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December 16th, 2017

Diversions

Anatomy Class in Court | News You Can Use

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published April 16, 2015

Anatomy Class in Court  |  News You Can Use

"This will be upsetting," cautioned Justice Robert Graesser, addressing jurors in February in the Edmonton, Alberta, murder trial of Brad Barton. At issue was the cause of the victim's having bled to death from her genitals, and the judge, ruling that jurors would benefit by inspecting the actual wound, admitted the vagina itself (not a photograph) into evidence. The organ had been removed for autopsy and preserved, and the chief medical examiner donned rubber gloves and pointed out to jurors how "clean" the wound was (suggesting a sharp object), rather than the rougher, "scraping" wound that would have been created in other ways, such as by impalement. (At press time, the trial was still in progress.) [Edmonton Journal, 2-27-2015]

Researchers from Cornell University, inspired by the book "World War Z," recently computer-simulated the spread of a "zombie apocalypse" -- and now advise the anxiety-prone to head for higher ground if infections break out, recommending Glacier National Park in Montana or, even better, Alaska. Using differential equations and "lattice-based" models, the statisticians demonstrated that infections would slow dramatically as fewer people became available to bite (but that, ultimately, we're all doomed). The state most quickly wiped out? New Jersey. [Washington Post, 3-4-2015]

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