William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 16, September, 2011

Filed under: Books,History — williamthecoroner @ 18:16

As the Toledo Museum of Art has let me know, today is the 4ooth aniversarry of the publishing of the King James Bible. It is the edition I prefer the most, I like the poetry. And yes, it is harder to read than the more modern texts, but not as hard as, say, O-chem.

Tuesday, 30, August, 2011

BookFinder’s Most Sought After Out of Print Books for 2011.

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 15:53

I haven’t read ANY of them. And the only one I want is #34, Cards as Weapons by Ricky Jay. Hint, hint.

1 Madonna Sex
2 Nora Roberts Promise Me Tomorrow
3 Stephen King (as Richard Bachman) Rage
4 Stephen King My Pretty Pony
5 Ray Garton In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting
6 Luigi Serafini Codex Seraphinianus
7 Johnny Cash Man in Black
8 Norman Mailer Marilyn: A Biography
9 H.Henry Thomas Arithmetic Progress Papers
10 Kyle Onstott Mandingo

11 Allan D. Richter Eve of the End
12 Ray Bradbury Dark Carnival
13 Associated Press The Torch is Passed: The Associated Press Story of The Death of a President
14 Jean Larteguy The Centurions
15 Carl Sagan Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record
16 Cameron Crowe Fast Times at Ridgemont High
17 J.R. Hartley Fly Fishing: Memories of Angling Days
18 Dennis Potter Ticket To Ride
19 Mary and Vincent Price A Treasury of Great Recipes
20 Anne Alexander The Pink Dress

21 Lynne Cheney Sisters
22 Stuart Chase The Road We Are Traveling, 1914-1942, Guide Lines to America’s Future as Reported to the Twentieth Century Fund
23 Andrew Loomis Creative Illustration
24 David Williams Second Sight
25 Anna Elizabeth Bennett Little Witch
26 Nan Gilbert 365 Bedtime Stories
27 Allen Drury Advise and Consent
28 C.S. Lewis The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition
29 Alex Angos Endgame Artillery
30 Philip K. Dick Gather Yourselves Together

31 A.C.H. Smith Labyrinth: A Novel
32 Salvador Dali, illustrator The Jerusalem Bible
33 Elmer Keith Hell, I Was There!
34 Ricky Jay Cards As Weapons
35 Madeleine L’Engle Ilsa
36 Norman Denny The Casket and the Sword
37 Charles Eric Maine World Without Men
38 Paul Gallico Jennie
39 Robert Nathan The Bishop’s Wife
40 Ben Bova The Star Conquerors

41 Walt Kelly I Go Pogo
42 Curtis Richards Halloween
43 S.O. Pidhainy The Black Deeds of the Kremlin: A White Book
44 Clancy Holling The Book of Indians
45 Tom Lea The King Ranch
46 John Blaine The Magic Talisman
47 José Garcia Villa Footnote to Youth
48 Harry Twyford Peters Currier & Ives: Printmakers to the American People
49 Rasiel Suarez ERIC : The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins
50 Alice Starmore Tudor Roses

51 Kate Holmes Too Good to be Threw
52 Nicholas Guild The Blood Star
53 Charles M. Russell Good Medicine; The Illustrated Letters of Charles M. Russell
54 Donald Hamilton The Big Country
55 J. Mordaunt Crook William Burges and the High Victorian Dream
56 David Whitford A Payroll to Meet: A Story of Greed, Corruption, and Football at SMU
57 Leo S. Figiel On Damascus Steel
58 Marie Simmons Pancakes A to Z
59 W. Somerset Maugham Tellers of Tales: 100 Short Stories From the United States, England, France, Russia and Germany
60 Arthur Koestler The Act of Creation

