Did you know...


...pistols aren't revolvers?

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately for my works in progress—an adult crime novel tentatively titled SHADOW RIDERS and a thriller novelette, W.olf.

For SHADOW RIDERS, I researched handguns.

Did you know…

…although both are handguns, pistols and revolvers are not the same things? For more handgun trivia visit the Criminal Minds at Work blog.

For W.olf I researched CT Scans…actually, I didn’t. It just so happened my doctor ordered one for me six months after the muses decided my W.olf character ought to have one.

Did you know…(Information obtained from the radiology staff at the Cold Lake Health Centre.)

…CT Scans (or CAT Scans) can’t detect neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy? MRIs are better used for diagnosing those types of problems. However, CT Scans can detect abnormalities in brain structure such as tumours and cysts. If a dye is used in conjunction with the test, it can also locate problems in the brain’s circulatory system, such as unhealthy arteries and veins as well as damage from strokes.

…the most common unwanted side effect of the dye used in CT Scans is hives? The most dangerous side effect (but very rare) is anaphylactic shock.

…when the dye is injected intravenously most people feel a hot flush move throughout their body? When the warmth hits the pelvic region, people often feel they’re peeing or about to (but they don’t).  Other common sensations include a weird taste and smell.

…a normal CT Scan of the head takes only about five minutes? With dye, the exam is a bit longer as one or two scans are usually taken before the dye is injected and then a couple are taken afterwards.

…unless dye is being used, there are no special preparations for the procedure? However, if dye is used, one is instructed to arrive for one’s appointment with an empty stomach—because nausea is a fairly common side effect of the dye and also because of the possibility of an allergic reaction to the dye. An empty stomach ensures one doesn’t aspirate if unconscious…or mess up the radiology room with vomit.

…you can keep your clothes on during a CT scan of the head? Other than removing metallic objects from the head area (such as earrings and hair clips), one can just crawl onto the table as is. I was even told to leave my shoes on.  There you go—easier than getting through airport security!

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The BACKTRACKER Series...Crime fiction at its best. Cops vs Bikers on the Canadian prairie--and throw in a thirteen-year old girl






...pigeons are doves?

All these fun facts about city animals are from the September 2013 issue of “Discover”—not my first choice for accurate science info but definitely for fun science!

So here goes--

Did you know...

  • Pigeons navigate by the stars and can count to nine?
  • Opossums have about the same number of teeth as a T-Rex, 50—more than any other North American mammal?
  • Musky death-scented liquid oozes from an opossum’s mouth and anus glands when it “plays ‘possum” but its metabolism does not slow down?
  • Moles’ fur is soft and has no nap? You cannot rub a mole the wrong way. This supposedly helps with its burrowing, allowing it to go backwards with the same ease as it goes forward in its tunnels.
  • Squirrels outwit us constantly using multistep problem-solving that is beyond the capability of most mammals and probably some humans? (as evidenced by an entire commercial industry devoted to keeping them out of our bird feeders.)
  • Rats can learn their names and will come when called?

Urban animal facts brought to you by:


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...you can figure out when Easter will be?

Every year Easter is on a different day. We all know that happens because it is based on a different calendar, but it need not be such a mystery.

Every year, Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Therefore, the earliest it can be is 22 March and the latest it can be is April 25th.

Nobody alive today has, or ever will, witness it occuring on March 22nd . The last time that happened was in 1818 and it won't happen again until 2285.

The last time Easter was on April 25th (the latest possible date) was 1943. You may have been around to see that and you may be around when it happens again in 2038.

Happy Easter!


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curlers talk to their rocks?

In the game of curling, jargon runs rampant.

What does it mean when a curler says, "Sit! Sit!" It means s/he is talking to the curling rock that has just been thrown and telling it to stop moving.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence that this works, it is a strategy employed by curlers at all levels of play.... :)

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...that fingerprints...

I attended a presentation by my local RCMP Forensic Ident officer this evening and learned things about fingerprints, footprints, DNA and other crime scene clues. Here's a few fun facts I picked up:

  • fingerprints are particularly easy to lift from potato chip bags because
  • it is grease and oil one gets from touching body parts, such as face or hair (or from chips you eat), clinging to the fingers that creates fingerprints
  • this grease sticks to the fingers because we have many sweat pores on our fingers. We can see these if we look closely. They look like tiny holes.
  • fingerprints can be easily lifted from paper. It is heated and then treated and voila! Prints appear!
  • put superglue in a heating chamber with a plastic bag and the glue will become gaseous and cling to the oily finger prints on the bag, making them visible. This is a valuable technique as many illicit drugs are stored, traded, transferred in ordinary plastic Ziploc bags.
  • a technique has yet to be discovered for lifting prints from rocks...which means if a rock smashes through your window, it likely won't be useful in the ensuing vandalism investigation.
  • Despite digitalization of fingerprints, computerized transmission of fingerprints, and the national fingerprint data base Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), it still takes a human to do the ultimate match up. The computer can only narrow it down to a dozen or so similar prints. It is a labour-intensive job and truly does still involve lab techs staring at prints through magnifying glasses.
  • A partial print on a revolver leads investigators to suspect young Katrina Buckhold played a part in a horrific gang slaying in FATAL ERROR, my new crime novel. Sequel to The Traz.


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                                                                                THE TRAZ on Amazon.com 

                                                                               THE TRAZ in the UK