Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun Fact to Know and Tell

While reading the International Thriller Writers online monthly magazine, I came across an interesting thriller writer's fact in an interview with Alex Kava. All thriller writers, published and unpublished, should belong to this interesting and helpful organization. Check them out here.

Factoid: When parts of a body are found in different areas, the county that has the heart holds jurisdiction over the case.

THIS JUST IN! Perspicacious poster Bo, sends along the following. TG has been duped again!

Dear TG: You've done it again.
First, you went with the Dan Brown make-believe story about the new book being the first of a two-parter. Now, it's the heart/jurisdiction myth.
I realize that you're just echoing what Kava said but either she got it wrong or the interviewer miswrote. You need to check these facts on your own.
To correct the record: If body parts are found in various jurisdictions, each one is obliged to run their own homicide investigation. If they decide to team up with another jurisdiction, that's their perogative. They may, if they wish, give the investigation over to a larger agency such as their state police but the heart location idea is mythic.
Now, I am wondering if Kava meant that's how the FBI might handle such a case if body parts were scattered over several of their own federal jurisdictions, but that's not what she said in the interview. Also, murder is not a federal crime, so the FBI would have to be asked to enter a homicide investigation by local authorities or, they could go in on their if it fit within another federal statute such as kidnapping or a hate crime.


And now, a New Library Story, this one from Ray Banks.

Our city library just re-opened this summer (on a Sunday no less) after two years in refurbishment limbo. What once resembled a Le Corbusier nightmare is now one of those bright Scandinavian open-plan spaces, complete with meeting rooms, a performance space and a coffee shop. There’s also a 24-hour vending machine, a clutch of download stations and a self-service checkout which resembles those found in supermarkets, except this one works properly instead of bleating on about an unexpected item in the bagging area.

I love it. But then I’ve been a library nerd since the days of separate slot tickets for kids (Tintin books, Richmal Crompton) and adults (Man-eating crabs, serial killers and vampiric stillborn-yet-sentient foetus novels). Fast-forward to university, and my two favourite places were the library and the bar. The latter might explain why my formal academic career crashed and burned after a couple of blurry years, but the former continued to provide a polymath education long after that sweet, sweet liquor lost its allure. I have libraries to thank for introducing me to authors I was either too wary or too poor to take a chance on. Without Longsight library I wouldn’t have come across John Fante , Jack London or Jim Dodge. Without Earlsdon library, the collected works of Jim Thompson and David Goodis would’ve passed me by. And without Forest Hall library, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have become besotted with Charles Willeford. So, y’know, there’s an argument to be made that without all these places, I wouldn’t be a writer, or at least I wouldn’t be a published writer. And that alternative existence is something I don’t really want to think about, thanks very much.

So yes, there’s been some general consternation about our new city library – the self-service replacing staff (when I’ve actually found that the staff there have more time to help rather than mess around stamping out books), the purists appalled at the idea of a coffee shop in a library (these were the same people who reeled at the idea of CD/DVD rental, too), and some just annoyed at the amount of money spent on a public building (these people would normally prefer to see that money spent on deporting immigrants). But then, the people who are annoyed by this glorious new building tend to be precisely the kind of people who wouldn’t set foot in it anyway (see also: The Sage Gateshead and The Baltic art gallery).

And that’s just fine by me.

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