, The Secret History of MI6, the answer is no. MI6 did not hand out licenses to kill. But that doesn’t mean Ian Flemming’s tales of super spy James Bond were that far off.
From the Star:
The first-ever official history of MI6 reveals that Britain’s foreign spy agency debated assassinating Nazi leaders, landed a spy wearing a wetsuit over his tux at a casino by the sea … but also wrangled with other government departments and had to make do on a shoestring budget.
Ace spies included “Biffy” Dunderdale — a friend of Flemming — whom Jeffery says shared with Bond an affinity for fast cars and fast women.
More happily for spy buffs, Q — the gadget-making super-scientist from the Bond films — is based on reality. After World War II, MI6 researchers worked on silent weapons, knockout tablets, safecracking tools and exploding filing cabinets that could destroy secret documents at short notice.
Gotta love how it all makes MI6 sound like just a bunch of bumbling Inspector Gadget type blokes. Her majesty’s secret service, of course, held the power to censor the book’s content.
“Ya te veo” is the name given to a man-eating tree of legend by J.W. Buel in his Sea and Land (1887). It translates from Spanish to “I see you,” which is also the catch phrase writer-director James Cameron used in his magic-tree-filled nature-strikes-back love fest, Avatar. Good one, James.
Shouts to Pamela Isley.
Lately I crush on the new cute girl on the The Office. Her drama teacher in high-school was Jon Hamm, she went to Princeton, Oxford too. Sometimes writes for The Onion and McSweeney’s. And she makes me roffle, which always helps.