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3,337 years for autopsy results

I recently received a breaking news alert from CNN telling me that the autopsy on the Egyptian “boy king” Tutankhamun, more commonly known as “King Tut,” had been completed – 3,337 years after he died.
That’s a really long time to wait for autopsy results. Now his family can have closure.
The results showed he died of multiple conditions that included malaria and complications from a leg fracture, according to a study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Forensic analysis of the mummy has put his age at death at 17 to 19 years.
King Tut was a sickly king – in more ways than one.
His tomb was discovered in 1922, but much of his short life remains shrouded (no pun intended) in mystery to this day. (Probably because no one is still alive who can recount the story of King Tut or receive the belated autopsy results).
It is believed he ruled during the 18th Dynasty from 1336 to 1327 B.C. According to the recent study, researchers used anthropological, radiological and genetic testing – how did they do DNA testing? Did they swab the mouth of another mummy?
Through DNA testing, researchers determined that King Tut was married to his half-sister. Okay – there is something so very wrong about that. Scientists believe that genetics and inherited diseases played a role in the young king’s death because of regular inbreeding within the family. You think?
It had previously been believed that the young king had been murdered due to a hole they found in his skull. Further testing found the hole was made during mummification. Oops, I guess the hammer slipped. In ancient Egyptian embalming, they usually pulled the brains out through the nose, so someone was asleep on the job during this mummification process.
To many, the research done on King Tut might be fascinating and of an interesting historical perspective. To have died so young is tragic, but worse to me, is the idea of those who felt they had the right to disturb and remove the deceased from his final resting place.
However, the ancient Egyptians believed that as long as a pharaoh’s name was remembered, the king would live on through eternity. The discovery of the tomb of King Tut has ensured that Tutankhamun will never be forgotten. At least not as long as CNN is sending out breaking news alerts.
You may wonder why I am writing about the life of a boy king who lived thousands years ago. It’s mostly due to what is considered “breaking news” by a big news conglomerate like CNN.
CNN doesn’t hold the patent on breaking news. MSN and other major Web sites also scramble to provide their sites and subscribers with what they believe to be informative news stories.
Some recent headlines I saw include: “Woman sells kids for $175 to buy a bird.” “Crash at 3 a.m.? May be exploding head.” “Eleven chic shoe rules.” (that’s one I needed to know before I could proceed with the rest of my life.) And of course, my personal favorite, “Court to consider [Janet] Jackson wardrobe malfunction fine,” (six years after the mishap).
What is horrifying here is that no one can make up his/her mind whether to fine CBS over a wardrobe malfunction that took place during the 2004 Super Bowl. That was six years ago! Can we stop giving Janet Jackson’s bare chest so much … ‘um’ coverage? Where are the decision-makers here? Fine CBS and move onto the next breaking news story.
It’s all about excess … again, no pun intended.
Then there was the news of Tiger Woods’ apology that was broadcast over and over again for days while pundits examined every word, nuance and tear from the disgraced golfer. Why is this news?
Why did the country have to endure the same kind of news coverage when President Clinton disgraced himself and the country? While he WAS the president and, therefore, a role model to thousands of youngsters, he managed to single-handedly put the phrase, “sexual addiction” on the map. Prior to his indiscretion(s), men/women who committed the same acts as he were not allowed to place the blame on some mental problem and were forced, instead, to take accountability for their actions.
“Libido boost” – here’s another recent headline that advertised eight foods to give your love life a pick-me-up. It ought to include Tiger Woods’ phone number and be done with it.
“Ten things to never put on your resume” – I’m guessing not to put “sexual addiction?”
“How to find this decade’s power stocks” – two months into the year, this ought to be a really short news story.
“Nadya Suleman doesn’t rule out one more kid” – as if this woman hasn’t had enough media coverage already.
“Lambert mocks Susan Boyle’s album” – this coming from a man who wears eyeliner, eye shadow and lipstick … right.
“Kelly Ripa’s new tattoo” – I just knew I got up this morning and needed to know that piece of information. Now I’ll never be able to watch her Electrolux commercials without wondering about that tattoo.
As I return once more to the opening subject to this column, I am reminded of the poor boy king. Crowned at an age incomprehensible in today’s world, married to a half-sibling, beset with a number of illnesses and diseases at such a young age and dead before he had a chance to live.
Of all the silly headlines I’ve mentioned in this column, perhaps the most bittersweet is the one about the boy king. He lived a short, tough life and was laid to rest in relative obscurity for over 3,000 years and now has nowhere permanent to rest his head – yet – thanks to the modern world, he is not forgotten.

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