Friday, July 06, 2007

that's what chlorine is for

Part of owning a backyard pool is sometimes finding a dead animal in the water. Two summers ago I saved a box turtle that had fallen in. This year I haven't been as lucky. At the beginning of the swim season, five (dramatic) chipmunks ended it all in my pool. I suspect that they were in search of a drink during the current Tennessee drought. Three of the chipmunks were floaters. The other two I had to retrieve from the bottom using a net on a long pole. A couple of listeners have sent emails suggesting that I purchase a product to help the critters climb out of the pool before it's too late. One wrote to tell me about the Frog Saver Lily Pad, the other about the Froglog.

My wife and I had lunch with Dr. Bill Bass and his lovely wife Carol yesterday. We talked about plenty of stuff besides the Body Farm but when the conversation did turn to forensic anthropology, I asked about floaters (no, not Ralph, Charles, Paul and Larry). Maybe the chipmunks were still on my mind (no, not Alvin, Simon and Theodore). Dr. Bass told us about a study on bodies in water done at the Body Farm that was described in the book "Death's Acre." He also told us about a failed effort to test an underwater body cage in the river. More research needs to be done in this area. I didn't get around to asking Dr. Bass about bodies in Lake Tahoe. I remember reading that the cold, deep water keeps them from ever floating to the surface. Before the conversation moved on, he jokingly suggested that I enroll at UT and do a Master's thesis on floaters.

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