61 Charles Thomson The Septuagint Bible
62 Henry W. Simon A Treasury of Grand Opera
63 Jack S Levy War in the Modern Great Power System, 1495-1975
64 Jack Howell The Lovely Reed : An Enthusiasts Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods
65 John Harris Covenant With Death
66 Charles Luk (Translator) Empty Cloud: The Autobiography of the Chinese Zen Master, Hsu Yun
67 Jan Wolkers Turkish Delight
68 Watt Piper The Bumper Book; a Harvest of Stories and Verses
69 John Burnet Platonism
70 David Miller The Nature of Political Theory

71 Laura Bannon The Wonderful Fashion Doll
72 John D. Green Birds of Britain
73 Glen Cook She Is The Darkness
74 Sarah Bradford The Reluctant King
75 Charles Flato The Golden Book of the Civil War
76 James Virgil Howe The Modern Gunsmith : a guide for the amateur and professional gunsmith in the design and construction of firearms, with practical suggestions for all who like guns
77 Ernest Cole House of Bondage
78 Patricia C. Barry ABCs of Long Arm Quilting
79 Ferdinand Pecora Wall St. Under Oath; The Story of our Modern Money Changers
80 A.E. Gutnov and A. Baburov The Ideal Communist City

81 Arthur Upfield The Lure of the Bush aka The Barrakee Mystery
82 Polan Banks Carriage Entrance
83 Barbara Newhall Follett The House Without Windows
84 R.P. Hunnicutt Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank
85 John Cage Notations
86 M.J. Whitley German Coastal Forces of World War Two
87 Roland Pierrot Chemical and determinative tables of mineralogy
88 Arthur Watt VLF Radio Engineering
89 John Atlee Kouwenhoven The Columbia Historical Portrait of New York: An Essay in Graphic History
90 Cecil Beaton The Glass of Fashion

91 David Sokol Pleased, But Not Satisfied
92 Steve Wiper USS New Jersey BB-62
93 Laura London The Windflower
94 Edward Matunas Practical Gunsmithing
95 Thomas Craven A Treasury of American Prints – A Selection of One Hundred Etchings and Lithogrphas by the Foremost Living American Artists
96 Paul Hoffman To Drop a Dime
97 Nicholas Brawer British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas, 1740-1914
98 Sam Dalal Swami and Mantra
99 Alan Raven and John Roberts British Battleships of World War Two
100 Don Graf Basic Building Data: 10,000 Timeless Construction Facts

Wednesday, 24, August, 2011

Monkey C. Monkeydew

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 16:18

The NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels with the ones I have read in bold: Comments added.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams The first was Brilliant. The others were OK.
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card This was a great short story, a decent book, and a series that should have quit after the first book, really.
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert* Again, the first book was excellent, but they’ve been beating the dead horse of this franchise for so long the glue the dead horse made has disintegrated.
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac AsimovLiked the first book, liked Foundation’s Edge though Isaac had lost a step by that time. The crossover books and prequels smelt of the lamp.
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood*# THIS counts as SF?
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King*
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King*
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein I’m surprised this book didn’t make NPR listener’s heads go asplodey. Or any of Heinlein’s other material, really.
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffreyThe first one, OK, the rest, meh.
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley*# Bradley cannot write without using stock epithets. Which are boring. And without polemic. Which is worse.
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien*I couldn’t take it. Too much lingusitics, and too few myths.
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. WhiteThis one is really underrated.
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke*
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks83rd? 83rd? Some of the most complex and subtle SF around, and only 83rd? Plus Banks has a strong Progressive/utopian bias-which would be right up NPR’s audiense’s alley.
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony# Oh, my dear God.
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

That’s it. No Spider Robinson. No David Weber or S.M. Sterling. No Sprague De Camp or Poul Anderson. Hell, no 2001. A lot of classics were left out, and a lot of the good moderns were too.
* I couldn’t finish the book. # I threw it against the wall. 50/100. I haven’t had a lot of time for recreational reading too much.

Monday, 20, June, 2011

And You Said I Was Sappy

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 13:24

I just came across The Exultant Ark, by Johnathan Balcome in my Uni Library.  The pictures are stunning.  The text however, leaves a lot to be desired.  I have been a biologist for over twenty years.  I have worked with animals from protists to primates.  I rescued three cats, who are at the present moment asleep on my bed.

