Walking Like an Egyptian – WABAC Into History

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Horrifying Facts

About

Ancient Egypt

"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“To the land of Pharaohs and mummies Sherman My Boy.”

Ancient Egypt is one of the most fascinating places in the historical record. Their obsession with life after death, their grand pyramids and golden treasures, and the multitudes of evidence they left behind of their great works have captured the imaginations of people for thousands of years. However, underneath the veneer of mysticism and historical grandeur, Ancient Egypt was not always the most fun place in the world to live. Their justice system was often unfair and cruel, some of their medical practices were horrifying, and their devotion to the gods often went to insane lengths.

waybac-machine

 10. An Outbreak Of Cholera Was Once Linked To Food Wrapping Paper Made From Mummy Bandages

There was a time when anything involving Ancient Egypt was considered a fad. Mummies were imported to Europe to be unwrapped at parties, and many, many mummies were illegally smuggled out of Ancient Egypt. The truth is, there were a lot of mummies around and no one really felt much respect for them – even at the time, very little proper historical significance was attributed to them.

For this reason getting hold of mummy bandages was not only cheap, but in some cases cheaper than paper. An enterprising businessman in the early 1900s in the United States decided that he could save some money making wrapping paper for food, and imported in some old brown mummy paper to do the trick. Unfortunately for him, his plan failed when people started catching cholera, and the use of mummy paper to wrap food was abandoned.

9. Servants Were Sometimes Put To Death To Be Buried Alongside Their Masters

Those who were sacrificed this way would not necessarily feel that they were being murdered, though. The Ancient Egyptians had a complicated relationship with death, and were obsessed with carrying on with life after death. In a way, they were far more obsessed with life than they were with death. Those servants who were sent to die and be buried with their masters were considered privileged to be allowed to follow a powerful figure into the afterlife to serve them. However, it was still likely nerve wracking to know that your fate was tied to the random death of a person you work for.

8. Mummy Used To Commonly Be Eaten As A Medicine In Europe

To most people cannibalism is literally the most awful taboo imaginable. The idea of eating human flesh, even in circumstances where you have no other choice, is something that immediately turns the stomach of most humans. Even when talking about incidents like the Donner party, where people would have been pushed to the limit, and likely only ate those who were already dead, people still speak of it in hushed tones, terrified at the very prospect of being faced with such a horrible decision.

However, back in the 1600s and 1700s in Europe, a craze swept around where people were crushing up bits of human of various kinds and eating it in order to attempt to cure themselves of various ailments. It started out with people crushing up mummyand putting it in a tincture, claiming it could cure all kinds of different things, but ended up with people drinking blood to cure blood related illnesses, and even bits of crushed skull to deal with problems of the brain. While most today consider cannibalism obscene, there was a time in Europe when consuming the remains of other people was considered perfectly normal and good for your health as well.

7. If You Disrespected The Sun God They Would Immolate Your Entire Being

In Ancient Egypt violent crime was fairly rare, but one of the most awful crimes you could commit was any form of offense or disrespect toward the Sun God. If you vandalized or robbed a temple, committed any form of personal disrespect, or were otherwise found guilty of any offense related to the Sun God, you were usually sentenced to be burned alive. This punishment was only reserved for the greatest of offenses and was usually accompanied by a ritual that sacrificed the individual to the gods. While the Ancient Egyptians rarely practiced actual human sacrifices, this is one of the few exceptions.

While burning alive is painful enough to begin with, it was considered the most horrific death of all by Ancient Egyptians because of the ritual significance of the act. They believed strongly in preserving the physical body for life after death, and believed that destroying the person’s physical body completely by burning would leave them with no vessel in the afterlife. While the gods could still technically intervene to help this person, it was about as terrifying a punishment as a believer in Ancient Egyptian society could imagine.

