Famous Viking Warrior was a Woman

David Guttenfelder/NatGeo

More than a millennium ago in what’s now southeastern Sweden, a wealthy Viking warrior was laid to rest, in a resplendent grave filled with swords, arrowheads, and two sacrificed horses. The site reflected the ideal of Viking male warrior life, or so many archaeologists had thought.

New DNA analyses of the bones, however, confirm a revelatory find: the grave belonged to a woman

Viking lore had long hinted that not all warriors were men. One early tenth-century Irish text tells of Inghen Ruaidh (“Red Girl”), a female warrior who led a Viking fleet to Ireland. And Zori notes that numerous Viking sagas, such as the 13th-century Saga of the Volsungs, tell of “shield-maidens” fighting alongside male warriors.

But some archaeologists had considered these female warriors to be merely mythological embellishments—a belief colored by modern expectations of gender roles…

Since the late 1880s, archaeologists had viewed the “Birka warrior” through this lens; textbooks had listed the grave as belonging to a man, but not because the bones themselves said so. Since the remains were found alongside swords, arrowheads, a spear, and two sacrificed horses, archaeologists had considered it a warrior’s grave—and, thus, a man’s.

Sad; but, true. Even reputable scholars are sometimes trapped in the preconceptions of the culture that affords them speech and record. Hard to learn the truth, eh?

Mummy found in car at foreclosed Detroit home

Detroit mummy

For at least five years, the woman’s body lay clothed in a winter jacket in the backseat of her Jeep in the garage of a home where she lived alone.

Her bills were automatically deducted from her bank account, and residents of the quiet middle-class Pontiac neighborhood said they noticed nothing amiss.

Nobody saw her, but the grass was cut and the mail didn’t pile up. Some neighbors said they thought she had moved out of the country after the recession hit several years ago.

Eventually, the money in her bank account ran out and the house went into foreclosure, leading to the gruesome discovery this week.

The body had mummified…adding to the mystery.

A contractor the bank sent to check out the house discovered the body Wednesday in the attached garage of the ranch-style home on Savanna Drive, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

Undersheriff Mike McCabe said investigators believe the woman has been dead since at least 2008. That’s the year the license plate on the Jeep expired…

The undersheriff said neighbors told deputies they thought the woman had moved out of the country because they had not seen her for three or more years.

An autopsy showed there was no trauma to the body; a cause of death is pending, McCabe said.

Dr. Bernardino Pacris, the Oakland County deputy medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, said the skin was intact, though internal organs had decomposed. He said he found no evidence of internal or external injuries…

Pacris said the body was on the backseat and clothed in a heavy jacket and jeans, leading him to believe the woman may have died when the weather was cold. The key was in the ignition, but in the off position, Pacris said.

Which removed my first thought on her death. I’ve known a couple folks took the blue jaunte in the back seat of their car.

She obviously wasn’t out of bucks and had bills prepaid including, I guess, lawn care.

Swedish woman charged for sexual activities with skeleton

It works for Lada Gaga

A woman in Sweden has been charged with engaging in sexual activities with a human skeleton and could face jail time for disturbing the peace of the dead, a Swedish prosecutor said.

Police found a full human skeleton, skulls and a box containing other human bones by chance after responding to a call saying a shot had been fired from her flat in the city of Gothenburg.

They also discovered CD-ROMs titled “my necrophilia” and “my first experience”, and photographs of the woman engaging in various sexual activities with a skeleton, a court document on the prosecutor’s website showed.

It said the woman had handled the bones in a “shameful” and “unethical” manner

The 37-year-old unemployed woman has also been accused of selling human bones to an artist in Uppsala in eastern Sweden this past summer.

The woman has said she bought the bones, which were around 50 years old or more and from different parts of the world, over the Internet for historical purposes and says that it is not her in the photographs.

Poisonally, I think if the prosecutor can’t come up with a complaint from an injured party, he should go back to fondling his beads and waving his shaman’s cane – and drop the charges he made up.