Can animals feel pleasure?  Certainly the mammals can.  I know my cats do, and they get jealous, and communicate their moods and desires quite well, thank you.  I’m not sure who is training whom, but no matter.  The old-school view of animals as unthinking machines acting on hard-wired instinct has long since been discredited.

Balcome, however, goes overboard.  There was a picture of a marmot sniffing a flower before it ate it, with a caption suggesting the animal was savoring the aroma of it’s meal, not just testing to see if it was ripe and good to eat.  I’m thinking Balcome was giving the marmot (an animal with a brain smaller than a walnut) too much credit.  Another caption implied amazement that a sow, isolated by flood on a levee, would make a nest “out of whatever was available” (to protect her piglets).  Well, if she didn’t she wouldn’t have piglets for very long.  I don’t think that was deep maternal love as opposed to what an organism needs to do to survive.

Animals, particularly predators, do have to be smart, if they hope to be successful predators.  Frankly, I hope scavengers like Turkey Buzzards don’t savour their meals, I’m glad they consume them but I’ve been around roadkill too much to enjoy it.  I really don’t discern any deep mental processes in a lot of prey mammals (sheep and alpacas are cute, but they are no mental giants.) Not to mention the reptiles, whom are successful but there’s not a lot of deep thought going on in them.

Saturday, 23, April, 2011

Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 14:18

The annual NOBS book show is going on at the Knight Centre in Akron.  I’ve been going to this thing for years, now.  I really appreciated it when it was held in the Cleveland Armory, which is just a neat space, but parking is dismal.  For a couple of times they held it in an abandoned supermarket in Stow, which had plenty of parking but looked really, low rent.   The space at the Knight center is so large, it looked almost abandoned, and there weren’t that many people going to bookstores on a rainy Good Friday afternoon.

To prevent me from getting my own, personal, library (and needing my own personal library building) I have to limit myself.  It would be very, very easy for me to go into a book show  and say “I’ll take it”.  But moderation is a virtue, and though you would not know it from this blog, there are some things that I am not interested in.  Old unit histories from the Civil War, and things like that, I can pass by.

There were beautiful childrens’ books with wonderful lithographs.  You just don’t get illustrations like that with any other printing process.  There was a signed Wanda Gag Millions of Cats, but that was hideously expensive.  I saw lovely books by Holling Clancy Holling, and two that I had never seen before.  I searched for some of the early Robert B Parker that I’m looking for, with no joy, but they will come with time.

There was a beautiful book of watercolours done by Allied POWs in WWII, that was impressive, there were some copies of Lynd Ward’s novels in woodcuts, which have always intrigued me, and there was an elegant little volume about how to build, run, and feed your blast furnace, with exquisite illustrations and a lot of wad ruled paper in the back for your notes whilst running your own furnace.  That one was a hard one to pass by.

I was amazed by the number and variety of what is referred to as “black” titles.  The prototypical book of this genre is Little Black Sambo, but there were others, including “Tommy Frizzylocks”, with illustrations that you can imagine.  It really brought home how casual racism was in American society before WWII, that people wrote, edited, printed, and sold these books with a straight face, and they horrify people in the year 2011.

Thursday, 7, April, 2011

I Thought of Breda When I Saw This

Filed under: Blogania,Books — williamthecoroner @ 10:50

I, Librarian.  The adventures of superhero librarian Rex Libris. The real life version is HERE.

Packing for Mars

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 10:32

Mary Roach was in town giving a lecture last night, entitled Packing for Mars, based on her latest book.  She was discussing the strange science of space travel and the psychology, technology and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit.  I’ve had a crush on Ms. Roach ever since I read Stiff, and it was affirmed when I read Bonk.  Her career has been based on death, sex, and poop, which I find inspirational.  I had hoped to bring her my copy of stiff and ask her to run away with me, erm, autograph it for me, but I was unable to make it.