6. It Was Extremely Common For Ancient Egyptian Police To Beat Confessions Out Of People

In Ancient Egypt, they had a well put together system of laws and a group that essentially acted as police, but that doesn’t mean things were really all that fair. Just like in older European societies, forcing confessions out of people was incredibly common; in fact it was basically standard practice. Usually, to elicit confessions people would be beaten with sticks, often on the bottom of the feet – a torture known as bastinado.

 Those who were tortured into confessing were expected to not only admit to what they did, but explain where anything they stole might still be hiding and rat out every single one of their accomplices. These people could then also be beaten to ascertain any further accomplices as well. Unfortunately, like many imperfect legal systems, it will never be possible to quantify just how many innocent people may have been punished for a crime because they were forced into confessing something they didn’t do. Sadly, false confessions under torture are an incredibly common phenomenon, because people will do almost anything to make torture end when it is painful enough.

5. If You Violated The Law, You Were Considered Guilty Until Proven Innocent

One of the cornerstones of the modern legal system is the presumption of innocence – innocent until proven guilty. It is one of the reasons many people have long touted the Western legal systems, where at the very least, you will receive a fair and somewhat speedy trial, where you know that the system isn’t already presuming guilt before you have had a chance to defend yourself. And while Ancient Egypt had a fairly advanced legal system, in this area they were particularly lacking.

In their legal system, the guilt of the accused was presumed from the very beginning, and it was the job of the accused to prove their innocence. While judges would always do their best to not play favorites, beatings were common to prove guilt – as we mentioned earlier – and were more likely to be applied to the accused party, even though they could have been innocent. Even witnesses could be beaten if necessary if the judges felt it was needed to get more information about the case. While there is no evidence that Ancient Egyptians abused this system regularly by falsely accusing each other, it seems the system would almost benefit those who would abuse it more than it would the innocent.

4. Sometimes If You Were Accused Of A Crime, Your Guilt Would Be Decided By The Magic Of Oracles

In the later days of Ancient Egypt, the priesthood started to gain an increasing control on the daily lives of Egyptians and of the decisions made by the rulers of the land. The priests’ influence and power over the common people increased continually over the years, and before long they were being consulted for far more than they ever had been before. Those in power knew better than to question the priests too much, as they were considered to be able to contact and gain the support of the gods, and also would be able to potentially influence large amounts of people to do their bidding.

This meant that in the latter days of Ancient Egypt, the priesthood now found itself involved in matters of court. They would bring in a statue of the Sun God and set papyri before it with different options for important decisions – in court they were generally two papers deciding innocence or guilt. The statue was supposed to turn toward the correct paper, showing the will of the gods. Of course this gave the priests a chance to manipulate the statues movements and essentially decided court cases based on their own opinions and whims. Unfortunately, this meant that many Ancient Egyptians were at the whim of a con artist while in court; one who everyone believed, but who likely knew full well that he was making up all of the stuff about the gods’ will.

3. Using Birth Control Was An Incredibly Disgusting Horror Show

Today people will use condoms, take pills, or try to predict monthly cycles in order to avoid pregnancies when they are not ready for procreation at that moment. And as many people know, birth control has existed for many thousands of years. Researchers have found evidence of sheepskin condoms from long ago, and the Ancient Romans are said to have used a plant for birth control so frequently that they made it go entirely extinct. However, most of these methods are fairly reasonable ways to deal with birth control, especially compared to the methods used by the Ancient Egyptians.

In Ancient Egypt, they believed that a mixture of mostly honey and crocodile dung, which was then plastered all over the vagina, was a great way to avoid getting pregnant. For some reason, they decided that this was an effective spermicide – although it actually would be more likely to increase the chance of pregnancy. While it is understandable for them to believe it could have worked as birth control considering their knowledge at the time, it is also horrifying to imagine how often they would have to come into physical contact with crocodile dung on the most intimate parts of their bodies.

2. The Death Penalty In Ancient Egypt Was Rare, But Extremely Brutal When Enacted

Life in Ancient Egypt could be quite harsh and beatings were, as we’ve mentioned a few times now, both a common method of extracting confessions and also a common punishment. However, while many people know that Ancient Egypt could be fairly strict in terms of punishing miscreants, like much of the Ancient world they were also very much against wantonly dishing out the death penalty.

