September 12th, 2006

Not For The Squeamish

I learned an important lesson today. But first, some background:

I am currently reading a book entitled “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.” The author, Mary Roach, takes a funny but respectful and informative look at what happens to the human body after the person using it has died. I’m not too far along in the book but it’s already been fascinating. So far she’s talked about how bodies are used for medical research and surgery practice and delved into a history of the earliest scientists who would pay people to steal the bodies of the recently dead so they could… well, let’s say “study” them.

The author strikes the right tone, making the book readable – a difficult task for so difficult a subject – and even enjoyable. In an age where three different versions of CSI are on the air, a book like this gives someone a resource for learning more about the processes discussed (and sometimes shown).

For the most part, I’ve been able to detach myself from the details which could be considered horrific. Death ain’t pretty, after all. Today, though, the book took a turn and taught me a valuable lesson in the process. That lesson is this:

No matter how important the work and how interesting the discussion about cadaver research farms (where they study the process of decay), it is not a good substitution for doing the crossword puzzle at lunch.

Take it from me.

3 Comments on “Not For The Squeamish”

  1. the obscure says:

    I am definately going to read this. Thanks!

  2. A person says:

    I love Mary Roach! If she's the same who authors a column in Reader's Digest, that is . . . is she? And, no, I will not be reading this bit of her work though ~ thanks for the heads up. I'll tip my hat to ya though, sir! Or should I just put my headlights on . . . ?

  3. Kim says:

    I actually just said to Scott yesterday that I need to find an interessting book to read. Thanks!

Leave a Reply