Sunday, 3, April, 2011

The Edible Books Project

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 13:22

So this year, it’s The Little Engine That Could. I started with a base of yellow cake-the standard Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook receipt. While that was baking, I started a dry run.

The roadbed was made of Rice Krispie treats, and black licorice twists were the rails. The engine was built of Little Debbie Fudge Brownies and the boiler was a Swiss Roll. I cut the brownies to make the cab, and the engine’s undercarriage was made from a peanut butter bar. The tender was stacked and cut fudge brownies, with chopped black licorice for coal. A licorice all sort was cut to make the sand dome and the tender’s rear lamp, and another   was used for the smokestack.   One was cut in two to be the windows of the cab.

For a boxcar, the brownies were stacked one on the other, and the brownies were cut and stacked to make the caboose. By this time, the cake was out of the oven, and cooling. After it had cooled enough, it was frosted with chocolate frosting (bought from a can). The Rice Krispie treats were re-assembled on the top of the cake, and the train was replaced on the licorice tracks.

Then starlight mints were smeared with frosting and used as the pilot wheels, and the wheels for the tender, boxcar, and caboose. One was also used as a headlight. Chocolate coins were smeared with frosting and used for the driving wheels. (The engine was a 4-6-0). Green coconut was placed around the roadbed to simulate grass.

The whole megilla was taken to Loganberry Books. There were many good entries. You can see photos of all the entries on Harriett’s site. The Little Engine That Could was a hit with the children, and as the votes were tabulated there was a cluster of kids standing around it eyeing the train in a predatory fashion. When the call to eat was given, one little girl snatched the boiler off the engine immediately. Within five minutes the train was in ruins.

Now, of course, I have a God-awful amount of candy, and some of it is gawd awful candy. As it is tooth-rattlingly sweet and I’m a grown up, I’m taking the leftovers in to work. Medical and graduate students will eat anything.

Thursday, 10, March, 2011

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Filed under: Books,Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 13:26

A Review of Forensic Detective By Robert Mann
Because I not only am a practicing forensic pathologist, I also teach the subject. I am always looking for books on the subject. Forensic anthropology is not my area of expertise, and I’ve read the memoirs of many forensic anthropologists. The TV series “Bones” has stimulated a lot of interest in the field. Forensic Detective, How I Cracked the World’s Toughest Cases will go a long way to killing interest in the field. I hat to stop reading it, because I was in too much pain, the book kept hitting me in the face as I fell asleep reading it. The chapter about how Dr. Mann got into the field was mildly interesting, and the bits about the politics of choosing the unknown soldier was also interesting. For the rest, I just couldn’t finish the book. The material has been gone over before, and better, by other authors. Dr. Mann would have been helped by a better ghostwriter.

Bottom line, save your money.

Sunday, 6, March, 2011

Fifteen Minutes

Filed under: Books — williamthecoroner @ 22:05

I just finished L. Douglas Keeney’s Fifteen Minutes General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Anhiliation. While it was not a particularly restful book, it was fascinating. Keeney inter-weaves several story lines, and the one about the huge “Texas Towers”, the radar early warning stations built on oil-rig platforms I think detracted from the overall story. However, it did emphasize the fact that the cold war was not without casualties-Tower 4 collapsed with the loss of all hands, and reconnaissance flights were also shot down and crews were lost.

I knew that SAC flew missions that had airplanes constantly in the air with armed nuclear weapons. I knew that two had been lost near Palomares, Spain after a mid-air with a tanker, but I did not know about the other three that were also lost. SAC war planners developed plans for many, many targets in the Soviet Union, and some cities would be hit with four thermonuclear weapons.

More worrisome was learning that the first Soviet strike was thought to occur when megaton bombs went off in the diplomatic missions to the UN and the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC. The contingencies for that involved a missile response on a dead man switch. Between this knowledge and the projected casualty figures (50-75 million Americans) you really begin to understand why the Cold War was called the “Age of Anxiety.”

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