William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Sunday, 25, May, 2008

The Phoenix has Landed

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 22:36

On Mars. I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who wrote “We are the Martians, or, rather we will be.” Way to go monkey-men, from the African savanna dodging leopards to other planets in, what, 15,000 years or so?

Or, in human terms, I have friends who have met relatives who were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.  When my grandfather was born, powered flight was in its infancy, Science is great.

For the Beginning of Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 14:59

Dame Bassey singing a remix of Pink’s “Get the Party Started”. Think: amazing vocal range, the eerie feel of a Bond movie opening, and French courtesan dancers. What’s not to like? Hat tip, Becki.

Friday, 23, May, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 19:52


Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 00:17

Pazzo helps mom put stuff away.

Too Much Information

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 00:13
Tags: ,

My attorney reads my blog. He told me that he’s usually frightened when his clients blog, but he’s not concerned about mine. I was thinking about this when I read this article (hat tip, Becki). The author has obviously not grasped the concept of too much information, and still doesn’t get it. There are consequences for everything that you do.

I’m very careful about what I put on my blog, although it is semi-pseudonymous, I won’t put anything on the blog that I would not sign my name to or wouldn’t mind having put on the front page of the Plain Dealer. With Google cache and back-ups of back ups if it’s on the net it’s there forever. Besides, my old blog linked to my page at the University, with my name and photo and everything.

There is a time and a place for everything, there’s a time and a place for venting, and people have been telling “bad student stories” or the medical equivalent, annoying patient stories for years. Blogging and the internet have the opportunity for wider dissemination, however. I do like the snarky, insidious way the name Deborah Peel has become the standard pseudonym for patients on medical blogs-you can find the story here.

There is a temptation to vent; there is a temptation to do a data dump. I have acquaintances and experiences that would make tremendous blog fodder. Or, at least, I think so. I’m not sure how that would look in real life. It’s easy to caracature your friends, but if you do it too often, or in a mean spirited way, they will no longer be your friends. In the past, I’ve been tempted to say snarky things about a couple of annoying individuals on the blog. I don’t. It would not improve the situation, it would drag me down to their level, and I do not want to have a mean-spirited, nasty tone on my blog. Finally, just because I think something is of great importance doesn’t mean the rest of the world will care.

Finally, I remember a lecture by Steven B. Levine, in medical school.  At the time, he was the director of the Center for Human Sexuality, and he was talking to us about sexual history taking in Physical Diagnosis class.  Dr. Levine brought up the difference between the private and the secret. Material that is private is acknowledged, but it is not shared with the world at large.  Material that is secret is not acknowledged, and there is an overtone of shame about it.  Secrets are private by their very nature, and in some cases are even concealed from the self.  Material that is private is not necessarily secret or shameful, but is kept to oneself.

The author of the New York Times article has a problem distinguishing between the public and the private and the secret.  Boundaries are good things.  There are people you can invite into your house, people you can invite into your bedroom, and people you wouldn’t speak to at all.  It is important to learn the difference.  Some people encroach on boundaries.  Either they enjoy pushing them or they just don’t care.  I prefer to keep mine.  The pleasure of gossip is tremendous, and it is nice to have one’s own private soapbox to justify oneself to the world.  They are immature pleasures, however, and best foregone.

Sunday, 18, May, 2008

Apres Moi, Le Deluge

Filed under: History — williamthecoroner @ 17:29

16 May, 1943, 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, conducted a daring raid on the Ruhr dams, striking a devastating blow to the Nazi war effort. I’ve always liked 617 Squadron, ever since I read The Dambusters as a child. Here is a Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Flight overflying the dam in England that they trained on.

I’m no pilot, but the raid required a neat bit of flying. First off, to get to the dams when the dams were full, at night, with no Loran, and primitive navigational aids. Then, to fly at precisely 60 feet off the surface of the water, without deviating, until the peculiar bouncing bomb could be released. They did this with two lights shining on the water, touching at the proper height. Simple trigenometry, sure, but these aircraft were flying towards a dam, in Occupied Europe, at night, with 88, 37, and 20 mm guns pointing at them with lights showing.

Saturday, 17, May, 2008

Body Modification, Canadian Style

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 10:21

People do ask me why I’m interested in Body Modification. They doubt that body modification has forensic implications, aside from a minor aid to identification. But, no!

Fri May 16, 10:20 AM ET Reuters
OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian man who asked his lover to carve a heart-shaped symbol on his chest during a rough sex game almost died when she accidentally pressed too hard and punctured his heart, a newspaper said on Thursday.
The Winnipeg Free Press said the 25-year-old woman had been sentenced to three years’ probation after she pleaded guilty to assaulting the man in February 2007.
The 24-year-old man was initially given little chance of survival but made a full recovery and is backing the woman. Both had been drinking heavily and engaging in rough sex when he asked the woman to carve the symbol, the paper said.

Story HERE:
I think the bit about drinking heavily really does have significant forensic implications. Also, this is Winnipeg, aka Winterpeg. Hey, I lived in Maine for four years. Some things seem like a good idea mid-February, when they’re really not. I know this from bitter experience.

Friday, 16, May, 2008

More Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 14:18

More sappy cat blogging

Thursday, 15, May, 2008

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 20:04

Yeah. That’s about right.

Pimp My Haiku

Filed under: Social Ostracism — williamthecoroner @ 08:43

Sparrow is having her haiku contest up at her site. This week’s topic is Heroes:

Mine was:

Always did the job
Family, house, work, kept together
Never made a fuss.

I don’t know. Hero is used too cheaply, in my opinion. I really don’t think sporting prowess is legitimately called heroism, really. But life is tough, and I appreciate the people who suit up, mount up, and just suck it up and do the job; even if the job is tedious and dangerous. A lot of times, people do things they’d rather not do, just to keep food on the table and support a family.

Then, of course, there are those that don’t. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve seen come out of the woodwork when someone dies and want holds of specimens for paternity testing, to pick up some SSI payments. Which is more, cynically, than the person ever gave his children when he was alive.

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