While the option existed under the law, it was very, very seldom used. In fact, there was even a time period of roughly 150 years where no official state sanctioned executions for crimes were carried out in the empire of Ancient Egypt. However, when someone had done something bad enough, such as murder, or treason, the death sentence they were punished with was often quite brutal. While we mentioned earlier that burning alive was a punishment of choice for serious offenses to the gods, there were other forms of capital punishment they also employed that were similarly painful and awful, such as decapitation, drowning, and even impalement on a stake.

1. The Legends Of Ancient Egyptian Curses Simply Will Not Go Away

Countless legends and stories have been told about the idea of a mummies curse and the concept goes farther back than many think. Even before the opening of King Tut’s tomb, stories were already cropping up about mummies taking revenge when their remains were disturbed. However, the most popular legend claims that 26 people were involved in opening the tomb, and then they all started to die under mysterious circumstances – with the expedition leader himself succumbing very quickly to blood poisoning.

Searches of the tomb have revealed mold spores but nothing that is deemed particularly dangerous – not strong enough to damage you just by being in the room for a bit, certainly. Some have theorized that perhaps there was a strange disease involved that showed up as blood poisoning, but most scientists dismiss this, pointing out that the whole thing is silly anyway, since only six of the 26 people involved had anything involving a recent death after the event. However, while there may be no logical evidence that curses exist, it doesn’t mean that the Ancient Egyptians didn’t try. Many tombs have various symbols around them, cursing those who disturb their remains in the hopes they will be attacked by vicious animals such as lions or snakes, or even punished by the gods themselves.


Walking Like an Egyptian

WABAC Machine2-001

– WABAC Into History

Real-Life Cops – Modern Day Action Heroes

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RealLifeActionHeroes

Real-Life Cops Turning

Into Action Heroes

When we see cops in the news, it’s usually in the context of something bad. The shooting of an unarmed witness. Alleged corruption. Even an attack on cops themselves. But there’s another, less reported side to our boys in blue. Plenty of cops are living their lives like 1980s action heroes.

We don’t just mean these guys are heroic. They are. What we mean is they are so heroic you can picture them being played by Bruce Willis, when Bruce Willis still had hair. Fed up with news stories portraying cops as bad guys? Check out the tales of these real-life action heroes.

10. David Muniz Talks Down a Guy Who Shot Him in the Chest

muniz

Plenty of cops risk taking a bullet in their line of work. It takes a special kind of cop to take that bullet, then carry right on policing as if nothing had happened. Meet that cop: David Muniz was responding to a domestic violence call in 2015 when he encountered a very drunk, very angry guy wielding a pistol. The guy politely listened to Muniz’s call to lower his weapon, then raised that weapon and shot Muniz right in the chest.

 At this point, most similar stories would take on a somber air as we told you about Muniz’s tragic sacrifice. This isn’t most stories. Instead of dropping down dead or going into shock, the wounded Muniz calmly tried to talk the guy who’d just shot him into surrendering his weapon.

It’s the sort of scenario you’d dismiss in a Hollywood movie as ‘too unrealistic’. In considerable pain, Muniz gently tried to talk his would-be murderer into putting his gun down, even saying at one point “we don’t want to kill you.” Like all movie villains, the guy didn’t listen. He went for his gun again. Muniz got there first and blew him away.

9. Mario Gutierrez’s Fistfight on a Flaming Forecourt 

gutierrez

In 2013, would-be mass killer Dominique Jean went crazy and set fire to a gas station forecourt in Florida. His intention was to blow the whole thing up and take a whole load of people with him. Officer Mario Gutierrez just happened to be passing and in the mood to hand out an ass-kicking. He took one look at this madman walking through a sea of fire toward the highly explosive underground tanks and jumped right on in.

