Apparently we can reconstruct a person’s face from his or her skull, but I suspect that this is more of an art than a science. Especially with that model of Richard III’s face – it looks remarkably like fifteenth-century portraits of Richard III, which would suggest that either fifteenth-century artists were quite good and that facial reconstruction is very accurate – or the facial reconstructors are practicing a form of circular logic by making their result match the portrait. Thus do I have an idea for a History Channel show. Three teams of facial reconstructors are given a copy of the skull of a recently deceased person, for whom we have plenty of photographs but who is otherwise unknown to them. They are given the skull, and a week to see what they can come up with – and there would be plenty of interviews and other reality TV effects as they go about this assignment. A week later they come back and unveil what they’ve done – then a photograph is revealed of what the person actually looked like. A panel of judges and/or a clap-o-meter would choose the winning team, which would win an all-expense-paid week at Sandals™ resorts (the other teams would receive a selection of valuable parting gifts).
From Yana Weinstein-Jones (via Andrew Reeves): “This blog post will offend everyone in academia“:
Ghost, or object to be discarded when no longer necessary. Hired begrudgingly to fill gaps due to tenured faculty not wanting to teach dispreferred classes. Referred to with disdain because “some don’t even have PhDs”. Discussed as a problem that calls for pest control even though they teach more than half of the classes. Too beaten down to be scared.
To be taken advantage of because they will do anything to prove their worth. Make the mistake of trying to teach well. Must answer emails all day and all night. Very scared, but also determined. (see also, “Untenured”)
Associate Prof with potential promotion to Full
Firing on all cylinders to strategically select project with biggest payoff in terms of things that count: grant funding, publications in high-profile journals, high-visibility service. Ruthless elimination of anything and everything that does not contribute to promotion, such as mentoring students. More angry than scared.
Associate Prof resigned to endless Associate purgatory
Bitter at how life turned out. Particularly bitter at productive Assistant Professors: how dare they work so hard, making us look bad?
A person who has given up all of their hopes and dreams of an academic career, at least temporarily, to manage the most self-involved, passive aggressive, competitive, entitled, and needy workforce on an unimaginably low budget. The fact that everyone is highly intelligent and some kind of expert on something or other makes things worse, as each person deeply believes that the thing that they are an expert in is the most important one with the greatest need for resources.
More at the link.
A laff from The Onion:
Something fun from Medieval Merriment (via Deb Salata): signatures of every English sovereign from Richard II to Elizabeth II, including Edward V (one of the disappeared Princes in the Tower) – but not Lady Jane Grey unfortunately.
The first series in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs has been determined, with the Vegas Golden Knights sweeping the Los Angeles Kings four games to zero.
Knights vs. Kings. Sounds like a successful medieval rebellion…
An amusing comment by John Nolte on the Daily Wire:
USA Today’s Brian Truitt describes himself as a “shameless geek,” but oddly enough omits the fact that he is also just as shamelessly ignorant when it comes to the signaling of his own virtue. In his review of Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan’s big-budget look (opening this weekend) at an actual historical event that took place in the early days of World War II, Truitt offers potential ticket-buyers the following trigger warning:
The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.
Where in the world do these people come from?
Did Truitt do any homework about the background of this movie? He does appear to know that Nolan’s latest is based on a true story, which I guess is a start, but he probably learned that from the trailer. The real question, though, is just how clueless about history, about the biggest world event of the 20th century are you when you find it “jarring” that Wesley Snipes doesn’t show up to save the day or that Sandra Bullock is not driving a tank that will explode if it goes under 50 miles per hour?
Complaining about the lack of women and minority actors in a movie about Dunkirk is like complaining about the lack of Sinatra music in Straight Outta Compton or wondering why cancer failed to get equal time in Philadelphia or hectoring Hollywood over the omission of realistic sex scenes in the Toy Story trilogy.
And we cannot only blame Truitt, who is probably a victim of public schools. How did his trigger warning, one so feeble-minded it ranks as a non sequitur, make it past the USA Today editors? Are they all half-wits or does someone personally dislike Truitt so much they have stopped protecting him from himself?
Sorry if the following is inconvenient to your McCarthyistic desire to bully filmmakers into thinking and believing a certain way, but the settled science tells us the following: Trapped at Dunkirk were young, white males. Saving those young, white males were other white males. Trying to kill those young, white males were other white males.
UPDATE: From News Thump:
‘Not enough Americans’ in Dunkirk movie, says Hollywood
Hollywood’s top military historians are up in arms over the lack of Americans in the new film ‘Dunkirk’.
The film, which features some bunch of Limeys nobody has ever heard of, has been singled out for lacking realism and credibility by not showing Americans as the heroes.
American reviewers described feeling ‘robbed’ after the film failed to show any of their countrymen in a heroic, leading role, leading to accusations of ‘Britwashing’ the Second World War to make it look like anyone other than the USA was involved.
From Waterford Whispers News, a tongue-in-cheek story for this year’s Orangemen’s Day (July 12):
The Untold History Of The Orange Order Parades
WITH July twelfth officially upon us, we look back now at the very little known history of the Orange Order parades, and how they originally came about.
The Loyal Orange Institution, more commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant organisation based primarily in Northern Ireland. The Order was founded in 1795 in a bid to bring some sort of order to the way fruit was being displayed in many fruit stalls across the six counties.
The problem was that the poorer Catholic street traders would throw every different variety of fruit into the same stall, with no separation between items, making it difficult for buyers to search through. Not only was the jumbled up fruit unsightly, it also encouraged mould and rot to fester quite quickly, ruining the produce.
The Protestants, or “protesting ants” as they were originally called, began feuding with the Catholics about their idiotic shelving, insisting the fruit to be separated.
On July 12th, 1803, the Orange Order decided to finally take a stand, organising a march right through the heart of Belfast city on the Shankhill Road, where dozens of Catholic fruit sellers were based. Historians state that over 300 Orange Order members marched down through the stalls, carefully separating apples from pears, bananas from oranges, and even aligning the fruit in order of ripeness. This upset the Catholics and violence soon broke out on the street, and several people on both sides were tragically killed.
More at the link.
From the anonymous fourteenth-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Fit I, lines 136-150, trans. Bernard O’Donoghue):
a monstrous apparition strode in the door,
one of the tallest creatures in the whole of the earth.
So square and powerful from neck to waist,
his thighs and his forearms so muscly and long
you’d think that he was some kind of half-giant.
But I think what he was was the hugest of men,
the most pleased with his size of anyone living.
For, though his back and his chest were incredibly big,
his stomach and waist were fashionable trim,
and all his features in proportion, given his size, exactly right.
They were shocked by his colour though,
apparent at first glance;
what was most uncanny was
he was green from head to toe!
Later on in the poem it is revealed that this Green Knight is in fact Lord Bertilak, Gawain’s host, transformed through the magic of Morgan le Fay.
Thus I believe that I have discovered the origins of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. The Hulk is also entirely green, the monstrous alter ego of a regular human and, when transformed, has a much broader chest than waist (the Hulk’s shirts would always rip off, but never his pants).
An amusing bit of fake news from Tom MacMaster on this day:
Despite Melania’s wish, Trump is currently en route to an emergency meeting in the Senate and has dispensed with his security detail…