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Incoherent rage yelp directed at “expert” witnesses whose misinformation about things like bite wounds and arson can get people incarcerated and killed (Cameron. Todd. Willingham.):

In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report, concluding there was no basis in science for forensic odontologists to conclude someone is “the biter,” excluding all other suspects.

Four years later, the American Board of Forensic Odontology changed its guidelines to bar such testimony.

A recent study by the group found wide variances in opinions among experts studying photographs of bite marks, many of them disagreeing on patterns and even if they were human bite marks.

An Associated Press analysis in 2013 found at least two dozen defendants convicted or charged with rape and murder using bite-mark evidence have been exonerated since 2000 — many after spending more than a decade in prison.

On being a Catholic novelist:

No honest, self-aware novelist denies the unconscious mechanisms at work and play in his composition, or attempts to refute the insistent facts of his past, facts that heave and breathe in his sentences, in his apprehensions of art and life. Like my Catholic youth, both of my books are flesh-obsessed, preoccupied with mythos and monsters, sin and redemption, affliction and deliverance. Every writer, after all, mobilizes his personal history in the unfurling of his imagination. I would concede to being a cultural Catholic—I recognize the aftershocks of Catholicism on certain avenues of my worldview, on my conception of the dramatic, and acknowledge my enormous debt to Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, to Misters Chesterton and Waugh and Greene, to Dr. Percy and Ms. Flannery O’Connor—but is one really to be cubicled as a “Catholic novelist” because one brooked a Catholic boyhood and parochial education, because one was warped in all the right ways by writers who were Catholic?

Make a cup of tea, settle into a comfortable chair, and read this in its loopy entirety (there are two updates from the OP):

This is such a silly question, but I would appreciate AskMe’s perspective. My boyfriend and I are long distance, and yesterday I stumbled on “wedding” photos of him and his ex that were taken two weeks ago. He told me that it was from a video that his university is making for new students to show how glamorous graduate school life can be (he’s a professor and an alum). Am I being irrational in doubting him?


Uncommon Courtesy on what to do when you’re not a hugger (sidenote: one of my best friends has a huge aversion to being touched, and I always wait for her to initiate it, and the six times or so she has reached out for a hug have been SO MEANINGFUL for me, because I know she must feel super strongly):

Victoria: Yeah, if someone’s giving you pressure you don’t want to be friends with them anyway. I guess you try to read the situation and see if you can get away with not hugging. Also a good time to take up Irish exits–if you don’t say goodbye, they can’t force you to hug.

Jaya: Hahaha yes. I think sticking out your hand first is key, and if someone comes in for a hug anyway do your best to make it quick and create as much space as possible, to send the message that you’re uncomfortable. Also, this question got me thinking a lot about a few articles I’ve read about not forcing children to hug anyone, even family members. This is a good example, but basically it comes down to teaching children body autonomy at an early age, and understanding that something like a hug can be very intimate. And maybe we’re forgetting that applies to adults too.

my mom left yesterday, we had spent a whole month together, so everyone in our house except for the mean cat is wandering around, lost and alone

Some helpful info about predatory medical billing!

Tyler Coates gets mathematical about Meryl Streep’s career:

Each of Streep’s roles were judged according to the following factors: her accent, her fashion sense, her love interest, and the struggles with which she is faced. Each of these factors are given a ranking based on a one to five scale (with five points, naturally, meaning that she has the most difficult or accomplished accent, the utmost style, the best love interest, and the most arduous obstacles). Each role also receives points based on the film’s box office earnings. For more than $150 million, it gets five points; between $100 and $149 million, four points; between $75 and $99 million, three points; between $50 and $74 million, two points; and less than $50 million earns the film one point.

Are there bonus points, you ask? Oh, there are bonus points.

A Shouts and Murmurs from Friend of The Toast Monica Heisey:


Under no circumstances is the Juicee to complain about or negatively refer to the cost of the Juice. It is agreed upon by both the Juicee and Juice Your Own Adventure that $10.95 is a reasonable amount of money to pay for what is effectively tepid soup. If/when the cost of the Juice is brought up by others, please see Section 1 (“Taste”), above, for acceptable responses. The Juicee acknowledges that it really is good to know that he/she is getting so many vegetables at once.

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