William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 29, April, 2009

Witch of the Westmoreland

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 22:31

millais_bridesmaidPale was the wounded knight, that bore the rowan shield,
Loud and cruel were the ravens’ cries that feasted on the field,
Saying “Backwater cold and clear will never clean your wound,
There’s none but the Witch of the Westmorland can make thee hale and sound.”

So turn, turn your stallion’s head ’til his red mane flies in the wind,
And the Rider of the Moon goes by and the Bright Star falls behind,
And clear was the paly moon when his shadow passed him by
Below the hill were the brightest stars when he heard the owlet cry,

Saying “Why do you ride this way, and wherefore came you here?”
“I seek the Witch of the Westmorland that dwells by the winding mere.”
And it’s weary by the Ullswater and the misty Breakford way,
‘Til through the cleft in the Kirkstone Pass the winding water lay.

He said “Lie down me brindled hound, and rest ye me good grey hawk,
And thee, my steed, may graze thy fill, for I must dismount and walk.
But come when you hear my horn, and answer swift the call!
For I fear ere the sun will rise this morn ye will serve me best of all.”

And it’s down to the water’s brim he’s born the rowan shield,
And the goldenrod he has cast in to see what the lake might yield.
And wet rose she from the lake, and fast and fleet went she.
One half the form of a maiden fair with a jet black mare’s body.

And loud, long and shrill he blew, ’til his steed was by his side,
High overhead the grey hawk flew, and swiftly he did ride,
Saying “Course well, my brindled hound, and fetch me the jet black mare!
Stoop and strike, my good grey hawk, and bring me the maiden fair!”

She said “Pray sheathe thy silvery sword. Lay down thy rowan shield,
For I see by the briny blood that flows you’ve been wounded in the field.”
And she stood in a gown of the velvet blue, bound ’round with a silver chain.
And she’s kissed his pale lips once and twice, and three times ’round again.

And she’s bound his wounds with the goldenrod, full fast in her arms he lay,
And he has risen hale and sound with the sun high in the day.
She said “Ride with your brindled hounds at heel, and your good grey hawk in hand,
There’s none can harm the knight who’s lain with the Witch of the Westmorland.

Trad. extensively shortened by modern performers, ‘cos the source poem was huge.

Other People Worth A Read

Filed under: Blogroll — williamthecoroner @ 18:37

Via Atomic Nerds Professor Dutch: and Science, Pseudoscience and Irrationalism. His Dutch’s Laws of Just About Everything are bang on

Via Hecate: Brillianter. Particularly their Mental Conditioning for Self Defense

Tuesday, 28, April, 2009

I Just Want to Point Out

Filed under: Japery — williamthecoroner @ 21:15

Since November, the American public has bought enough firearms to re-equip the Indian and Pakistani armies. Let alone ammunition, which is difficult to find. Some folks have suggested that President Obama start a rumor that he is going to ban “Assault Vehicles” like SUVs in hopes of stimulating the US auto industry.

I point out, however, there is a big difference between firearms and cars. When I pull the trigger of my pistol, I know, for certain, that it is going to WORK. I can’t say that about some of the cars I’ve owned.

Happy Mutiny!

Filed under: History — williamthecoroner @ 19:30

blighOn 28 April, 1789, the crew of HMS Bounty mutinied, deciding it was better to stay in the south seas rather than go back to England.

Captain Bligh took the loyal members of the crew, 3,400 miles, in an open boat to safety in Timor.

Insert Spit-Take Here

Filed under: Japery,Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 12:35

Over lunch, I was paging through the TV Tropes and Idioms Wiki (thank you, Labrat and Stingray for that time sink).  Oh, look.  Clever people talking amongst themselves. You learn a few things, and a few things give you hope for humanity.  The following is this little take on those annoying Head On ads, which gets better (or worse) from there: (I particularly like the line about the homeopathic headache cure)

And lest we forget: HeadOn. Apparently, it’s supposed to do something if you apply it to the forehead, but people only remember and make fun of it for the silly Catch Phrase.

