Category: Channel Flip
Channel Flip: In the Mouth of Madness
In which I tackle a horror movie just bad enough that I can get through ten minutes of it, and in which I also can never escape Sam Neill. Is that my personal early-1990s horror-movie fate? Sam Neill everyplace? Let’s find out together, shall we? Timestamp: 00:46:17 We open with this kid, who’s very scary, mostly because of his hair: Someone telekinetically opens and slams the doors; maybe Satan, but also maybe it’s just this kid. I’ve seen kids! They slam anything! The doors open again to reveal a smug… Read more »
Channel Flip: Streets of Fire
So after I posted my last (or rather, latest), Channel Flip, two people got in touch to very kindly ask about the movies they were still waiting, with saintly patience, for me to recap. One was Streets of Fire, a Rock’n’Roll Fable that answered pretty much all my life questions except one you ask of everyone in this, “What are you DOING here?”, even as you pretty much enjoy yourself. The point is, I needed no further encouragement to get this post-apoc Casablanca sent to me in the mail posthaste!… Read more »
The Supersizers: Edwardian
(Technically this is “Edwardian Supersize Me,” because if this show loved anything more than getting its hosts drunk it was renaming the show every two weeks, but we’re going to try and hold things together. There are enough confusing things later.) Welcome to the Supersizers rewatch! We begin at the beginning, with the pilot that brought together Giles Coren, restaurant critic and perpetually awkward man of general questionability, and Sue Perkins, commentator-at-large who is probably dressed by snarky animated bluebirds every morning. Giles is sort of in love with her,… Read more »
Channel Flip: "The Kibbles and Bits of Hellorama"
It’s my final Channel Flip (I think – if your request hasn’t been filled, drop me a comment stat)! Most people asked for Channel Flips for movies and television they either themselves enjoy, or hope I’ll hate as much as they might secretly hate it. It’s been a blast, mostly! In this last Channel Flip, I learn to be more specific in terms of what I’ll watch, if I ever offer again after this puppy, because someone will eventually request a movie that person made themselves in what looks like… Read more »
Channel Flip: "Rome"
Penultimate Channel Flip! This one I was actively looking forward to, except the first disc broke and I had to send away for another, which seemed like a bad omen, which is sort of fitting for everything that has ever happened on Rome, ever, because all of it is just a beautifully-shot and -acted cascade of terrible things. Not that I know that from watching the series! It’s just a guess I have, having never ever watched the series, because of course not, ha ha, DON’T LOOK AT ME. Episode:… Read more »
Channel Flip: Red Dwarf
In high school, someone tried to introduce me to Red Dwarf. In many ways her taste was excellent, and I was introduced to some fine British shows through her; I think I lasted about ten minutes with Lister, Rimmer and crew. And yet, here we are, Channel Flipping it! Life’s funny. (The show isn’t, but life is!) I suspect this is one of those shows in which any ten-minute chunk is going to contain both a lot of things happening and very little actual development of anything. The overwhelming feeling… Read more »

Recent Work

My award-eligible work in 2014

2014 Recommended Reading List includes:
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club (novel)
Dream Houses (novella)
"The Insects of Love" (novelette)
"Aberration" in short story.

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 recaps: "Spellcaster"

TV recaps: Babylon, "Hackney Wick"

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    peashooter85:

    History’s first forensic murder investigation, China, 1235 AD

    In 1247 AD during the Song Dynasty of China, a book called Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified also known as The Washing Away of Wrongs was first published by Song Ci, a Chinese coroner and detective.  Essentially the book was a guide for early coroners, detailing how to determine cause of death based on forensic science.  Divided into 53 chapters and five volumes, the work details the case studies and personal observations of Song Ci. Incredibly advanced for its time, the book covers topics such as anatomy, the decay of corpses, details the wounds made by different weapons, appearance of corpses from various causes of death, and postmortem examination methods.

    Among the case studies of The Washing Away of Wrongs is an anecdote now considered to be the first case of forensic entomology in history.  In 1235 AD a man was found stabbed, slashed, and hacked to death in a small village. The local magistrate inspected the victims wounds, then tested various types of blades on animal corpses, which allowed him to determine that the weapon used was a common farming sickle.   According to Song Ci, a brilliant plan was created by the magistrate to determine who was the murderer,

    The local magistrate began the investigation by calling all the local peasants who could be suspects into the village square. Each was to carry their hand sickles to the town square with them. Once assembled, the magistrate ordered the ten-or-so suspects to place their hand sickles on the ground in front of them and then step back a few yards. The afternoon sun was warm and as the villagers, suspects, and magistrates waited, bright shiny metallic green flies began to buzz around them in the village square. The shiny metallic colored flies then began to focus in on one of the hand sickles lying on the ground. Within just a few minutes many had landed on the hand sickle and were crawling over it with interest. None of the other hand sickles had attracted any of these pretty flies. The owner of the tool became very nervous, and it was only a few more moments before all those in the village knew who the murderer was. With head hung in shame and pleading for mercy, the magistrate led the murderer away. The witnesses of the murder were the brightly metallic colored flies known as the blow flies which had been attracted to the remaining bits of soft tissue, blood, bone and hair which had stuck to the hand sickle after the murder was committed. The knowledge of the village magistrate as to a specific insect group’s behavior regarding their attraction to dead human tissue was the key to solving this violent act and justice was served in China.

    Today The Washing Away of Wrongs has been translated into several different languages, with modern forensic scientists adding their own anecdotes and studies.  It has been esteemed by generations of public service officials and is often required reading in criminology today.

    04/19/15

2015 Appearances

Often updated. Please check back!

March: ICFA (Orlando, FL)