Crime Doesn’t Pay

Last week I, along with several other writers, took a tour of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab. Our tour guide, Rylene Nowlin, is a DNA specialist. 

During the tour, I saw and learned so many interesting things. From the processing of rape kits to cyanoacrylate (super glue) fuming to develop latent fingerprints, and everything in-between. 

For obvious reasons, we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the crime lab. Here’s a shot of the outside of the building.

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Rylene shared stories that made us laugh (some people are clearly out to eliminate themselves from the gene pool), and stories that curled our hair (how can people be so cruel?).  

Did you know that a coroner is an elected official who doesn’t have to have a medical degree? In fact, they don’t have to have any type of degree. None whatsoever. They just have to be able to get elected. There are places where the local feed store operator is a coroner.

On the other hand, a medical examiner by definition is a licensed physician, and in most cases, they’re trained to be forensic pathologists. They’re appointed to the position. 

Some states have both coroners (usually in the rural areas) and medical examiners (usually in the non-rural areas). 

Did you know that forensics is a female-dominated field? That is so up my alley (when I was growing up I wanted to be a mad scientist). In another lifetime I’m going into forensics! 

In another lifetime, what field of study would you go into?

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© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Do Your Ears Hang Low?

The last time that my sister and I were together, I told her that my favorite physical feature is my ears. I like ‘em! It’s one of the reasons I keep my hair short. I’d love to be able to wiggle them, but I can’t. Anecdotal reports suggest that only fifteen percent of the population can wiggle their ears.

At camp we sang this song ALL of the time:

“Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie ‘em in a knot? Can you tie ‘em in a bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder? Like a continental soldier? Do your ears hang low?”

I’d trade my ears in a heartbeat for long plush ones with green stripes inside. Imagine what you’d hear! You wouldn’t miss a thing.

Willa’s got great ears too. Her’s are pink inside, and she can twitch them at will. She can also hold them in a “flying nun” type pose for an extended period.

Can you wiggle your ears?

Oh, by the way, I am part of the sixty-five to eighty percent of the population who can roll their tongue.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

DNA Blueprint

Boise, Idaho has a fantastic downtown area with a plethora of incredible signage. One of my favorites is this one for the Idaho Blueprint and Supply Co. I love that it’s three-dimensional, that it doesn’t lay flat against the building.

Every time I pass this sign I think of my blueprint, my DNA. The dictionary defines DNA as follows:

“DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional.”

“We’ve been led to believe that the goal of equality is to somehow make differences disappear yet, in reality, it is to be profoundly aware of them and to recognize them as beautiful and valuable and necessary. The virtue is not in ignoring our various distinctions, but in celebrating them; not in pretending as though they don’t exist, but in believing that their existence makes us a better version of humanity as we live together in community.” —JOHN PAVLOVITZ, from his book “A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community”

Have you ever had your DNA tested to discover the breakdown of your ancestry?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com