Wandering Eye: The shrinking 'middle class,' Under Armour's big weekend at the U.S. Open, and more

Meanwhile, in Sweden, the creepiest thing happened: In the coffin of an incredibly well-preserved bishop, scientists discovered the corpse of a fetus. According to The Guardian, the fetus was hidden beneath the bishop's feet, veiled by layers of herbs, born several months prematurely, and determined to be five to six months old at the time of its death. Housed in the crypt at the cathedral at Lund, the coffin belongs to the 336-year-old mummified corpse of Bishop Peder Winstrup, one of the founders of Lund University and a wealthy Renaissance man whose body had been ravaged by multiple diseases. Since his death in 1679, Winstrup's coffin has been opened for study several times, but the fetus had gone unnoticed until the coffin was recently scanned by scientists, who now intend to conduct DNA testing to determine the relationship between the bishop and the child. Per Karsten, director of the museum at Lund University, believes the fetus may have been illegitimate and hidden away in the coffin by a member of Winstrup's staff during his funeral to save it from being buried in an unsanctified ground. (Maura Callahan)

 

Here's something to consider as presidential candidates bleat on about how they're going to help the "middle class": fewer Americans than ever say they are middle class. This Gallup poll, released in April, shows that just 51 percent of Americans identify themselves as either "upper middle" or "middle" class. That's the lowest figure since the polling company started asking the question this way in 2000, when 63 percent of Americans said they were upper-middle or middle class. The percentage of people identifying themselves as working and lower class, meanwhile, increased from 33 percent in 2000 to 48 percent now. The pollsters discovered that middle-aged people "more anchored in their careers" were becoming less likely to think of themselves as middle class. The perception was "closely tied to income," Gallup said—not to the overall economy: "The percentage identifying as middle or upper-middle class was almost the same in 2012 as it is in 2015, even though the economy, at least as perceived by the public, is in much better shape now than it was in 2012. This could suggest that Americans have shifted into a 'new normal' way of looking at their class standing, with the Great Recession having convinced a number of Americans that they are not now, nor are they going to be, middle class—but rather are firmly ensconced in either the working or lower class." By the way, those calling themselves "upper-class"? Pretty much 1 percent. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

We were away for the weekend and thus missed 21-year-old Jordan Spieth winning the U.S. Open, becoming only the sixth golfer to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year. What does this mean to the great many of you who don't give a shit about golf? Glad you asked! The U.S. Open victory was good news for Kevin Plank and the Under Armour gang over at Tide Point, because Spieth wears their stuff. The Sun quotes some sports marketing guy who, presto change-o, calculates Spieth's Masters win gave Under Armour "$21 million of media exposure." Figures aren't available for the Open yet, but you can bet they're close. It kinda sounds like they pulled that number out of their ass, and it also doesn't make mention of the fact that Under Armour's competitors—namely Nike and Adidas—got plenty of airtime on the shirts of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and runner-up Dustin Johnson. But whatever, high times for UA. (Brandon Weigel)

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