What followed was like the climax to a Lethal Weapon flick. Surrounded by fire, Gutierrez charged headlong into Jean, knocking him to the ground. Unfortunately for the officer, his enemy was armed to the teeth. Jean repeatedly stabbed Gutierrez with a gigantic knife, causing him devastating injuries. Yet Gutierrez kept right on fighting. Every time Jean tried to leave his bloodied corpse and make a bee-line for the gas tanks, Gutierrez got right back to his feet and tackled him down again. Eventually, surrounded by an inferno, the officer finally managed to deliver a knockout punch. The score that day: Gutierrez 1, Forces of Darkness 0.

8. Donald Thompson Jumps Into a Burning Car

thompson

When most of us see a car explode into flames, our first instinct is to get as far away from it as humanly possible. Not Officer Donald Thompson. Thompson was out on patrol in LA one day when he saw a car career out of control and smash into a wall. It then reacted like a car in Grand Theft Auto, bursting into flames, its driver trapped inside. Thompson calmly approached the crumpled vehicle, wrenched open the door and climbed into the boiling inferno.

It was the sort of fire not even an action hero could escape from unscathed, and Thompson suffered horrifying first and second degree burns. Yet he kept right on with his single-minded rescue mission, cutting the driver from their seat and hauling them to safety. He did it just in time, too. No sooner was Thompson clear than the flames engulfed the entire car, turning it into a burning death-cage from which no one could ever have escaped. Like the total boss he was, Thompson shrugged off his death-defying insanity as all in a day’s work.

7. James Beaton Goes Man on Fire on a Kidnapper

beaton

Inspector James Beaton is a British police officer with an impressive claim to fame. In the 1970s, he managed to single-handedly stop a crazed kidnapper from abducting a member of the Royal Family. Beaton was on bodyguard duty when Princess Anne’s car bumped into another vehicle. They pulled over and the driver of the other vehicle got out. Thinking he was just an irate motorist, Beaton stepped out to calm him down. The driver pulled a gun and shot him in the shoulder.

The driver was Ian Ball, an unemployed lone gunman with a history of mental problems. For all Beaton knew, though, this was an IRA kidnap attempt and he was about to wind up very dead. Judging by his following actions, it was a sacrifice he was willing to make.

Beaton’s own gun had jammed. When Ball went for the Princess, Beaton dived in front of her. Good thing he did, as Ball fired again, shattering Beaton’s hand with the bullet. Ball then fired again, this time hitting Beaton square in the chest. The Princess’s bodyguard collapsed to the ground. Ball had won.

Or not. Beaton’s heroic actions had bought just enough time for another policeman to arrive on the scene, along with a former boxer who just happened to be passing by. Although Ball gunned down the other policeman, he couldn’t stop the boxer’s fist. Ball went down like a sack of potatoes. Like all invincible action heroes, Beaton completely recovered from his injuries.

6. Don Hull Hulks Out

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On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh exploded a gigantic fertilizer bomb underneath the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, 19 of whom were children. That grim body count could have been even higher were it not for Don Hull.

A former DEA agent turned officer, Hull just happened to be a few blocks away when the gigantic explosion levelled the building. While most of us would probably have responded by screaming and running for cover, most of us aren’t Don Hull. Faced with the screams of children buried beneath the rubble, Hull’s latent hero genes kicked in, transforming him into the Incredible Hull-k.

Armed with nothing more than his bare hands, Hull raced to the ruined building and started digging through the rubble. He single-handedly shifted a whole foot of the stuff in seconds, pulling a badly-wounded baby from the wreckage. He then ran like a speed demon to the nearest emergency responders. His actions saved the young boy’s life. Fast forward to 2016, and little Joseph Webber (the little boy in his arms in the photo above) is now a fully grown college student and artist who owes everything to Don Hull, supercop.

5. Liang Xiao’s Suicidal Suicide-Stopping Dive

liang

Chinese cops are just like their counterparts everywhere else. They get little thanks, low pay, and have to deal with all sorts of difficult situations. Oh, and they also have a tendency towards crazy levels of heroism, as Liang Xiao’s encounter with a suicidal man shows.

