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Snippets of Ignorance

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smiley_face
190381.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:15 pm Reply with quote

I thought I'd start a thread for dumping bits of GI which don't really deserve a thread in their own right - hope that's OK.

Anyway, at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, one of the displays stated that J.G. Parry-Thomas was not in fact decapitated when his car, Babs, crashed on the Pendine Sands. That said, I can't find a single source on the Internet which supports this, which makes it a bit rubbish (and hence undeserving of it's own, thread, but perhaps someone else can shed some light on the matter, please).

 
ali
190383.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:21 pm Reply with quote

This site says that he was partially decapitated, which is not the same thing as decapitated, I suppose.

 
suze
190384.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:29 pm Reply with quote

Can one be partially decapitated? Isn't that something like being a little bit pregnant? (A thing I was told in school that one cannot be.)

Mind you, there's Nearly Headless Nick I suppose ...

 
samivel
190385.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:30 pm Reply with quote

What's partially decapitated? Is it a deep cut to the neck, or half your head being taken off, or what?

Edit: Aha, at least I'm not the only one who finds the phrase a trifle odd.

 
Rudolph Hucker
190397.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:45 pm Reply with quote

As I understand it, the chain drive broke, the chain whipped round and chopped off a big part of his head. Other bits of his head remained attached to his neck.

 
mckeonj
190428.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:29 am Reply with quote

According to accounts of the execution of King Charles I, the king was partially decapitated by the first stroke of the axe, groaned, and struggled to rise. He was restrained, and the executioner took several blows to finally sever the head.
The account can be read in the contemporary government newspaper; published 1648, here:
http://www.exmsft.com/~davidco/History/charles1.htm
this is for those who want their history 'first-hand'.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
190441.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:13 am Reply with quote

I've always thought that decapitation is a misnomer anyway, it should be decorpitation or somesuch seeing as our brains are who we are.

 
smiley_face
190444.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:19 am Reply with quote

That is true, but as Mike the Headless chicken shows, you need your heart (in the torso) more than you need your brain.

 
AlmondFacialBar
190451.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:31 am Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
That is true, but as Mike the Headless chicken shows, you need your heart (in the torso) more than you need your brain.


actually your example just goes to prove that you need your brain more than your heart. mike the headless chicken survived because his brainstem had remained attached to the body. without that part of his brain his heart wouldn't have gone on beating.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
smiley_face
190459.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:37 am Reply with quote

In fact, cardiac muscle is "myogenic", meaning that it can contract without a nerve impulse from the brain. While control from the brain allows the heart rate to be slowed or sped up, it does not stimulate the contraction of the heart muscle generally.

 
AlmondFacialBar
190460.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:41 am Reply with quote

ok, you win... ;-) makes sense, too, if you think about it, cos the heart needs to beat to supply blood to the brain.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Jenny
190474.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:06 am Reply with quote

The official account of Charles I's execution on the link above says his head was severed at one blow. Early spin doctoring?

 
mckeonj
190482.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:28 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
The official account of Charles I's execution on the link above says his head was severed at one blow. Early spin doctoring?

Indeed. Oliver Cromwell was an astute politician and did not need to employ 'spin doctors', he did the whole job himself - starting with his name. Like many other tyrants (the word is non-pejorative), his 'working name' was not the one he was given at birth. He adopted the name Cromwell from Thomas Cromwell who was chief minister to Henry VIII.
A well known example of his technique is his instruction to the portraitist to paint him 'warts and all'; if the portrait was an honest and trustworthy likeness, then the man depicted must be honest and trustworthy.

 
suze
190511.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:26 am Reply with quote

What then was Cromwell's real name?

Thomas Cromwell was his great-great-great-great-uncle, if I've counted correctly. For sure Oliver was descended from Thomas Cromwell's sister Catherine, whose married name was Williams, but it seems that the intervening generations all used Cromwell rather than Williams.

 
jonp
190515.  Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:37 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
Indeed. Oliver Cromwell was an astute politician and did not need to employ 'spin doctors', he did the whole job himself - starting with his name. Like many other tyrants (the word is non-pejorative), his 'working name' was not the one he was given at birth. He adopted the name Cromwell from Thomas Cromwell who was chief minister to Henry VIII.

Are you sure about the name change? Both The Cromwell Association and Wikipedia state that his father was Robert Cromwell, who was descended - at an angle - from Thomas Cromwell (one of John Hurt's finest roles, apart from the bit in "Alien").

 

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