  • I always assumed it was acne medicine. The box on the commercial says that it’s a “topical analgesic”. Wonders never cease.
  • I thought they were trying to imply that it would cure headaches without actually saying so (because if they made an explicit medical claim they’d need evidence to back it up, along with one of those lists of possible side effects).
    • They cant actually make the claim because it’s a placebo. Essentially just a tube of wax.
    • No, it’s a tube of balm. There’s a difference… I guess….
    • To be precise, it’s “homeopathic”. As in diluted down to nothing. So Yeah.
    • Wait, how can you have a homeopathic headache cure? Wouldn’t that be giving you a very small headache to cure the big one? I’m confused.
    • It’s a piece of flim-flam.
    • It contains a part-per-million of potassium dichromate and a part-per-trillion of white bryony. For that last one, it’s the equivalent of a drop of water in 20 olympic swimming pools. Basically a molecule or two per tube of wax. So yeah, it IS only a piece of wax.

Sunday, 26, April, 2009

Fr. Frank X. Klamet M.D.

Filed under: Life, the universe, & everything.,Medical — williamthecoroner @ 14:14

Frank X. Klamet 1952-2009 died of his heart condition last Sunday.  The obit is HERE. Frank and I were residents together.  I was his go-to guy for lab stuff, and he was my go-to guy for clinical information.  I knew heart disease ran in his family, but that didn’t slow him down.

Frank liked his work, and I always admired how he balanced his duties as a priest and as a physician.  He was very careful about what he did, and I knew it was difficult, but he was always very responsible.  He spent his last years doing high-risk OB in an underserved area in Southern Ohio, and teaching CWRU students.  There were no other doctors who were willing or able to practice in such a high-risk practice.  He joked that he was able to do it because “Amongst my weapons…” which I certainly wasn’t expecting.

He said he always said a Thanksgiving mass after every delivery.  I last saw him at a medical school graduation.  He was one of the good guys.

Friday, 24, April, 2009

Strong Women Rule Us All With Their Tears

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 15:09

There’s a moment of your story
That has always haunted me
When you set out in yon open boat
To help the poor man flee
Was Charlie Stuart’s future
Already plain to see
Did you know he’d be a waster on his days

If you did, I’d give the world to find
A single tear you cried
From the Cuillins tae the Carolinas
You showed us one and all
The courage you could call
From the tears that would not fall
From your eyes

And after thirty years
After all that you’d been through
us been marriede haven’ been a
Just a memory to rue
As you watched your husband putting on
His coat of scarlet hue
To go and fight for German Geordie’s crown

But you never tried to hide behind
The dreams of days gone by
From the Cuillins tae the Carolinas
You showed us one and all
The courage you could call
From the tears that would not fall
From your eyes

And there’s times I think I see you
When I find that kind of face
When a woman’s independence
Has kept a woman’s grace
Where confidence and pride
Refuse to know their place
Or hide behind the easy tricks of beauty

For to me your lights are like the chimes
Across the stormy skies
From the Cuillins tae the Carolinas
You showed us one and all
The courage you could call
From the tears that would not fall
From your eyes

From the Cuillins tae the Carolinas
Strong women rule us all
With the courage that they call
When the tears refuse to fall
From their eyes

(Brian McNeill)

Public Service Announcement

Filed under: Medicine — williamthecoroner @ 11:56

Test your vocabulary and give vaccines. Hat, tip, CrankyProf.

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 11:49

image0132 I don’t know who took this one, but it has been floating around the ‘net for some time.

Also, remember to vote for the Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation at the Animal Rescue Site. They are in the running for top shelter in Ohio , and will earn a much needed grant if they win.

Finally, hat tip, Lili, there is an odd site about the American Revolution, with cats, HERE.

Thursday, 23, April, 2009

Have a Bard Day!

Filed under: Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 05:55


OK, so we don’t really know when he was born, but it’s traditionally celebrated on St. George’s day. So, go pick up a sonnet or something.

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

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