Why Read Obits?
We'll have a story in tomorrow's Washington Post (here it is ) that is yet another example of why people read obits. A man with the obit-worthy surname of Graves wrote in an e-mail "My father was a pre-eminent reader of newspapers, both the Post and numerous Russian newspapers.... In a twist you might find interesting, he actually made a rather prominent intelligence breakthrough by reading Soviet obituaries."
Well, that correspondent certainly knew how to get an obit writer's attention.
Tangentially, I wrote an obit back in 2004 about a scientist, Ancel Keys . Here's the relevant paragraph:
In 1947, he noticed the increasing numbers of deaths from heart attacks, as noted in the newspapers' obituary pages, and began to study 283 businessmen from the Twin Cities, conducting examinations and taking blood samples every five years. It showed that smoking, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol were frequently seen in men who had heart attacks. After a decade of work, he determined that saturated fat chiefly determined blood cholesterol levels, a breakthrough that stunned the meat-and-potatoes populace.
See what you get from these little life tales?
Posted by: George Anderson | July 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse
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