June 30th, 2008
06:47 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Revelations

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Some very interesting revelations from the Army about what was happening in Iraq from the beginning… interesting and eye-opening.

Since he was accused of doping after his 2006 Tour de France win, I’ve wanted to believe in Floyd Landis. He had such a great story; raised in a Mennonite community, he discovered his passion for cycling as a young boy and would sneak out of the house at night to ride. It just didn’t seem that a guy with his background would cheat or lie. Today, his last chance to prove he won the 2006 Tour de France fairly, without chemical help, ended the way all the previous attempts to clear Landis’ name have: finding his positive doping test during the 2006 Tour was valid. Translation? He lost. Again.

Landis has 30 days to appeal to the Swiss Federal Court. He said he is “saddened by today’s decision”, and that he’s pursing his legal options. I’m no lawyer, but it sounds like he’s exhausted almost all of them. This court panel wasn’t exactly impressed with any of his efforts, saying Landis tried to embarrass the French lab that did the testing. Two years later, this is still a very messy situation.

The Body Worlds exhibit has been on my “things to do” list for some time… and one of these days I will see it! If you’re not familiar with it, this is the traveling exhibit of bisected corpses, preserved and opened up for all to see. I am fascinated and mildly horrified by it all. I’ve always wondered where they got these bodies. There have been plenty of rumors over the years about the origins of those used in the Body Worlds exhibit – and allegations that the people whose bodies you see may not have offered themselves up for the exhibit. The owner of Body Worlds denies those allegations; he insists these bodies are donated.

It makes perfect sense, but I never would have thought about donating my body in this way. To me, “donating my body” meant becoming a medical school learning tool. This is definitely a different option. Just curious – would you do it?

Texting while driving is an epidemic, one that can be fatal, and lawmakers are taking note. Three states and the District of Columbia have already banned it, and 20 states may follow suit. But will any of these regulations really stop the typing behind the wheel? I see plenty of people on the roads in NY and CT using their handset, despite headset laws in both states.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Randi G. White

    We are careless of our duty as guardians of life
    on this planet. We humans fail one another each day, as the news shows. When our failures are the lives of creatures unable to protect themselves from our human weapons, one wonders why God gave us the mental capacity to create such weapons of destruction. And so the mind wanders to battlefields piled with human lives, also innocent and unsuspecting of that evil which would swoop down to destroy them.
    It is good that you are able to provide this information...that we might think deeply upon
    those things that affect our planet and all
    life upon it, not merely our own.

    July 1, 2008 at 2:32 am |
  2. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    GF, from LA .. cell phones are banned for the under 18 crowd. The rest can't have that phone on their ear. Hands free. I'm all for that. Since you felt the need to correct me, I accept your statement that it's not a ban, only a ban to have it held up to your ear over 18. Your point is taken.

    July 1, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  3. jeff

    3 dwi's between the Pres and V.P. , 894 out of 899 and proud of it, eminent domain for football stadiums and office buildings, $1000.00 an hour call girls. I'd like to see the exhibits on big men with no brains. Thank you and goodnight.

    July 1, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  4. GF, Los Angles

    @ Lori Ann cell phone use is not banned on July 1 in California. The new law requires that anyone 18 and older must use a hands free device to use their cell phones while driving and anyone 18 and younger are completely banned from using a cell phone while driving.

