Sir Richard Francis Burton

Still in Montreal doing the medical sociology thing. It’s interesting how the more I drink, the better my French gets.

First up, The Other Ray leads us to this remarkable blog by a remarkable teenage girl –she’s only 15!

Nasty Nicky B sends us a deep analysis of the history of deaths in the original Star Trek.

Darth Vadum sends us this hilarious re-mixed video of Bill O’Reilly’s outtakes.

And Cousin Ajay alerts us to a fellow who put his cheating wife on sale on Ebay. A link to the ad is here. Or you can click on the photo below:


Now, I really don’t like the blogging phenomenon of “tagging”. Whenever someone tags me, I just delete the message. But this time I’ll give it a shot. A while back, Nasty Nicky B tagged me and others because he was tagged. The tag was this:

(1) Link to the person who tagged you.
(2) List 5 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
(3) Tag 5 more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
(4) Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog

Okay, let’s begin:

(1) Done.

(2) I choose Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890)…. the explorer, not the actor. Random things about him:

i. Sir Richard has been written in as the hero in at least two science fiction novels or serials. The first, and most famous, is the masterpiece by Philip Jose Farmer, the Riverworld books, in which everyone who has ever lived is resurrected at the physical age of 25, naked, along the banks of a 1000 mile long river. In the books, Burton is the dashing hero who traverses the length of the river, encountering, loving and battling historical figures, like Hermann Goering and Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the real life inspiration for Alice In Wonderland.)

Burton also makes an appearance in the lesser known book, Larklight, by Philip Reeve.

ii. In a recent episode of the TV show Lost, titled “Cabin Fever”, a young John Locke is seen escaping from a high school locker. A quick glimpse into the locker reveals a semi-hidden photograph of Sir Richard Burton, tucked behind a comic book:

iii. Burton’s wife was named Isabel. While they lived, and after Burton had returned from seeking the source of the Nile with John Speke, Burton and Isabel were never seen in public without each other.

iv. A short film called Zero Patience features an imaginary encounter between Sir Richard and the notorious “patient zero”, the flight attendant who is thought to have been the first person to bring HIV/AIDS into North America.

v. Burton is believed to have been the first white man to have seen Mecca and to have lived to tell and write about it. To pass as a Muslim, he needed to be circumcised. Legend has it that he performed the task, or had someone perform it for him, after imbibing a bottle of stiff liquor as his only anaesthetic. Now that‘s a real man!

(3) No, this nonsense ends now.

(4) No. Why? Because I’m not your monkey. That’s why.