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Maintaining Global Mummies; Plus, Reshaping Waistlines

Beyond the pharaohs, an amazing look at mummies and mummification around the world. Plus, we look at body-shaping techniques with the Wall Street Journal’s Melinda Beck.

Villagers from Koke village in Papua New Guinea carry Moimango, mummified half a century ago, up to his cliff-niche perch. His son (crouching) hopes to be mummified someday too. Mummies are a daily part of the living culture in Koke. Photo by Ulla Lohmann, courtesy National Geographic.

When think mummies, we think Egypt. But there’s more than one way to make a mummy – and more that one culture that’s done it. 

It’s with salt in Egypt, but high dry air in the Incan Andes, and smoke in Papua New Guinea. Never mind Lenin’s tomb in Moscow, Mao’s mausoleum in Beijing, and outliers all over. 

Bioanthropologist Ron Beckett has been called the “mummy whisperer.” He’s tracked human ways with death and the body all over the world. He’s with us. 

We look at the urge to preserve the remains — death rituals and mummies, worldwide.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Ronald Beckett, bioanthropologist and mummy scientist. He’s professor emeritus of biomedical sciences and founder of the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac University. You can read the his recent article in National Geographic.

Closing segment:

Guest: Melinda Beck, health columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Read her recent article “How Fat-Blasting Devices Work” and see the video where she explains it all.

More:

Check out National Geographic‘s September issue focusing on Egyptian mummies. You can see a slideshow of images.

Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass writes the lead article. He begins as follows:

“Mummies capture our imaginations and our hearts. Full of secrets and magic, they were once people who lived and loved, just as we do today. I believe we should honor these ancient dead and let them rest in peace. There are some secrets of the pharaohs, however, that can be revealed only by studying their mummies.”

Read the full article. And look back at National Geographic‘s “mummy archives.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

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Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
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Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

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