    I went to the first Body Worlds in Los Angeles and it was amazing. Yes it was both creepy yet fascinating to see a human sliced the way bologna is yet it offered us a view of the human body we would've never seen before. It's back again this year and I plan to go. I personally would not donate my body though. I don't like the idea of my shell being around forever.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  5. Christie Love, NYC

    Hey Erica,

    I also keep saying I'm going to make it down to see the Bodies Exhibit, but haven't yet. Here in NY, Cuomo and the owners reached a settlement because the owners could not prove that the cadavers weren't Chinese prisoners that were tortured and executed. If you google "Bodies exhibit" and "Gothamist" you should get the article from May 29th.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  6. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    I think I'll skip the Body Worlds. I'm frightened to a degree or two just visiting a wax museum. Something a little too eerie for me.
    Starting tomorrow, we Californians, start our ban on cell phone usage while driving. I must say, I agree with the ban. July 1st, out here in la la land, we will officially become a Can't here me now, State.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  7. Annie Kate


    If you think the Body Worlds thing is "different" you should read about the "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee, started by forensic anthropologist Dr. William Bass. Bodies that are donated are used outdoors under different types of conditions to record how they decompose and then this information is available to medical examiners who are trying to determine cause of death, etc. in cases where foul play is suspected or someone needs identified.

    Its a little startling and macabre to come across this facility in the rolling hills of East Tennessee with the Smoky Mountains in the background and all these bodies around, but its fascinating what they learn there.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 30, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  8. Renee

    Erica: Body Works had its opening exhibit at MOSI in Tampa, FL. Husband and the kids and I were there for the opening weekend. There was a lot of controversy on the bodies here in Florida due the fact the exhibit owners did not have proof where to bodies came from. After much discussion from the government and ethics doctors the show when on.

    I have to say it was one of the best exhibits I have seen and if by chance the folks were homeless and without families I have to say the educational component was done in a dignified way.

    If you go, look at the lungs, arteries and veins. Most of the bodies on exhibit were "smoker's bodies." The lungs are black and the veins and arteries are discolored. It confirmed my belief that I will never, ever smoke a cigarette.

    A must see and two thumbs up next time it comes back to NYC.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Seeing the exhibit doesn't interest me. I've seen too much medical reality for a lifetime helping care for my dying mom, grandfathers, godfather, and friends over the years. I am an organ donor, though. It's not like I'll be needing my parts, and if someone can benefit, why not?

    I love all the outrage over Iraq. In 200 years, it will simply be another war blip on the map of history. It's easy to go back and say shoulda, woulda, coulda. No one could have known what was going to happen after Saddam was ousted. Changes were made based on the assessments after things didn't go so well. Things are improving. If you think you can do a better job, join the military, become an officer, and sit over doing their jobs. If not, stop whining and let the military do what it needs to in order to get the job done.

    I have a cell phone. I let voice mail pick up the call while driving. No phone call is worth a human life. As for texting, I don't remember the last time I texted anyone. It all should be banned when people are on the road. No one or thing is that important. How did we function before our cell phones? A lot easier.

    June 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  10. JC- Los Angeles

    Erica, is two plus two still four? It's as if no one knows anything about anything anymore, right? I just want to make sure it's not me. Leaders in Iraq? oh boy. Cyclists? yikes. Greenspan? enough said. Wall Street? please. Mortgage banks? speechless. Bush? it's almost over. Three plus three is six. Phew, it's not me.

    June 30, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  11. Genevieve M, TX

    How do people text and drive at the same time? It's nearly impossible to do so in city traffic, and I, too, see people doing it. To me, it ranks right up there with doing your makeup and driving! I will admit I have read and sent texts while stopped at a red light, but never while the car is moving.

    June 30, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  12. Heather

    I come from a family of doctors. I was exposed to science and medicine at a very young age. I think what bothers and upsets people so much about the exhibit is that we are used to seeing each other as live whole intact people. Our bodies are always seen in a state of wholeness. Like when some people faint or become sick at the sight of blood. We are not used to seeing our blood unless we cut ourselves or get wounded. When surgery is performed on a patient, they are covered except for the operating space and once that is opened you see parts of your body you have never seen while you are alive and conscious. Then you are stitched close. These bodies were donated. Its not a unique exhibit. There are medical museums around the world devoted to the same thing that have donated bodies sterilized. Its disturbing at first, but after you actually look it at them its lke looking a actual version of a drawing you would find in a medical textbook or a poster in a doctors office. These people chose to serve science by donating their bodies for the education of generation after generation of medical students. I think its quite a unique and personal decision these people chose to do. I agree Erica, I would never do this. I would want a medical school to have my remains.