Xiao and his partner had been called out to deal with a suicidal man in Nankang Town, Beihai City. The man was standing on the fourth floor of an unfinished building and threatening to end it all. Pretty much the moment Xiao got there, he jumped. Xiao’s borderline-insane instinctive response? He leaped into the guy’s path, using his own body as a freakin’ human cushion.

In most worlds, this story would end with the phrase “and both were tragically killed.” Since this is a story of amazing hero cops, though, you can probably guess what happened next. The guy somehow survived his suicidal fall. Not only that, but Xiao survived, too. Although the guy crashed down on Xiao’s head, somehow the impact was softened enough to save both their lives. The guy escaped with minor bruises. Xiao’s only injuries came from his testicles immediately swelling up to a gargantuan size befitting such a total badass.

4. Marian Godina is a One Man Anti-Corruption Unit

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In Romania, cops and corruption sadly go together like Kardashians and trashy headlines, or July 4th and drunkenness. Even when the ordinary guys on the beat are honest, the system is so endemically corrupt that their superiors will let well-connected criminals get away with anything. Except, these days, for traffic crimes. The reason? An on-the-beat traffic cop named Marian Godina has single-handedly given corruption a public kicking.

Godina is just an ordinary cop, with one difference. He hates corruption. Like, hates it. If corruption were an evil Empire laying waste to Romania, then Godina would be the Rebel Alliance – repeatedly shooting torpedoes down its exhaust vent. After his superiors let one too many bad guys go, Godina came up with a plan. He took to Facebook and began publically naming and shaming all of those involved. In Romania, such honesty should have got him fired from his job. Instead, it made him a national hero.

Godina’s crusade became so popular that when his superiors tried to take his page down, ordinary Romanians took to the streets and threatened to riot. Faced with a popular revolt, the establishment backed off, leaving Godina to mercilessly crack down on corruption in his department like a non-violent, Romanian Batman. At time of writing, he’s even inspired imitators in other departments. If that’s not an inspiring Lifetime movie in the making, we don’t know what is.

3. Colonel Hugo Martinez is the Colombian Elliot Ness

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Elliot Ness is lauded in the USA for taking on crime kingpin Al Capone. If Ness had seen half the stuff Colonel Hugo Martinez did, he’d have probably chucked in the towel. Martinez is the guy the Colombian government charged with taking down Pablo Escobar.

 It was 1990, and Escobar was probably the richest, baddest guy on Earth. His Medellin Cartel was pumping so much cocaine into the USA that Escobar needed a vast complex of warehouses just to store all his paper dollars. His cronies were setting off bombs in Bogota, had brought down an entire airliner – killing 110 people – just to assassinate one man, and spread so much corruption through Colombia that the country was on the verge of becoming a failed state. Any police officers who stood up to Escobar were usually killed and their entire families murdered. Colonel Martinez in the special operations branch knew all this. And still he decided to take on Escobar.

What followed would make The Untouchables look like Sesame Street. Martinez’s family apartment was bombed. His own cadets were bribed to assassinate him. His food was poisoned. Escobar personally threatened to kill his whole family, then dig up the graves of his ancestors and shoot their bodies before reburying them. Yet Martinez would finally get the last laugh. It was he who led the team that shot Escobar dead on a Medellin rooftop on Dec 2, 1993. Against all the odds, Martinez had gone toe to toe with incomprehensible evil and survived.

2. Kevin Philippy Knows With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

kung fu cop

When hard-left French rioters surrounded the cop car, set fire to it and readied their weapons, they probably assumed the officers inside would die. They’d even prepared a sign offering ‘roast chicken’ (‘chicken’ being French slang for cops). They hadn’t counted on Kevin Philippy. Known to his colleagues as the ‘Kung Fu Cop’ (which sounds like a great, or terrible, movie), Philippy calmly stepped out his flaming car and proceeded to show those demonstrators how a real man rolls.

