Dead Pool 9th March 2014

Dead Pool BackgroundNot a good week to be a French director it seems, but nobody guessed their demises, so no harm done. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed quite a few Star Trek actors and astronauts passing away recently, then I thought about it and realised that a lot of these people are ‘really’ old now. How did that happen?? Perhaps next year a list of spacemen is in order, actors and actual real ones!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Elena BaltachaFormer British tennis number one Elena Baltacha has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Baltacha, 30, who retired last year, won 11 singles titles, made the third round of Wimbledon in 2002 and was part of Great Britain’s Fed Cup team for 11 years. At the age of 19, Baltacha was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition which compromises the immune system. Let’s wish her well, but also keep an eye on her progress.

fawltyps01Actor Timothy West has told how his wife, Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales, has been suffering from “a sort of mild Alzheimer’s”. The actress, now 81, is best known for her role as Basil Fawlty’s wife Sybil in the comedy Fawlty Towers. Scales says that she was determined not to let the condition keep her from the stage. “I always say I want to die on the eighth curtain call,” she says. “Eight will mean the show’s been rather a success. I just hope I’m somewhere near the middle and have been reasonably good in the part.” Can’t keep a good woman down they say!

Pope-Francis-Audience-with-the-media-1Pope Francis inadvertently demonstrated his own fallibility during an address in St Peter’s Square when he mistakenly said the Italian word for “fuck”. The 77-year-old Jesuit Pope corrected himself almost immediately after making the gaffe during the audience at the Vatican on Sunday, but it was posted by Italians on YouTube and other social media and has since spread round the world.

Stephen-Hawking_2842103bThis is the bizarre moment world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking joined fancy-dress revellers on a stag do. Chris Hallam, 29, and ten friends had gone out all dressed as Bananaman for a night on the town in Cambridge. The group turned a corner and bumped into Stephen Hawking getting out of his car. And they were stunned when the Brief History of Time author agreed to pose with them for a souvenir photo.

old-man-drinking-whiskey-and-smokingLastly, I have to share this little story from The Telegraph last week. They’re implying that people aged between 55 and 65 that binge-drink at the weekend are twice as likely to die within 20 years than moderate drinkers. Well, no shit Sherlock! If I even reach 85 I’ll be quite happy, hopefully I’ll be drinking like a teenager too!  You also may have seen that being angry will increase your risk of dying early as well. Apparently being an angry cunt increases your chance of a heart attack by fivefold. Good I say, who needs a misery guts. Fuck giving them statins, let Darwinism make the world a nicer place.  If you are wondering if you are about to die, why not take the test! Luckily I live a quiet peaceful life in which I rarely talk to anyone and eat well and don’t smoke, so I’ll be here for a long time to annoy you with the Dead Pool. Luckily they don’t ask about how much you drink…

On This Day

Deaths

Horrible Ways to Die #4 – Hanged, Drawn & Quartered by Dexychik

ant2006-0140.dviHigh treason, meaning to plot against the crown, only stopped being a capital, offence in 1998. And from the mid-14th century until 1817, the punishment for most men who committed high treason was to be hanged, drawn and quartered. If you were very noble, you might get your sentence commuted to a straightforward beheading.

Everyone who’s seen Braveheart has a vague idea of what being hanged, drawn and quartered (or HDQ’d, for brevity) means. The man would be hanged until nearly unconscious, then have his innards removed, and then be chopped into four pieces, which were sent to be displayed around the kingdom as a deterrent. People came in their droves to watch this happen: it was considered a legitimate family entertainment. Imagine that nowadays: “What’s happening Saturday?” “Oh, X Factor’s back on, but someone’s being killed on Channel Xecution!”

So, what does it really mean to be HDQ’d? The captive was usually taken to their execution site on a hurdle, meaning pulled along behind a horse, tied to some wood. This would chafe…

executionThe first thing to know about old style execution is that hanging in ye olden times was not the ‘long drop’. That came much later, when a clever man worked out how long a drop was necessary to break a criminal’s neck and reduce suffering. When talking about HDQ’ing, the hanging element meant being strung up by the neck and being choked. This could take bloody hours, and in straightforward executions, the family were allowed to pull the convict’s legs to end his or her suffering. This wouldn’t happen in a HDQ, consciousness was considered necessary.

The_'Hung_Drawn_and_Quartered'_,_Great_Tower_Street,_London_-_geograph.org.uk_-_381862The drawing wouldn’t be terribly pleasant to watch, or smell. The abdomen was opened up, and the bowel pulled out for all to see. There is a report that, in 1660, General Thomas Harrison smacked his executioner on the head after being disembowelled. That’s some spirit, and proof that being disembowelled isn’t necessarily painful enough to render a man unconscious or incapable. The guts were usually burned in front of the man’s eyes.

The quartering wouldn’t be fun to watch, but the convict was beheaded first, then hacked up. Back in ye olden days, this sort of posthumous disfigurement was considered a Bad Thing, as the body was needed whole for the afterlife. This is one of the reasons corpses of criminals were the only ones used for anatomy lessons, and why being HDQ’d stopped – the bodies were too mutilated to use in surgical lectures.

The moral here is, don’t plot against the monarch, if a horrible punishment is on the statute books. Thankfully, it’s now punishable by life imprisonment, so plot at will.

Next time: syphilis (pre-modern-therapy) OR boiled to death. You choose!

Last Week’s Birthdays

proclaimersTom Wolfe (84), John Irving (72), Jon Bon Jovi (52), Daniel Craig (46), Chris Martin (37), Jennifer Warnes (67), Miranda Richardson (56), Jessica Biel (32), Bobby Womack (70), Shakin’ Stevens (66), Chris Rea (63), Patsy Kensit (46), Dean Stockwell (78), Eddy Grant (66), Penn Jillette (59), Craig & Charlie Reed of The Proclaimers (52), Eva Mendes (39), David Gilmour (68), Rob Reiner (67), Kiki Dee (67), Tom Arnold (55), Bryan Cranston (58), Rachel Weisz (43), TJ Thyne (39), Micky Dolenz (69), Gary Numan (56) and Tom Chaplin (35).

2013 League Table

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Next week peeps!

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