Must be running for higher office is my guess.

10-tear-old boy beats and robs 50-year-old Vietnamese immigrant

Minh Tran

A 10-year-old boy admitted Tuesday in Family Court that he robbed and assaulted a Vietnamese immigrant in her Juniata Park home on Aug. 6 in what a judge likened to a “hate crime.”

Then the boy, thin with short-cropped hair and dressed in a long-sleeve white shirt, khakis and sneakers, faced his victim and apologized for “hitting you with rocks and sticks and breaking into your home.”

The victim, Minh Tran, 50, who lives on Luzerne Street near L, said through an interpreter that she accepted the apology.

…Judge Kevin Dougherty said he would give the defense an opportunity to present testimony and evidence about the boy’s personal history and characteristics…

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Carobus said Tran was sleeping in her small apartment at 3 p.m. when the boy, his 7-year-old brother – who was not arrested and couldn’t be charged under state law because of his age – and an unknown male, 20, entered the premises and beat Tran.

Carobus said Tran was struck on the face and body with a stick, rope, rocks, a plunger and a potted plant. The assailants took $20 from her purse, a bracelet and tokens and left the apartment. A neighbor later found Tran on her knees in her back yard, crying and asking for help.

Dougherty asked the boy why he attacked Tran. The boy said he “didn’t like the lady” and the way she “stared” at him…

We have a long road to travel,” Dougherty said. “We’re going to find out why you have hate in your heart for someone who doesn’t look like you.”

Anyone born and brought up in the United States truly surprised? Are you astonished that he hates someone who doesn’t look like he thinks an American should appear?

In my neck of the prairie she could be from a nearby Pueblo or Mexican-American or Asian-American – or just plain anyone.

Think he came up with the concept of hating a foreigner all on his own?

This woman will be heard from — She climbs on top of Iran President Ahmadinejad’s car!

Jumps onto Ahmadinejad’s car just over 2 minutes into the video – iPad users click url upper LH corner

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has always made a point of his approachability. He once gave out the private contact details of his presidential office (which caused lines to jam almost immediately). He appears to enjoy the chaos of lively crowds.

But even he may have been surprised by one woman’s determination to meet him.

A video posted online shows a crowd surrounding Mr Ahmadinejad’s open-topped car on recent tour of the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

“I’m hungry, I’m hungry,” shouts one man, as he reaches for the president’s hand. Others try to give him envelopes – often these contain appeals for help…

The crowd manages to stop the motorcade. One woman standing in front of the president’s car decides to take her chance.

Wait a second, this is the moment,” one woman shouts to the president’s bodyguards – who appear to be twice her size.

She clambers onto the bonnet of the car, shakes off one bulky officer who makes a half-hearted attempt to grab her ankle, and goes straight up to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the open roof-top.

She gestures to the president with tremendous animation – the video doesn’t pick up whether she’s criticising him or asking for his help. Mr Ahmadinejad listens with calm. And the woman then climbs back down from the car.

The article then gives you two ways to interpret this. Of course. No one will sit more in the middle of the road than the BBC.

What makes me chuckle is that while Western talking heads will prattle about this “obvious” dissatisfaction of the Iranian people – step back for a second and imagine what would have happened if she tried this, say, on Pennsylvania Avenue?

She’d be lying in the street riddled with bullets.

89-year-old woman smacks getaway car with her cane — makes purse snatchers easy to identify

Pennsylvania police say an 89-year-old woman used her cane to dent the car of two people who stole her friend’s purse, and authorities were able to track down the getaway car based in part on the cane’s imprint.

New Castle police Chief Thomas Sansone says the woman and her 82-year-old friend were accosted outside a pizza shop Sunday. Police say 27-year-old Jerry Brown Jr. grabbed the purse but couldn’t peel away before the 89-year-old banged the car’s trunk with her cane.

Police found the car, and, based on the description of the robber – and dents matching the cane – arrested Brown and 21-year-old Tatiana Vargas.