One of the activists grabbed an iron bar and came running at Philippy, swinging for his head. Using his ninja-level jujitsu, Philippy dodged the blows without breaking a sweat. With unhurried movements, he stepped around or deflected each blow, leaving his attacker wheezing for air and looking like the biggest dumbass in town.

At this point, you’re probably expecting to hear that Philippy then unloaded on those morons. While it would serve them right, the real story is way classier. Philippy turned to the other demonstrators and casually unhooked his gun. A moment of extreme tension followed. Then Philippy slowly smiled, gestured his partner and sauntered off, leaving the rioters confused and looking stupid. The message was clear: you idiots aren’t worth my time. For his absolute dedication to laconic badassery, Philippy became a French hero.

 1. Wasil Ahmad Becomes a Badass Cop (Aged 10)

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Although he was only 10 at the time, Wasil Ahmad had more cojones than many cops twice or three times his age. Conscripted in his remote Afghan town of Uruzgan when the country started sliding to hell, Ahmad did something so brave we can’t believe we’re even writing about it. Wasil Ahmad was the 10-year old cop who took on the Taliban.

The context was a terrifying 43-day siege. The Taliban had surrounded one of the last government buildings left in the province, trapping many people inside. Ahmad was among them. But rather than doing what most 10-year olds would do, he decided to take the fight to the extremists. Tooling up with heavy weaponry, Ahmad proceeded to fight alongside his police colleagues, using mortars, machine guns and grenades to wreak vengeance on the scumbags who’d ruined his country.

 Incredibly, it worked. Thanks to the efforts of Ahmad and his Afghan police buddies, the Taliban were driven out of their province. Almost. Unfortunately, this story has a tragic end. In early 2016, two Taliban stooges ambushed Ahmad while he was walking to school. Like the evil monsters they are, the gunmen shot the 10-year old dead. Sometimes, sadly, in a place as brutal as Afghanistan, even the biggest heroes don’t get a Hollywood ending.

Real-Life Cops

Everyday Heroes

– Modern Day Action Heroes

Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws — LATOBSD (Ch 17 pg. 340)

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Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws

 

____340 Gwendolyn Hoff

The book in question is not on top, but not on the bottom either.
If he would have sniffed January 24, the smell of a fresh pink eraser
lingers, the warmth of brand-new fingerprints hidden from the human
eye.

 

“This is it, officer. We can go.”

Lettie Golden has done her job.

And……..

………Sinclair Clavitt is doing his, laying out the facts and ramifications
of consistently breaking the law. “You are going to have to stop these
abortions. They are going to watch you like a hungry gator watches a bullfrog. And you will not treat white folk without havin’ a white wing in that hospital of yours. They have been lookin’ the other way,
I swear, but with this flap about the Sanders girl, that will stop. I know
enough about your, well, for the lack of another word, enemies, that
if they smell blood, your blood, you best check your back.”

“They are going to watch you like a hungry gator…..”

“They’ve been after me for years, given up by now I ‘spect,
seein’ they got the other Negro doctors to turn they backs on my
hospital.”

“That might be true, about some, but some others that you
actually trust, may be quietly working against you.”

“What you talkin’ about?”

“Have you seen your son-in-law lately?”

Behind-your-back Relative

“You mean, Franklin, no, but Laura says he’s been really busy.”

“Word has it that he’s been selling off property.”

“We’ve got to pay some back taxes, not to mention you and Mr.
Moore, keepin’ you busy too.”

“If you’re working at keepin’ us busy, now’s a good time to stop,”
sound advice from Sinclair Clavitt. He has taken to the 65-year-old,
doing his level best to make the doctor’s last years golden. His senior
partner, R. Worth Moore, specializes in courtroom action, leaving
the foot-soldierly duties to the younger man. But a day like today,
he could do without. “Okay, Alpha, I’m going to trust you on this.
You know what’s at stake. Just make sure you look both ways when
crossing the street.”

Police, Gators, and Son-in-Laws