Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I'll Never Become a Crash Test Dummy

 It's amazing what you find out about yourself by reading.  While sitting around with my leg propped up, I have plenty of time to catch up on that stack of books I've been meaning to read. 

I just finished Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers last night.  It's probably not something I would have picked up on my own, but my friend Nancy happened to have it when she was in the ER with me last Sunday and it turned out to be quite fascinating.  Basically it tells about the many ways cadavers are  used in science... from anatomy classes, to crash test dummies, to ballistics, to determining causes of plane crashes, to discovering new alternatives to cremation and embalming/burial. 

One of my favorite sections was about the use of cadavers in crash tests.  Seems there are certain things that the typical plastic crash test dummies can't measure.  So, occasionally, they've used actual cadavers or parts thereof in crash tests.  Whoa!  Now that would be a cool way to contribute to scientific inquiry!  Sadly, though, I'll never be able to will my body to be a crash test dummy.  It seems klutzes need not apply.  My broken bones would prevent my cadaver from being any use to the crash test laboratories.  Damn!  That would have been a great way to make a contribution! 

Then there was the chapter on alternatives to burial or cremation.  Strangely, I liked the idea of being flash frozen in liquid nitrogen and then bombarded with ultrasound to be broken up into little bits that could be used as fertilizer.  Cool!  (Literally & figuratively.)  I'd volunteer for that one!

So many things I just hadn't thought about before.  Guess this whole invalid thing is expanding my horizons! 

Now... what to read next?
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