Wednesday, April 15, 2009

el hechizado (she's my daughter... she's my sister...)






















We sort of knew this, didn't we? I mean, look at the dude
.

An article in the Independent completes the following exchange:

"Carlos II, el Hechizado (1661-1700) was so inbred..."

"How inbred was he?"

The answer to that question, according to the article, is that he "was the offspring of a marriage that was almost as genetically inbred as an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister or parent and child."

That can lead to something really nasty such as, say, the War of Spanish Succession. Those wacky Hapsburgs -- keeping it all in the family.

Of course, there were hints of problems with our poor "bewitched" chin-rich monarch:

Charles II not only suffered an extreme version of the Hapsburg lip, his tongue was said to be so big for his mouth that he had difficulty speaking and drooled. He also suffered from an oversized head, intestinal upsets, convulsions and, according to his first wife, premature ejaculation.

"He was unable to speak until the age of four, and could not walk until the age of eight. He was short, weak and quite lean and thin. He was described as a person showing very little interest in his surroundings," Professor Alvarez said. "He looked like an old person when he was 30 years old, suffering edemas [swellings] on his feet, legs, abdomen and face. During the last years of his life he could barely stand up and suffered from hallucinations and convulsive episodes," he said.

Yeah. Sometimes when you marry, you should make the effort to go out of the immediate family.

(h/t: Adrian Murdoch).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Have a good Holy Week

Last Supper, Ethiopian Orthodox Icon.

I wish everyone a prayerful Triduum and a glorious Easter. I'll be offline for the next couple of days.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

if you have nine spare minutes...

...this is a great song. The Decemberists, "The Mariner's Revenge Song":