Sunday, January 27, 2008

dem bones

A sign at the entrance to the new forensic anthropology exhibit at the Frank H. McClung Museum (through May 7) warns visitors about the graphic images ahead. Another sign prohibits visitors from taking pictures.

To prepare for my next interview with Dr. Bill Bass, I had planned to go to the museum yesterday during a break between the preliminaries and finals of the city meet. Instead I went today, which makes it look like I got the idea from a great feature article in this morning's paper. The exhibit has displays of various skulls and other bones as well as a series of large color photographs of a body decomposing in the August heat.

As far as I could tell, taking photos in the gift shop was allowed. They had a table with autographed copies of the first two Body Farm novels and the most recent non-fiction book. Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bass will be there to sign copies of their new book, "The Devil's Bones," three weeks from today on February 17.

The forensic products for children amused me. Wannabe CSIs can get started with the Detective Science Fingerprint Kit or a "Human Anatomy Coloring Book." They also had a "Crime Scene Detective" book for kids and a mysterious product from China called Organ Slime.

I liked the way the red Human Remains Recovery School shirts caught the sunlight coming in through the window. Perhaps the best gift choices were the Forensic Anthropology Center patches and black t-shirts. I couldn't justify spending $22 on a t-shirt for myself or I would have gotten one.

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