The two are jailed in Lawrence County on robbery charges and on warrants for unrelated crimes.

Since I own a couple of different canes I wonder what style and composition she used?

My wood cane is kind of lightweight; but, you could really whip it around like a sword if need be.

For my walks along the fenceline with Rally I have a steel cane. In case I manage to fall down the back meadow towards the bosque I’d probably need it to get up. That sucker weighs a ton and might could remove a fender from some gangbanger’s ride.

Scottish civil servant marries world’s most pierced woman

Elaine Davidson, who has almost 7000 piercings covering her body, married Douglas Watson, at a low-key wedding reception in Edinburgh.

Brazilian-born Miss Davidson, 46, made a bizarre sight in a flowing white wedding gown and floral tiara with only her face visible, which was painted green and covered in 192 piercings.

It contrasted markedly from her older husband, who is aged in his 60s, who was more conservatively-dressed in a simple navy suit, a sky-blue shirt and Marks and Spencer tie. The two bridesmaids were dressed in pink.

Bespectacled Mr Watson, who has no piercings or tattoos, clutched his bride’s hand as they walked out of the central Register Office in front of stunned onlookers.

The couple, who live in Edinburgh, where she operates an aromatherapy shop called Tropical Rainbow, happily posed for photographs before heading off for a reception at a local city cafe…

People see the piercings but I see the amazing personality underneath. We have known each other for a long time…

“I am always amazed by the effect her piercings have on people. She’s an incredible woman.

“People think its unconventional but that is the woman she is and people love her for it…”

The former nurse now has 6,925 including more than 1,500 that are “internal” that are said to weigh almost seven pounds.

They say that love is blind. I hope it is also hypo-allergenic and anti-magnetic.

Little old lady cuts off web access to whole country of Armenia

An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper to sell as scrap when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to all of neighbouring Armenia…

The woman, 75, had been digging for the metal not far from the capital Tbilisi when her spade damaged the fibre-optic cable on 28 March.

As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s internet, the woman’s unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country’s main internet providers – ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens.

Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected…

Dubbed “the spade-hacker” by local media, the woman – who has not been named – is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted.

A spokesman for Georgia’s interior ministry said the woman was temporarily released “on account of her old age” but could face more questioning…

Pulling up unused copper cables for scrap is a common means of making money in the former Soviet Union. Some entrepreneurs have even used tractors to wrench out hundreds of metres of cable from the former nuclear testing ground at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.

Yup. Let’s wander around a nuclear-testing site trying to find something worth scrounging.

Then, complain to the government a week later about glowing in the dark.

Tory politician arrested for Twitter joke – about stoning

An English politician was arrested on Thursday for joking on Twitter that a columnist he disagreed with should be stoned to death.

Gareth Compton, a 38-year-old member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party who serves in local government in Birmingham, was suspended by the party following his arrest, Britain’s Press Association reported…

During a discussion of Mr. Cameron’s criticism of the Chinese government for human-rights abuses, Ms. Alibhai-Brown said that any British politician who supported the Iraq war lacked the moral authority to lecture other nations. Mr. Compton then posted his mock plea for her execution by stoning…

Mr. Compton then removed his attack on Ms. Alibhai-Brown and wrote on his now-deleted account:

I did not ‘call’ for the stoning of anybody. I made an ill-conceived attempt at humour in response to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown saying on Radio 5 Live this morning that no politician had the right to comment on human rights abuses, even the stoning of women in Iran. I apologize for any offence caused. It was wholly unintentional.

Writing about the incident in a blog post for a decidedly anti-Conservative British magazine, The New Statesman, George Eaton called the arrest, “an extraordinarily disproportionate response.”

It goes round and round. The nutball Tory had to pick on a Muslim woman who has previously been threatened by the fatwa brigade. Then, he apologizes. The question of being silly enough to arrest him – is separate from his stupidity.

We’ve finally gotten away from American racists joking about lynching Black politicians, Black activists, civil rights activists – in public, anyway. Doesn’t mean they were ever arrested for it.