it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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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.

Tags: 100 book reports
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