William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Tuesday, 21, June, 2011

Booty Call Ninjas

Filed under: Links to Greatness,Oddness,WTF? — williamthecoroner @ 10:37

I am not sure if this is a rule of crime or a rule of life; but one should be careful in dealing with ex-lovers.  Particularly ex-lovers who are…peeved.  It seems a man in the peri-Chicago area called his ex-girlfriend and asked her to come over for sex (1).  She agreed, (2) but when he went to go to her car, he was assaulted by a masked figure with nunchuks and throwing stars (3).  He was found in a bloody heap, but identified his ex-girlfriend as one of his assailants (4).  The story is here, H/T Gormogons.

1.  He actually thought this would work?

2. She’s a much better actor than me.

3. Nunchucks and shuriken?  Really?  They went out of their way to get martial-arts weapons?  You can get dimensional lumber and lead pipe at the hardware store, fer crying out loud.  You’ve just given the DA premeditiation.  OK, you get style points for the nunchuks, but those are outweighed by the doofus points.

4. If you’re gonna attack the guy, cover your face TOO.  A smarter idea would be to give it a pass yourself, and have the assailant snatch your purse or something, making you look like a victim, not a perpetrator.

Sunday, 6, February, 2011

Shakespeare Retold

Filed under: Oddness,Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 22:45

I am not usually a fan of adaptations of Shakespeare.  Perhaps I was ruined by my first director, who did everything in the manner of Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Drama.  Actually, Shakespeare is good enough that it can withstand such treatment.  The musical comedy of the Life of Susan B. Anthony done in the Style of Good Woman of Szechuan (Don’t ask.  Just don’t ask) withered under such abuse. I’m of the opinion that Shakespeare should be done as written, unless you’re really, really good.

Be that as it may, the BBC’s production of Shakespeare Retold was worth a look.  The quality was spotty, as some adapters were better than others.  The Much Ado About Nothing (set in a contemporary regional British Newsroom) was absolutely brilliant.  The dialogue was snappy, I could buy the premise, Hero was not a wet mess like she is in the original.  Even the guy who played Dogberry was perfectly bumptious.

The second play on the disk was MacBeth, set in a contemporary London three-star restaurant.  While there were some creative flashes–I particularly liked the three supernatural garbagemen, and the blasted heath was a rubbish tip and the little joke about the “Scottish Chef” was clever.  But that was about it.  I can see the original MacBeth killing for a kingdom–when I watched the modern version, 1. MacBeth looked like he was about 20, no where near old enough to be an executive chef and 2. I kept wondering why he just didn’t go get a loan and start his own restaurant.  It would have been so much easier.  Of course, if characters were sensible, then there would be no PLOT.  I just couldn’t buy it.  It will be interesting to see what they did with the other two plays.

Friday, 7, May, 2010

In Which I Get E-mail

Filed under: Medicine,Oddness,WTF? — williamthecoroner @ 12:48

One thing about being a doctor is getting questions.  Sometimes they are interesting, sometimes they are intrusive.  Usually, people don’t press the issue when they learn that I’m a coroner, and my usual response if they don’t get it is that I’d be happy to do an autopsy on them and give them the report in three weeks.  Funny, but if you offer to eviscerate someone at a party they tend to go away.

My inherent smart-alec tendencies keeping most folks away, the questions I do get are interesting.  Someone asked me yesterday about the “Graston Technique” which a physical therapist recommended to treat her spinal canal stenosis and chronic migranes.  I had not heard of this technique, so I looked into it.

Evidently, it is some sort of massage technique where the someone rubs the patient with these stainless steel…things.  The things are supposed to “untangle muscle fibers”  and “break up scar tissue”.  Now.  I’ve looked at a lot of muscles.  I’ve never seen any of them tangle like they show in the slide show.  I’ve broken up scar tissue.  With a scalpel.

Now, rubbing contracted, sore muscles will make them feel better, and you can massage trigger points and make the muscle relax.  The fibers aren’t untwisting, however.  This looks like deep tissue massage with oddly shaped stainless steel things.  Chronic inflammation, though doesn’t get better if you rub it.  After all, your Mom told you that if you pick at it it won’t get better.  STEROIDS treat chronic inflammation.  I also noticed in their list of clinicians: “athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists” does not include doctors.

