DNA analysis has progressed to the point where even old samples of hair can now be reliably used to obtain genetic and biological information. Over the years, at least eight different locks of hair were said to belong to Beethoven. Researchers collected and analyzed them recently, and published the results in Current Biology.
The most famous lock of his hair – the subject of a book, a documentary, and the one whose lead levels suggested lead poisoning – turned out to belong to a woman. But five of the other samples matched each other, two of which had excellent chain of custody indicating that they were likely from Beethoven.
As LBR’s Assistant (to the) Regional Genealogist, I was all over a fascinating article published yesterday, describing the sleuthing and results. Specifically:
Beethoven was not a Beethoven. Modern day families in Belgium and Austria trace their Beethoven lineage to an ancestor named Aert van Beethoven. This was Ludwig’s great-grandfather, seven generations back. Ludwig shared no DNA with those other members of the Beethoven family!
Somewhere between Aert and Ludwig, a renegade baby daddy got involved. If this is like a lot of other family trees, someday we’ll find out the true genetic line, as more and more people get testing done.
The hair showed Hepatitis B DNA, which may have explained Beethoven’s cirrhosis, as Hepatitis B can lead to chronic hepatitis in a significant number of people.
No obvious cause or predisposition for his deafness or gastrointestinal maladies was uncovered. The DNA testing has its limitations, of course, but at least sheds some light on popular areas of speculation regarding Beethoven’s health.
This video is only concerned with the artists who contributed to Mad in it’s first two decades – even if some of them carried on for longer. I’ve got nothing against those who came later but I’m selfishly only dealing with the ones who inspired and influenced me as I grew up. They taught me more than 4 years of college ever did. Apparently in the early Kurtzman comic years Mad was printed in colour, although all the examples I found were black and white only, and according to a particularly grumpy viewer Dave Berg didn’t die until 2002. Mea culpa.
I’m addicted to Andrew Hickey’s A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs. I started at #1 after finishing Cocaine & Rhinestones, and have grown progressively more impressed with it. It’s impeccably researched,and so full of good stories and facts you never had any idea of. The episode on “Brand New Cadillac” is masterclass. Highly recommended. I will avoid spoilers.
I need to read the book, it’s all anyone talks about in the comments.
Though I have not yet become the sort of History Dad who has devoured every single book and article ever written about Shackleton’s expedition, it is a story that has fascinated me ever since I first learned about it in grade school. Beyond the gory details about frostbite and shifting ice floes and starvation, what has always stuck with me is the supreme sense of alienation that the story first filled me with. The year 1915 wasn’t that long ago, geologically speaking, and yet to read about what Shackleton and his men experienced is to be confronted with the inconceivable. It gets how cold in Antarctica? Those guys walked how many miles?Pack ice can do what to a ship? I am able to imagine exploring the arctic in the early 20th century no easier than I can imagine exploring Mars today, the only difference being that real human beings actually did the former. The courage (lunacy?) it must have required to journey into such a brutal unknown is something none of us will likely ever be able to understand.
The video won’t embed (SO ANNOYING), but this is a pretty cool little time capsule moment.
To my knowledge this is the only full interview that Tim Curry gave about his part in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Recorded during the week that the film was released in 1975, he talks about his roll in the film and whether or not he would play the part again! The Interviewer is Mark Caldwell and the Interview Director is Colin Grimshaw. Clips were provided by Fox-Rank. Fox has (June 2012) reviewed and released any copyright claim on the film footage appearing in this video. The interview was shot in black and white (the film is in colour)!
I always forget how much ass this soundtrack kicks. Mark and I were in a college cover band that played “Sweet Transvestite.”
If you haven’t seen it. I mean even if you have, it’s still outstanding.
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.
Summer of Soul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney’s new BIPOC Creator Initiative; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically.