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Archive for the ‘National Park Service’ Category

Happy Birthday, Philip Pullman

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 19, 2010

October 19 is novelist Philip Pullman’s birthday. I started looking for public domain images on the internet when I was compiling a guide to his trilogy, His Dark Materials. So today I’ve decided to indulge myself and return to have a look at some of these.

The characters in His Dark Materials move between worlds. One of them is ours, and one, the setting of the first novel, Northern Lights in the UK and The Golden Compass in the US, is a lot like ours, but has a number of intriguing differences. One is that the soul or conscience, the essence that distinguishes humans, called a dæmon, is externalized in the form of an animal. In childhood a person’s dæmon can change forms, but once puberty is reached, it settles in one species’ form.

In the course of the story, the main character, Lyra, matures into a young woman. As a child, one of her dæmon Pantalaimon’s favorite forms was that of a pine marten, and that is what Pan settles as. Here, courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is a delightful image of a pine marten.

 Pine Marten. By Erwin and Peggy Bauer. FWS

Another wonderful dæmon is Hester, whose person is Lee Scoresby, a brave and compassionate aëronaut. Hester settled as a hare, and this jackrabbit at Yellowstone National Park reminded me of her. 

 

 Jackrabbit. By W.L. Miller for the National Park Service

In Lyra’s world, history has taken a different route as well, but some of the peoples, if not nations, are the same as in ours. Lyra’s father tells her he’ll bring her back a carved walrus tusk from his travels to the Arctic, and one of the windows connecting her world to ours is not far from Nunivak, Alaska. So I was pleased to find this image in the Library of Congress:

The ivory carver--Nunivak

The ivory carver–Nunivak by Edward Curtis, 1929. LC-USZ62-74131

A turquoise ring of his mother’s  is important to Lee Scoresby and Stanislaus Grumman, who in our world was an explorer but when he accidentally found himself in Lyra’s took instruction from a Siberian shaman.

Navajo silversmith

  Navajo silversmith by William J. Carpenter, 1915. LC-USZ62-99580

 Goldi shaman priest and assistant

Goldi shaman priest and assistant by William Henry Jackson, 1895.  LC-USZC2-6391

Posted in Exploration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Historical, Library of Congress, National Park Service, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Petroglyphs, Pictographs, and a Geoglyph: Rock Art of the American Southwest

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 23, 2010

Here’s something different. Petroglyphs are carved into rock; pictographs are painted on the surface, and “rock art” is an all-purpose general term that you can use should the first two fail. Sources for today’s post include The National Archives’ DocuAmerica,  National Park Service (NPS), and the Naval Air Weapons Station– China Lake. 

First, several pictographs photographed by David Hiser for the EPA’s DocuAmerica project posted at The National Archives website. 

NEWSPAPER ROCK, IN INDIAN CREEK HISTORIC STATE PARK, IS REMARKABLE FOR THE CLARITY AND NUMBER OF ITS ANCIENT INDIAN PICTOGRAPHS, 05/1972  

Moab, Utah: Newspaper Rock, Indian Creek Historic State Park. 05/1972. . ARC Identifier 545679, ARC Identifier 545671 [close-up] 

NEWSPAPER ROCK IS A LARGE CLIFF MURAL OF ANCIENT INDIAN PETROGLYPHS AND PICTOGRAPHS, REMARKABLE FOR THE CLARITY OF ITS NUMEROUS FIGURES, 05/1972  

—————-  

ONE OF THE PICTOGRAPHS IN THE MAZE, WESTERN PART OF THE PARK THE PARK SERVICE CONSIDERS THE REMOTENESS OF THE AREA THE BEST PROTECTION FOR THE DRAWINGS, 05/1972  

Canyonlands National Park, Utah.  05/1972 ARC Identifier 545675  

THIRTEEN FACES EAST (THREE FACES OUT OF CAMERA RANGE), IN HORSE CANYON. THESE PICTOGRAPHS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN INSCRIBED 1000 YEARS AGO, 05/1972  

Horse Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.  05/1972 ARC Identifier 545687   

———–  

The next three should be credited to the National Park Service (NPS): 

NPS photo. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Nageezi, New Mexico

 

McKee Springs Petroglyphs 1

NPS. McKee Springs Petroglyph, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah & Colorado

 

 The following is from the National Park Service’s Mesa Verde website and describes the small image to the right: 

 According to one Hopi elder, this petroglyph, found on Mesa Verde’s Petroglyph Point Trail, may tell the story of two clans (the Mountain Sheep Clan and the Eagle Clan) separating from other people and returning to their place of origin.  Notice the boxy spiral shape?  This likely represents a sipapu, the place where Pueblo people believe they emerged from the earth (believed to be near the Grand Canyon).  You can also see the head and arms of a figure, and on the bottom right, a possible Katsina clan symbol. 

  

  

Now here’s something new to me: one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in the US is on a military installation in California, and only one site, Little Petroglyph Canyon, is open to the public — and that is on a very limited basis: 

Concentrated in secluded canyons of the volcanic Coso Range on the test ranges of the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif., are thousands of visual reminders of people who, thousands of years ago, hunted and gathered their food in this high desert. The Coso Range Canyons contain the highest concentration of rock art in the Western Hemisphere. More than 6,000 images have been pecked, engraved, or abraded into the desert varnish or patina that forms on basalt rocks with time and weathering. 

No one knows for sure how old these petroglyphs are. A broad range of dates can be inferred from archaeological sites in the area and some artifact forms depicted on the rocks. Some of them may be as old as 16,000 years, some as recent as the 1800s. Designs range from animals to abstract to anthropomorphic figures. . . . 

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, security concerns resulted in the cancellation of all petroglyph tours. While security is still a number one priority, NAWS houses one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs in North America. Therefore, with security in mind, the Commanding Officer of NAWS has adopted a new policy to allow limited tours to the public. 

All tours will be conducted with a minimum of two Command-approved escorts. These escorts are volunteers contributing their time to the tour groups so that you may see and enjoy the rock art of Little Petroglyph Canyon. … 

One image in the media gallery at the installation’s website is of a geoglyph, which I suppose means the image was carved onto the ground rather than on a rock face: 

 

” This starburst-shaped geoglyph was located on one of the pre-historic sites.” 

Here are some deer-shaped and sheep petroglyphs: 

 

  

And one of geometric shapes and another that “differs from the other petroglyph designs in the canyons at NAWCWD, China Lake”: 

 

  

 

  

  

Resources:

To learn more about petroglyphs and pictographs, visit: 

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site:  More than 21,000 glyphs of humans, animals,  plants,  geometric and abstract designs in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. 

Slideshow of Rock Art at Chaco Culture HP 

Coso Rock Art District, China Lake, California. This site has an interesting essay on connection between shamanism and petroglyphs; unfortunately, its images are not in the the public domain. 

Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Southeast Alaska, Tongass National Forest 

Rock Images, NPS Archaeology page. List of locations of petroglyphs, but with many broken links. 

  

 

Posted in Historical, National Archives, National Park Service, Places, US Air Force | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

You Asked for It: Mangroves

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 29, 2010

A reader requested a hi-res shot of a mangrove, so I had a look around. On each of these sites there are at least a few — and often many — more images to choose from.

Here are a few from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library:

WO3690 Black Mangrove Swamp in Texas

Volume1\5CD6962D-A3E0-D2A3-F39EC675A2151B94.jpg (Full Resolution Volume and Filename)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, NOAA, NOAA Photo Library, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on You Asked for It: Mangroves

National Parks: Early Views of Western Parks

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 13, 2009

Here are a few images of several Western National Parks dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, all courtesy of the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Digital catalog numbers are listed at the bottom of this post.

Climbing in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

I don’t know what to make of this caption from the Library of Congress’s bibliographic record, or, more to the point, what to make of that Christmas tree amid all the splendor of the trees surrounding it: “Flathead Indians holding pre-Christmas family gatherings on the west side of Glacier National Park, in the dense forest of evergreen trees that skirt the Rocky Mountains.” Don’t the people look a bit underdressed for December in the Rocky Mountains?

Wawona tunnel tree, Upper Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, California

“The fallen monarch, surrounded by Co. F, 6th Cavalry U.S.A., Mariposa big tree grove, Yosemite Valley National Park, Calif.” 1900

Interior of H.E. Klamer’s curio store, Yellowstone, 1909

President Theodore Roosevelt at Liberty Cap, Yellowstone, 1903

“Desecration of our national parks–A scene that may be witnessed if the Yellowstone Park is leased to speculators.” This illustration by W.A. Rogers appeared in the Jan. 20, 1883 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

Library of Congress ID Numbers:

stagecoach: cph 3b43413

Rainier: LC-USZ62-100874

Xmas: LC-USZ62-8999

tree tunnel: LC-USZ62-97301

fallen tree: USZ62-63620

store: USZ62-92911

Roosevelt: ppmsca-18930

Harper’s: USZ62-122812

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Places, WPA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on National Parks: Early Views of Western Parks

National Parks: Ansel Adams

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 9, 2009

If you watched episode 5 of Ken Burns’  The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, you may recall that the renown landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902 —1984) once worked for the National Park Service. Prior to that assignment, Adams was with the Sierra Club, and in that capacity, he lobbied Harold Ickes, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Interior, to preserve Kings Canyon, a remote area east of Fresno, California,  as a national park.

Kearsage Pinnacles, Kings River Canyon (Proposed as a national park), California, 1936. ARC Identifier 519921

Adams’ work for the NPA focused in particular on the Western National Parks, especially Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Great Rocky Mountains, and Glacier. The Ansel Adams Gallery and the NPS Yosemite National Park site include biographies of Adams, and his life was the subject of another production for PBS’s American Experience production, Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film, written and directed by Ric Burns, Ken Burns’ brother.

For the most part, Ansel Adams’s work is not in the public domain. However, the National Archives holds 222 copy negatives of Adams’s work for the government, and these 222 images are. According to the Archival Description for “Ansel Adams: Photographs of National Parks and Monuments,”

The original negatives were retained by Ansel Adams. Reproductions of items in this series are made from copy negatives produced by the National Archives. The photographic prints in this series are in the public domain. In correspondence dated August 18, 1942, from Adams to E. K. Burlew, First Assistant Secretary, Department of the Interior, Adams states that the photographs are the property of the U.S. Government.

All images in the post are by Ansel Adams, all courtesy of the National Archives.

View from river valley towards snow covered mountains, river in foreground from left to right, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. ARC Identifier 519905

View with rock formation in foreground, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519881

View from North Rim, 1941, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519901

Full view of mountain, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park, Montana. ARC Identifier 519866

Mountain partially covered with clouds, Glacier National Park, Montana. ARC Identifier 519860

View of cactus and surrounding area Saguaros, Saguaro National Monument, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519975

Old Faithful Geyser Erupting in Yellowstone National Park. ARC Identifier 519994

“The Giant Dome, largest stalagmite thus far discovered. It is 16 feet in diameter and estimated to be 60 million years old.” Hall of Giants, Big Room, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. ARC Identifier 520029

Posted in Historical, National Archives, National Park Service, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

US National Parks: Everglades

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 29, 2009

There are two places to look for public domain photographs of Everglades National Park on the National Park Service [NPS] website: the Images for Publication page on the park site, and the NPS Digital Image Archive.

At the Everglades park site, check out the interactive map of the 1.5 million acre park. I’ve provided a snapshot of it, but can’t do the map justice here, and you really need to see just how huge this park is — except for the Miami metropolitan area and the Keys, it is South Florida. The map will also give you an idea of how little of the park is accessible by car, and, moreover, not much more can be reached on foot alone. This fragile ecosystem is a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance. To be all three is exceptional.

635px-Everglades_National_Park_map_2005_11

Ten Thousand Islands (courtesy: NPS). If you’ve read Peter Matthiessen’s Everglades trilogy [Killing Mr. Watson, (1991), Lost Man’s River (1997), and Bone by Bone (2000)], you’ll remember the Ten Thousand Islands were the setting for those novels about the people who lived beyond the edge of civilization and their reasons for being there.  The turn-of-the-century slaughter of thousands of birds for their plumes to adorn ladies’ hats is among the many acts of violence described in Matthiessen’s  trilogy; the Park is now a sanctuary for over 360 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, and 40 species of mammals, many rare or endangered.

ever-ImageF_00013ever-ImageF_00014

How to see the Everglades: tram trail and visitor’s observation tower at Shark Valley (courtesy: NPS).

ever-ImageF_00001ever-ImageF.00021

What the NPS refers to as a “freshwater prairie” (courtesy: NPS).

freshwaterprairiehires

Mangroves (courtesy: NPS)

mangrove

The Florida Bay (courtesy: NPS)

floridabayhires

The next three images are all National Park Service Photos taken  by Rodney Cammauf:

Florida Panther, Puma concolor coryi

panther

American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus

alligatorcrocodile

Another source of public domain images of the Everglades is the DOCUMERICA collection at the National Archives. These were taken by Fred Ward. Remainder of photos are all courtesy National Archives, and the captions are from their bibliographical records.

06-0258a pel mang06-0195a

PELICANS ON MANGROVES, 07/1972. ARC Identifier 544563

PELICANS ON LITTLE PAVILION KEY AT 10,000 ISLANDS, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 544500

BABY PELICAN AND EGGS IN NEST, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 54451306-0208a baby pe;

CHOKOLOSKEE ROOKERY IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 544493

HERON NEAR CHOKOLOSKEE ROOKERY IN EVERGLADES PARK, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 544489

06-0188a chok rook

06-0184a hweorn chok

BABY CORMORANT IN CHOKOLOSKEE ROOKERY, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 544497

06-0192a baby

BABY EGRET IN NEST, 08/1972. ARC Identifier 544501.

06-0196a baby eg

Posted in Animals, National Archives, National Park Service, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on US National Parks: Everglades

US National Parks: Arches

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 27, 2009

While the first stop for public domain images of US National Parks would be the nps.gov website, there are other options you might want to consider as well, specifically, the DOCUMERICA parks collection at the National Archives and the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog [PPOC]. Here’s an example of what you might otherwise overlook.

David Hiser, whose photos of sustainable housing designed and built in the early 1970s by Michael Reynolds outside Taos, NM were featured in my last post, also photographed several national parks during his tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah.

All photos by David Hiser, all courtesy of National Archives. Captions and archive IDs are collected at the post’s ending.

07-1882a555

07-1896a69

586

07-2120a793

07-1909adbl

1. Double O Arch 07-1882t 545555

2. DELICATE ARCH IS THE MOST FAMOUS ARCH IN THE PARK. THE LASAL MOUNTAINS ARE BEHIND TO THE EAST, 05/1972 ARC Identifier 545569 /

3. DELICATE ARCH, A NIGHT TIME VIEW, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545586

4. DELICATE ARCH, THE MOST FAMOUS NATURAL ARCH IN THE PARK. IT IS IN A SUPERB RAISED AND ISOLATED LOCATION, REACHED BY A ONE-AND-A-HALF MILE FOOT TRAIL. BEHIND IT, TO THE EAST, ARE THE LASAL MOUNTAINS, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545793

5. DOUBLE ARCH IN WINDOWS SECTION OF ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545582

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Another Day on the Assassination Vacation

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 1, 2009

When we left Sarah Vowell she was visiting the grave of James Garfield and on the way to William McKinley’s in Canton, Ohio, which she describes as “a gray granite nipple on a fresh green breast of grass.” The website for his home, now the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, has copyright notices, but the mausoleum is a national historic landmark, and I found this on a National Park Service webpage.mckinley2

McKinley was in his second term of office when he was assassinated by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in the Temple of Music, now, along with all but one of the event’s buildings, demolished. But pictures and movies remain. Vowell notes that the Library of Congress has some reels of film by Thomas Edison of the Exposition, and among these is a re-enactment of Czolgosz’s execution in the electric chair.  Here’s a link. (Did you know that the electric chair was first used at New York State’s Auburn Prison in 1890? This is the kind of thing Sarah Vowell knows.)

Beckitemscredit: NPS

For Vowell, the essence of the exposition’s spirit — and of the McKinley administration — is well illustrated by the logo for the event, the allegorical picture of blond North America and brunette South America:

Their handshake takes place in Central America on the future site of the Panama Canal. Miss South America smiles, unaware that two years later, the U.S. Navy would swoop in and hack her arm off at the elbow so that cargo ships could sail through the blood of her severed stump.

In the logo, most of the United States and Canada is blanketed in Miss North America’s billowy yellow dress. But one delicate foot pokes out of the southeastern edge, shaped like the state of Florida, as if she’s poised to step on Cuba.

When the Spanish reportedly blew up the battleship Maine, an initially reluctant McKinley — and an eager vice-president Theodore Roosevelt — found themselves at war in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay is a relic of this Spanish-American War). Vowell finds the optional wars of their time have quite a lot in common with those of ours; considering the Maine monument at the southwest entrance to Central Park is her occasion to recall these lessons unlearned.

13033r

credit: Library of Congress LC-B2-2694-9

Now back to McKinley’s assassination. He lived eight days, and since initially he appeared to be improving, Theodore Roosevelt saw no reason not to go hiking in a fairly remote area of the Adriondacks.3b21880r

4a11192r

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Lake Tear-in-the-Clouds, Adirondack Mountains, where Roosevelt ate lunch the day before he became president [credit: LC 11134-3].   Right:  Vowell, an eager urban walker but a miserable mountain hiker, says that the Tawhaus Lodge where Roosevelt’s family was staying looks well-maintained today, not that she is eager to hike back up there [credit: LC-D4-16785].

By morning September 13, 1901, it was obvious that the president was dying. A ranger reached the vice-president’s party that afternoon with the news. McKinley was dead by 2:30 the following morning, but it would be 3:30 in the afternoonof the 14th, after a rough night of hard riding down dark mountain roads, before Roosevelt took the oath of office in Buffalo.

In Buffalo, Vowell visits the home of Roosevelt’s buddy Ansley Wilcox, now known as the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, where the oath of office was administered in its library.

116259prcredit: LC-HABS NY,15-BUF,12-2

librarycredit: NPS

4a22502r

And here we have the memorial to McKinley in downtown Buffalo, New York, or, as Sarah Vowell calls it, “the-sorry-you-got-shafted shaft” [credit: LC-D4-70292].

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Virtual Tag-a-long with Sarah Vowell on an Assassination Vacation

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 27, 2009

Comic historian Sarah Vowell is phobic about driving and not such a hot sailor, but she is an intrepid pedestrian and admirably gifted at cajoling friends and family to cart her around the country enabling one of her favorite obssessions: presidential assassination legends and lore, the subject of her 2005 travel guide/memoir/American history tale, Assassination Vacation (Simon & Schuster).

As I listened to her read about the places she visited to tell the story of why, how and where Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and William McKinley  and their assassins’  lives intersected, I thought it would be fun to see how many public domain images I could find to illustrate her travelogue.

Consider these the postcards she didn’t send you.

Part 1: Assassination of Lincoln

Ford’s theatre should have proved easy enough; it used to be administered by the National Parks Service [NPS]– it was when Sarah Vowell visited — but  this July, Ford’s Theatre reopened as a theatrical venue, and now the NPS manages it in partnership with the Ford’s Theatre Society, and there are very few images remaining on the NPS site.

So I returned to the Library of Congress [LC] where I found this shot  of the presidential box, taken in 1968 for the Historic American Buildings Survey  (HABS DC,WASH,421-3). 

028545pr

loc surratt

The LC dates this picture (LC-USZ62-92592) of  Mrs. Mary Surratt’s boardinghouse, where the conspirators hatched their plans, at 1890-1910. Surratt was the first woman to be executed in the US. WhenVowell saw it, this building housed the Wok & Roll. Speaking of the Library of Congress, remember Vowell’s mention of visiting its display of the contents found in Lincoln’s pockets the night he died? Here it is.  See close-ups of the items here.

tlc0070

The National Park Service did prove to be the place to go for the rest of today’s pictures, and since this is the first time I’ve used them, here is the NPS statement:

All photographs and images on this web site are “public domain” images. You are free to use these images without a release from the National Park Service. However, the photographs and images must not be used to imply National Park Service endorsement of a product, service, organization or individual.

Photo Credits
Credit photographs to the National Park Service.

Sarah Vowell really didn’t enjoy her boat trip to Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys, but Booth conspirator Dr. Samuel Mudd likely didn’t, either.

drto-ImageF_00001Here is an aerial view (NPS DRTO1562) of Fort Jefferson, which during the Civil War served as the prison for Union soldiers convicted of desertion who were not executed. 

drto-ImageF_00006Remember Sarah and the NPS park ranger discussing the two thousand plus arches in the fort (NPS DRTO1590)?

Let’s stop for today in Springfield, Illinois at the Lincoln National Historic Site, also managed by the NPS. Here’s the home Lincoln left for the White House (NPS LIHO4424),

liho-ImageF_00006 lincoln homeand I can’t be sure, but could this be the wallpaper Vowell deems “hideous” (NPS LIHO1961)?liho-ImageF_00005 hideous

 

Next time, McKinley and Garfield, but first:

Not in the public domain but Assassination Vacation fans will enjoy these sites:

At  The Booths of Harford County  [Maryland] take the virtual Booth Tour for a look at the 1937 WPA mural by William H. Calfee at the Bel Air post office featuring Edwin Booth, and the Edwin Booth Memorial Fountain outside the county’s courthouse. Or head over to the Surratt House Museum  to get on the mailing list for the 2010 season of bus tours of the Booth escape route. All the 2009 tours have sold out.

Remember Vowell’s excursion to the Mütter Museum to see a fragment of Booth’s brain? There isn’t a picturte of that on its website, but there are a number of  medically macabre bits for your viewing pleasure. 

Annoyingly and inexplicably, the images at the National Museum of Health and Medicine are not public domain. Links to what Vowell got to see: the bullet removed from Lincoln’s brain  and pages from the autopsy report.

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