Research odds and ends and one pet peeve

It's really fun to share these, but posting them here also has the added benefit of giving me somewhere to look when I vaguely remember reading something useful "somewhere." So here's what struck me as interesting in the last month or so.

"A human female skeleton has a more rounded pelvis, more rounded shoulder blades, and thinner bones than male skeletons. Women tend to have narrower rib cages, smaller teeth, less angular jaws, less pronounced brow ridges, and a small protuberance at the back of the skull; the carrying angle of the forearm is more pronounced in females than in males." (from The Skeleton Crew by Deborah Halber)

The most common phrase in suicide notes is "I'm so tired."

A thirty-second earthquake generally has a magnitude in the mid-sevens. A minute-long quake is in the high sevens, a two-minute quake has entered the eights, and a three-minute quake is in the high eights. By four minutes, an earthquake has hit magnitude 9.0.  (

If you ever have to write battles but you're not a tactician, two books that might spark ideas (or work as models) are Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and Texas by James Michener. Les Mis has way more information about the battle of Waterloo than I ever desired to know and section VI of Texas explains clearly not just how the Alamo was taken but how Mexico won subsequent battles, and the remarkable battle at San Jacinto where Sam Houston's 900-man army outfoxed Santa Ana and his army of 1,200 in a battle that lasted a mere eighteen minutes, ending the war with Mexico.

Moose, unlike other members of the deer family, can kick in all directions, including sideways.

Due to postmortem fermentation when a body is not kept cool after death, there can be “false positive” blood alcohol reports up to 0.20 grams/% (

And as promised, one pet peeve.

Hazel eyes are not some shade of light brown. They are not brown with green flecks. They are either brown with green around the iris or green with brown around the iris (true hazel.) I know this because hazel eyes run in my family. My dad had them, I have them, and my youngest niece has them. Also, green eye shadow does not make them look green; it makes them look brown. And visa versa. And when you're pupils dilate, they look whatever color the outside of the iris is (in my family, that's green.)


  1. I'll have to check out Texas... the Battle of San Jacinto appeals to me.

  2. I love spy stories. I would keep reading. Enjoy!