Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good headline

On the front page of the WSJ: "Poems and Tears Spark Surge of Cadavers." The story itself has a slightly more explanatory head: "Poems and Tears for 'Silent Mentors' Spark a Surge of Cadavers in Taiwan"
By the time students here wield their scalpels, they will know the dead intimately, composing poems and slide shows to them, writing their biographies and sometimes lighting incense in their honor. When they are finished, the students will carry the donors' coffins to the crematory, mourning them as their "silent mentors" who taught them with their bodies.
Sample poem:
Like a warm lantern in our heart,
Like the supple light of the moon,
To embrace you forever
In the fragrance of a flower,
We will remember you forever
Forever. Stryker saw!

Update: For those unlucky few who haven't had the tops of their heads sawn off, Autopsy Screenwriter:
The diener takes an electric saw (typically called a "Stryker saw," even if it's not manufactured by Stryker) and makes cuts around the equator of the cranium. This cut must be deep enough to cut all the way through the skull, but not so deep that the brain is cut (this takes some skill). Typically, the cut is not totally straight but has a notch so that the skull top (calvarium) will not slide off the bottom half of the skull after everything is sewn back up. After this cut, the calvarium is removed and set aside. As the calvarium is lifted off, there is a very characteristic sound that is sort of a combination of a sucking sound and the sound of rubbing two halves of a coconut together. The best recorded representation of this sound that I have heard is in the brain transplant scene of the film Robocop 2.
Right to the top of the queue for Robocop 2.

Update: Speaking of death, I saw this Tom Swiftie in a comment at Althouse the other day: "I am not a homosexual necrophiliac!" Tom said, in dead earnest.

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