    June 30, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  13. Teresa, OH

    On the Floyd Landis charges: I'm a big body language person... the obvious and unconcious movements and actions are usually right. I have thought he cheated and then lied all along. I, too, was captured by his love of cycling and his journey.

    Texting while driving? I rarely answer my phone while driving. There are no calls that require me to risk my life or my fellow drivers lives. None.

    I'm all for donating body parts but not my body for observation. I think it could be a very enlightening exhibit though. I would never go see it out of respect for the dead and the person's family members.

    June 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  14. Ratna, New York, NY


    I remember when I was in pre-Medical school (80's) that there were two cadaver's from Indonesian heritage who's family members never claimed their bodies. They ended up in the Anatomy studies for 30 years by the time I was doing practicum on them. They were preserved with formaldehyde (you don't want to inhale that).

    No!, I would not willingly donate my bodies so others can pinch and poke on it. Creepy thought!

    Besides Hindu beliefs cremates the body so the soul can move on to another life or be forever liberated from earthly bound life.

    However, some people recycle cremated ashes into compost to give back to planet earth. THis idea is much more comforting to me. Others opt for environmentally friendly "Green" burial.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  15. Hannah Storm

    Not that I am going to donate my body but I guess in the same regards as my organs my thinking is, if I don't need them anymore use it for something useful. I wanted to see the body worlds exhibit when it was in my area but i missed it.....maybe it will come back (fingers crossed)

    June 30, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  16. Jim, Bishop, Calif

    Hi Erica- Texting while driving- No I do not -nor do I use a cell phone.
    We have laws on the books that are not enforced now , that is why we have 12,000,000 criminals in this country (If your here ILLEGALLY YOUR A CRIMINAL)
    I as a voter in Calif voted on an issue back in 2000 & 4 Justices overturned the Majority vote.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  17. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Hi Erica, cool pictures of The Body Worlds exhibit.. YES I am going to donate my body, one know when it's our time but if I could help someone else, then take what ever you need..
    Texting, and so on is out of control and those who do it while driving should sign the donate slip first. see u

    June 30, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  18. Alexander

    Hey Erica,

    Glad to see you posted. Always enjoyable to see what interesting topics you have to cover in your news notes. I've been to something similar to the Body Worlds thing you mentioned. Was interesting, really. A bit disgustign, but all the same, interesting. I recall having seen different displays of things like the blood vessels by themselves without being in the body, the spinal system, and more fascinating displays. Personally, I'm not sure I would donate my body to science. I am not quite decided on that one.: )

    June 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  19. Tracey - Boston

    Oh BTW,

    It doesn't surprise me about the Army and their report.

    I suppose 'W' thought this was going to be easy like his father's war.

    What a legacy he has created, the country is going to hell in a handbasket.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  20. Tracey - Boston

    Hi Erica,

    Being Greek Orthodox, the body should be respected with great care.

    If I were to donate my body to science, I would be compelled to informed my priest of my decision, so there would be no surprises. To promote the health of other people in anyway is a great gift.

    However, at this time I'm not sure...I should check with the DMV because know I think about it... I think I'm a donor???

    Thanks Erica!

    June 30, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  21. Lilibeth

    I’ve also wanted to see the Body Worlds exhibit for some time. I don’t know if I would donate my body to Body Worlds, but I’ve noted on my driver’s license that I’m an organ donor. I’d rather donate my body this way...to save a life if something were to happen to me.

    Texting while driving should be banned altogether, in all states. It’s too distracting and too dangerous. Why do we find it hard to do just one thing and focus on it? I used to be able to multi-task, but as I get older, I find it harder to do. LOL!

    See you tonight.

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm |