I was home alone on Saturday and got stuck watching old eps of Dr. G Medical Examiner. I don't know if I had seen these particular episodes before (for certain nothing looked familiar) but they were interesting and I was usually wrong about the true cause of death. Getting through those somehow made me brave enough to watch something I recorded last year, the episode of Something's Killing Me with the ever gorgous B.D. Wong. I was afraid of the episode because, well, I sorta knew what it was about thanks to watching Lewis, the illness that kills through lack of sleep. The actual name for the disorder is Fatal Familial Insomnia and I hope to hell I never come down with it. Fascinating episode, possibily the most interesting thing I've watched in the past few years. FFI, as the people who have the gene for it and the researchers refer to it, has been around since the 1700s and, so far, continues to be 100% fatal. There was film of one particular sufferer who told his doctors he was suffering from the family's curse and wanted them to study him to discover what was wrong. It wasn't immediate but science did eventually discover it is a disease featuring prions (which, like mad cow, also frighten me). We were introduced to three other people with the disease, all currently living. One is a brother/sister pair and the other the wife half of a beautiful young couple from Australia. They were especially entrancing as they have so much love for one another and they just seem to be incredibly happy people and who became inspired by the diagnosis to delve into Wikipedia, start learning all they could about FFI and eventually became actual scientists studying the disease. As in MIT-doctoral students. Which is amazing all on its own and doubly so when neither one came from scientific backgrounds. (Both had careers before returning to school). If this episode comes back in reruns, I'd suggest watching it, it is that interesting.
This morning I'm watching Oxygen's Timothy McVeigh: In Defense Of. I'd also recommend catching this as it very interesting and it somehow fits into my thoughts about what is currently going on in U.S. politics. Early on in the episode the head defense lawyer talks about why he tool on the case and said something about (badly quoting here) "If there is ever a time when a crime is so bad that the nations laws should not apply, that will signal the death of our democracy. That makes sense to me. (I didn't follow Waco closely, nor the Branch Davidians, so I am also learning lots of things new to me.