Saturday, December 17, 2005

Saturday Trivia

A lot more than the usual amounts of trivia this week. I'm not sure whether it is the impact of the silly season on the media's state of mind, or simply that the sheer number of Tutankhamun articles are taking their toll on the human brain's ability to process coherent thought. Whatever the cause, here are a few choice items from last week.

Miss World 2005
OK, I confess - this is nothing to do with Egyptology, but it amused me. Briefly casting an eye over Yahoo's Anthropology and Archaeology News page last week, the following headline, topping all other articles, fairly leaped out at me: "Miss World Crown for 2005 goes to Miss Iceland". It is not that I mean any disrespect to Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, who won the contest, but featuring her under either the category of anthropology of archaeology seemed a little bizarre, if not downright insulting. Curiosity winning out over the 1001 things I really ought to have been doing instaed, I had a look at the article to see if things became any clearer, and I assume that Yahoo's inner intelligence picked out the fact that she has her occuption down as an anthropologist. If you feel a burning need to see the item, it is on the above URL at Yahoo.

Tut Unplugged
A list of ways in which ancient Egypt has influenced modern popular culture: everything from Boris Karloff in The Mummy to the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas: " When Howard Carter cracked open that "condo made of stone-a," Tutankhamun's tomb, in November 1922 and started bringing out the boy king's fabulous funerary relics, he launched a craze that has waxed and waned but lasted in some form to this day".

Tomb it may concern (Sun Sentinel)
The touring exhibition from the point of view of Tutankhamun himself.

PC Game Review: Children of the Nile
"Basically, you are a royal family in ancient Egypt (no, not just one Pharaoh, but a line of them); the Children of the Nile are your people. So, all you have to do is get the whips out and put the slaves to work on the new tombs? Maybe a few Pyramids? Not quite that simple, the people who build Pyramids are skilled workers - Overseers, Labours, and Stone Carvers. They are just a part of the network of people who have to keep pleased, whether it is a need for bread, medical care, or to worship the gods in modest to massive temples. When people are not treated well they will emigrate, sometimes leaving you without an important social group, which can paralyse growth. The game reeks of realism, everyone, bar some children, play a part in the workings of the city, from man-servants who work for shopkeepers and woman-servants who work in the noble’s estates, to workers and their woman who buy goods in shops, to Priests who work in social services from schools to mortuaries".
See the above web page for the full review.

Ibsen magic to come alive at Egyptian pyramids
"Oslo: Norwegians have finalised plans to use the pyramids of Giza as a set for the 100th anniverary of the death of poet Henrik Ibsen to be marked next year. A concert version of the play Peer Gynt will be performed in the desert sands of Cairo in October as the grand finale after ten months of Ibsen 2006, starting Jan 16. The festivities will see the staging of his famous plays such as Nora, The Doll's House, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler and The Enemy of the People".
I don't mean to imply that anything to do with Ibsen is trivia - there are no giggles to be had in Hedda Gabler, for example. But why on earth use the pyramids for the 100th anniversary? I am clearly missing something here, and will welcome any enlightenment!

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