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bear by san

March 2017



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writing one-eyed jack

best of all I won't stop dreaming just because i'm rich and famous.

Book Report #44: Bill Bass, Ph.D, and Jon Jefferson, Death's Acre.

Bill Bass is the founder and head of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, a pioneer in forensic anth. I first heard about his project in one of Douglas Ubelaker's publications lo these many years ago, back in the dim mists of history, when I was going to be a forensic anthropologist.

And this is a seriously interesting book.

The organization could be a little better, and there's a fair amount of repetition, but the material is clearly and cogently presented. Bass's personality shines through (sometimes I like him more than others) and he does not stint on either the black humor or the praise of his associates.

The book is also full of usefully macabre details, like the fact that fat people skeletonize faster than skinny ones do. And apparently, if you soak dessicated skin in Downy fabric softener, it becomes pliable enough to finerprint.

Also, I liked this photo caption: "One of our early experiments studied whether body bags are leakproof. They aren't."

Far less squeamy than actual textbooks, this is written for the interested layman.


if you soak dessicated skin in Downy fabric softener, it becomes pliable enough to finerprint.

This was a minor plot point on a recent episode of 'Bones'. ...which you should check out, if you aren't already.
It's not for me.

I actually dislike television, generally, which is why I'm so enthused on the rare occasions when I find a show I like.
A Swedish special op force in Congo apparently requested a new make of body bags, "as the old ones were leaking".
They have apparently been unable to design a leakproof body bag.

We are a little corrosive, maybe?
Thanks to your subject line, I now have "Rich and Happy" (both parts) running through my head. For some reason that song (those songs?) is (are?) enough of an earworm that I keep them off my iTunes.

I think I'll drown them out with the Hollywood Medley on my way to work. *g*

The book sounds interesting, too. This now makes approximately 10,457 books that I would like to read. *headdesk*
Hee. Guess what I've been listening to all day....
Between that quote and the "Johanna" reference, I figured "Patinkin Sings Sondheim" had been getting some play. *g*

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em..... (cranks up iTunes, starts listening to "When?", retreats to bunk)
Hee. Yes. For some reason, I can't get it to rip, so I have to actually find the CD when I want to hear it.

Maybe I should see if itunes will convert it, because WinAmp hates the CD.
This is odd - I can reply via webmail at work and even though I get an error message apparently the comment goes through. Strange.

My CD got badly borked and I think I ended up buying it again on iTunes. I hope it will convert the CD for you.
That is indeed strange.

Perhaps I will try later, if ambition strikes.
ooo, I do believe I just found my sister's birthday present :). She writes grisly murder mysteries, so this sounds like something right up her alley.
For some reason, this makes me glad I do not use fabric softener.
i was going to tell you that the downy thing was on bones the other day, but someone else beat me to it.

so, instead, i'll say, hey, i'm reading blood and iron (right now, actually). i'm totally into it to the point that i want to keep reading instead of finishing checking my e-mail and cleaning up the living room and taking a shower.

but, i suppose it will still be there after i do all those things.

i thought, from the reviews i'd read that i'd have to be some kind of genius to get it. so, i'm very happy that i do get it. (and am loving all the "ooooh!" moments.) it might be just because i'm a mythology geek, tho. :D (i mean, because i'm obviously not a genius.) *g*
I keep TELLING people it's NOT THAT HARD.

See, I'm a reasonably intelligent person who went into the book with a lot of folklore and mythology and knowledge of Tam Lin, and still felt like a LOT of it went over my head. I kept wishing for annotations or something. My guy, whose knowledge of folklore is almost exclusively Eastern European/Slavic, was even more lost than I was. It's been a VERY LONG TIME since a book made me feel that way, like I was groping after something just out of reach. It was kind of frustrating and I almost put the book down a few times, but I read it, and I enjoyed it. And I enjoy talking about it. And I have a feeling that I'm going to enjoy the hell out of a future re-read. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
I have to suspect that it's a thinking style thing rather than a content thing.
so, you're saying my brain doesn't work like other people's? *g*
or possibly like right-thinking people's....
The Boy (who is a forensic scientist with the police) and I both enjoyed that book immensely, and he found it to be pretty well written too, although it was sort of a dumbed down read for him for obvious reasons.

He, of course, gets to a wide variety of much more macabre things at work and especially during training.

Kind of makes me proud of my home state and their university, even if it's a little weird to think that UT's two great specialties are a very respectable football program and decaying corpses.
Yah, I know. Sorta weird. When I found that out, I had the fleeting thought that UT's got a leg up if zombie football ever becomes a thing.
It's a really fantastic book, yes.

Have you read "Dead Men Do Tell Tales"?
Not yet!
The worst anthropology text I ever read was A Comparative Anatomy of Living Primates. However, the entire class was a buz when we came to only gleam of joy in the entire text: "What a shame that homo sapiens sapiens no doesn't have a tail, just think of all the possibilities for fashion design". That line is all that enabled us to finish the book.