William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Monday, 20, October, 2008

Limerick Contest

Filed under: Japery — williamthecoroner @ 14:04

It’s that time again, Monday, and time to think of a subject for this week’s limerick contest.  As I just went to a wedding at the primate house–don’t ask the topic for this week is PRIMATES.  Or, if you prefer, PRIME MATES.

Tell me about gorilla your dreams.  Winner recieves a care package sent to a service member of their choice in harm’s way.

Friday, 17, October, 2008

This Is What A Professor Lives For

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 22:22

I brought a forensic psychologist in to my forensic class today. He’s talked to my class before, and he’s well-spoken and articulate, which is always nice. He was talking about trial, and being a psychologist in death penalty cases, aggravating and mitigating factors, and his role in the process.

My class was engaged and alert. They asked good questions. They participated. None of these guys are exactly shy, but it is nice when it all comes together. I think my class may irritate some of my professional colleagues, particularly the guy who teaches the class after mine, because my class stuck around for a half hour after the class ended asking questions.

One kept apologizing for keeping us late. I tell you, no professor that I know of would be upset that students were interested, engaged, and sticking around wanting to know more.

Why I Shoot.

Filed under: Forensics,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 15:30

Roberta X asked Why do you shoot?  Which got me thinking.

Several years ago, I was asked to help with a local election for mayor of Cleveland.  The organizer said “SInce you’re a coroner, I’m sure you could give us good information on a logical firearms policy.”  I was happy to do so.  I learned that that candidate and I had different ideas of what a “logical firearms policy” might be.

And that a Swiss-style army/militia, where every adult male has an 8×57 mm Mauser (now a SIG 550) was not what they considered to be a “logical firearms policy.”  John McPhee’s essay aside.  Oh, well.

Be that as it may, I learned to shoot because I was a forensic pathologist, and I wanted to know more about my profession.  I had been interested in history for many years, and I’m particularly interested in the military-surplus rifles of WWII.  I find shooting relaxing, because you have to concentrate on safety to do it properly.  I also like well-made, precise tools.  I’ve shot skeet, and enjoy the challenge of hitting a moving target

I’ve worked with many armed individuals over the years.  I remember scene visits with the Cuyahoga Coroner’s Office, where I was the only un-armed man at the scene.  I’m not looking for an armed confrontation.  I intend to go to great lengths to avoid it, which is just common sense.  I have no wish to live my life in fear.  There are many bad people out in the world.  A few are in jail, and I helped send them there.

Ultimately, though, the only one who is responsible for my own safety is me.  I want to have the tools to protect myself.  People who cannot protect themselves are dependent, and get taken advantage of, either for their own good, or as a result of unintended consequences. I remember several “Take back the night” rallies from undergrad.  Frankly, I thought they were misguided, as we’ve never had the night to begin with, and so it’s pointless to talk about taking it back.   I did safewalks with some of my friends, two escorts with a radio and a 7 D-cell flashlight made out of aircraft aluminium.  I always wondered if a .38 would do better at wresting the night from the bad guys, but that wasn’t a popular avenue of discussion  at my college.

There are more articulate folks than me out there.   Marko has a good take on why the gun is civilization, as do Brigid and Carteach.  But to summate my reasons in a sentence, it’s a skill that challenges me and makes me more capable for feeding and protecting myself.

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 15:01

Again, I remind you to vote for the Rainbow Connection Aimal Foundation at the Animal Rescue Site Shelter Challenge. Winner gets a nice sum of money to help run things, and RCAF is both a no-kill shelter and animal hospice for sick animals.

Wednesday, 15, October, 2008

How Do You Get People To Do THAT?

Filed under: Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 19:17

As an outgrowth of my interest in teaching and history, I’ve been interested in leadership and motivation. There are some situations where the only intelligent, if not sane response is to LEAVE. That’s the catch, or rather the Catch-22.
Heller drew on his experiences in World War II, where it was quite likely that if you were aircrew, you would be shot down. It was worse for Luftwaffe pilots, they didn’t have to do a tour and get sent back to the states, they kept flying until they were killed or wounded. How do you find people who are willing to do such things? For all that 300 was a terrible movie, why would the Spartans stand and fight at Thermoplaye?

This is a question I’ve thought about for some time. These folks weren’t supermen. And they weren’t stupid. The did believe in what they were doing, I suppose. They wanted to support their friends. Or, at least, they didn’t want to look bad in front of them.

For most of us, life isn’t a series of life-and-death struggles (thank heaven for that) but there is the question of motivating people. I don’t have a lot of respect for people who aren’t willing to do what they ask others to do.  Cowtown Cop has an experience to relate, go and read.

Monday, 13, October, 2008

The Winner of the Limerick Contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 09:28

Is Rhethoryke.

You sit in my office and rue
And tearfully ask what to do
I’m trying for tact
But alas, I react
Saying “Might I suggest Rent-a-Clue?”

As a lot of pathologists are messing around with certification and recertification exams, this seems quite appropos.

Friday, 10, October, 2008

Quote of the Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 23:16

From Voodoo Medicine Man.

Obviously, she only has three neurons: one is infected, the second is infarcted, and the third is inhibitory.

I Don’t Need The Work.

Filed under: Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 17:14

I find, along with Scott Adams, that sometimes sarcasm helps us see things more clearly.   I’ve been asked, more than once, by folks for my opinion about their buying a motorcycle.  Granted, usually these querants are men, asking at the behest of their wives.  My usual response is “I don’t need the work” or, if they have children “How much life insurance do you have.”  with a follow up of “Get more.”

OK, usually not the answers they are looking for, but it is the one they need.

Medicine has done a good job preventing a lot of childhood diseases.  We’re losing ground, and some of them, particularly meningococcal meningitis and tetanus, can bring you to coroner’s attention.  Dr. John Kiely, formerly of the CDC, recounts his experience as a measles survivor. Personally, I had chicken pox as an adult, part of an outbreak in a laboratory.  I agree with Dr. Kiely, and would  take the immunization over the disease.

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 16:10

This week’s Sappy Cat Blogging involves the Rainbow Connection Animal Shelter.  They’re a no-kill shelter without a fixed facility in the NE Ohio area, depending on volunteers and donations.  Some of their animlas can be seen on PetFinder.com.  They also run a hospice for terminally ill animals, and they don’t euthanize unless the animal is in intractable pain or has another medical indication for euthanasia.

They depend a lot on volunteers and donations.  They’re in the running for a $25,000 grant from Petfinder.com.  The link to go vote is HERE. They could use the money, and please go click on the link for the Animal Rescue Site.  This one is Betty Davis, a Siamese/tabby mix dumped with 16 others in Lakewood.

Tuesday, 7, October, 2008

Limerick Contest

Filed under: Uncategorized — williamthecoroner @ 12:07

I’m late, but I was grading.  It’s time for the Limerick Contest.  A limerick is a five-line poem, with an AABBA rhyme scheme.  This weeks theme is FAIL.  Winner gets a care package sent to a service member in harm’s way.  Contest closes at close of business, Friday, winner announced Monday.

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