The Graston technique might make someone feel good.  Or it might hurt like the dickens.  Deep tissue massage tends to hurt, I’m not sure I want someone rubbing me hard with a steel thing when I hurt.  Hands would appear to be safer in my opinion.  The other part of the technique involves warm up, stretching, and strengthening the affected muscles.  I think the last two are what’s working in most of these cases.

EDITED TO ADD:  Science-Based Medicine has some information about it HERE.  It’s quackery.  The scientific basis arises from two mouse studies, one of which suggests it doesn’t work.  Also, the patient pays $500 for the treatments, the “instruments” cost $2700, and it is a way to get a placebo effect from paying someone to hurt you.

Tuesday, 9, February, 2010

From An Old Student

Filed under: Forensics,Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 09:23

Truck vs. Smartcar accident. The trucks won, not surprisingly.

Friday, 23, October, 2009

Mol Day

Filed under: Japery,Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 17:58

6.0221415 × 1023

The story is HERE.

Wednesday, 14, October, 2009

I Am Not Making This Up.

Filed under: Oddness,People who need pianos dropped on them — williamthecoroner @ 08:41

Via Thoryke, we have things made in the textile arts that really shouldn’t have been.  File under “what were you thinking?”  Now, I kind of liked the crocheted rat dissection.  I’m even down with the roadkill rug, I don’t have a good place to put one, but I have hardwood floors.

The hand-stitched, felt placenta, though, is just beyond the pale.  The description is priceless, particularly the last phrase:

…handsewn together for that uniquely lumpy placental look.

There are other hideous things on that page, you can go find ’em yourself.

Monday, 11, May, 2009

Oh, Fer Cryin’ out Loud

Filed under: Oddness,People who need pianos dropped on them — williamthecoroner @ 13:31

A local mall is closing.  Personally, I think it’d be a nice place for a horse farm, which is what it was before it was a mall, but that’s no never mind.  Anyway, there’s a Sears store there, and they’re selling stuff from the store at fairly large discounts.  A week ago Saturday, I went to the store and bought a mattress and box spring.  A floor model, paid for it, arranged for delivery, and the delivery guys were going to come Friday.  I took the day off, and they call to cancel the delivery.


So I call the home delivery number, and really regret that I don’t speak Hindi, because that’s what the person on the other end of the line speaks.  After a couple of go rounds, “Jim” has me call the store, who send me right back to the call center.  We dance this dance for a while, until I wise up and see “Mac the Manager” at the store.  Mac speaks English.  And he finds out that the mattess and box springs are at the warehouse, and will be delivered Monday (today)


No call from the home delivery people on Sunday night.  I call this morning (again having taken a vacation day) and I find out from the delivery center that the mattress and box springs were delivered to my house in Sheffield Lake.  Which would be peachy.  Except my house is located in Shaker Heights. Which is in a different county.  I don’t own a house in Sheffield Lake.  So Sears went miles out of their way to deliver a mattress and box spring to the wrong address.


I begin to see why Sears is having trouble.  Supposedly, I will recieve a new (at least a different) mattress and box spring to-morrow.  I’m not holding my breath.  If Larry, Moe, and Curly show up, I’ll be sure to get pictures.   I also kind of wonder about the people in Sheffield Lake who now have my mattress and box spring.  Did they think the bed fairy just came and left something under their pillow?  I hope the delivery people put a pea under the mattress, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

Tuesday, 28, April, 2009

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.

Wednesday, 8, April, 2009


Filed under: Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 18:16

Robert Llewellen drives people around in his Prius and puts it on the internet.

This week, It’s Craig Charles. Next week, it’s Chris Barrie, with Norman and Danny in the line-up. He’s just as weird out of his make-up as he is in it. That’s the scary bit, these folks aren’t acting.


Saturday, 31, January, 2009

Search Term Blank Verse

Filed under: Oddness — williamthecoroner @ 14:35

A load of spam links on my comment policy, that made interesting blank verse.

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