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Old 01-28-2020, 05:35 PM
Melbourne is offline
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Iron Mask and Guantanamo


https://www.straightdope.com/columns...the-iron-mask/

In which the Straight Dope Science Advisory board wrote:
Quote:
He probably knew nothing, and so repeated questioning got nowhere. However, never underestimate the power of “red tape,” even three hundred years ago. Once he was “caught in the toils of the system,” says Andrew Lang, sheer inertia and force of habit kept him there.
Prescient in 2001, just before Guantanamo became famous for keeping imprisoned people who probably knew nothing, and were just caught up in the red tape.
  #2  
Old 01-29-2020, 01:53 PM
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Monsieur D'anger would be a great name for an action hero.
"My first name is D'anger."

Last edited by furryman; 01-29-2020 at 01:55 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-29-2020, 08:29 PM
Backwater Under_Duck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furryman View Post
Monsieur D'anger would be a great name for an action hero.
"My first name is D'anger."
Uh, I'd like to order a pizza to go with no anchovies…

No anchovies? You've got the wrong man. I spell my name,
D'anger!
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:16 PM
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Dex writes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven
In 1687, when Saint-Mars went to the fortress-prison of Sainte Marguerite, he brought Dauger with him in a sedan chair covered over with oilcloth. Saint-Mars did not use a litter because he feared it might break down and Dauger could be seen.
What is the difference between a "sedan chair" and a "litter"? I thought they were the same thing.

Some years ago, I read the book Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen describing the writing of the U. S. Constitution. This book describes Benjamin Franklin, elderly with arthritis, being carried about in a sedan chair. I looked it up at the time and found it described as a litter.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:17 PM
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BTW, the dude in the mask may be alive still. There were reports he was seen dining with Elvis in 1993.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Dex writes:


What is the difference between a "sedan chair" and a "litter"? I thought they were the same thing.

Some years ago, I read the book Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen describing the writing of the U. S. Constitution. This book describes Benjamin Franklin, elderly with arthritis, being carried about in a sedan chair. I looked it up at the time and found it described as a litter.
AIUI A sedan chair is an enclosed chair with long polls by which it is carried. The occupant is upright. A litter is like a stretcher and the occupant is supine.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:09 PM
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Okay, I took the plunge and Googled That For Me.

From Wikipedia and a few other sources, it appears that "litter" is a much more general term for any wheelless vehicle for carrying one person, carried on poles by two or more other people. They have been in many different styles in many different cultures, over many centuries. The "sedan chair" as rsat3acr described it is just one style of litter (which is what I thought it was too).

It's difficult to do a google image search for "litter". (Guess what results it returns.) Googling for "sedan chair" gives a whole bunch of pictures of the upright seat style, with most of them being more-or-less enclosed. This apparently is was Saint-Mars was aiming for in transporting Dauger.

Googling for "sedan chair litter" gives a wider variety of styles, including some sitting, a few (not many) like a stretcher, and a bunch looking like an easy chair or recliner or little sofa, and many of them not very enclosed. Here is one example: Photo.

The Wikipedia article agrees that Ben Franklin used a sedan chair:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia article on: "litter (vehicle)"
In the Americas
The wealthy also used sedan chairs in the cities of colonial America. And an ailing 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin travelled to meetings of the United States Constitutional Convention in 1787 in a sedan chair.[20]
The citation is different from the one I cited earlier:
Quote:
20. Colbert, David (2009). "A Rising Sun". Benjamin Franklin. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781416998891. Retrieved 2 December 2018. "Of the fifty-five delegates, Franklin is by far the oldest at eighty-one. His health is not good. On the day the convention opened he was too sick to come. Later he was carried from his home to the meetings in a sedan chair - like a carriage without wheels, held aloft by four men. The bumpy ride of a carriage would have been too uncomfortable."

Last edited by Senegoid; 01-30-2020 at 11:11 PM.
  #8  
Old 01-31-2020, 05:50 AM
Melbourne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furryman View Post
Monsieur D'anger would be a great name for an action hero.
"My first name is D'anger."
As it happens, D'anger is my middle name

I wonder what the French/Italian word was that was translated as 'litter' for the references? It seems odd to think that they didn't want him to lie down, because he might be seen if there was an accident, so they made him sit up in a manner used for cenutries by the rich and lazy, and /that/ almost killed him.
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