I have a few unrelated subjects floating around in my brain so I figured it would be best to do another addition of my Smörgåsbord series. This makes number six, so let’s get started, shall we?


Marianne

This week, I watched Netflix’s French horror series, Marianne, directed by Samuel Bodin and starring Victoria du Bois as the protagonist Emma, who is haunted by the eponymous villain. Marianne is a witch that has haunted writer Emma’s dreams and becomes the subject of her book series, which has made her disillusioned, but rich and famous. She is reluctantly summoned back to her hometown where she encounters difficult memories and broken relationships, all while Marianne lurks closer and closer.

At first, I was distracted by the English dubbing; it’s not the best and frankly, I think I would’ve preferred the French voices with English subtitles. That being said, it ended up being a very interesting, gripping series. Creepy, fresh, and full of rich characters. In those ways, it reminded me of The Haunting of Hill House. It was nice to finally have some quality horror available again on Netflix. I highly recommend checking it out.

Watch now on Netflix.


DNA Testing & Solving Cold Cases

This morning I read an article in the New York Times entitled, “Why This Scientist Keeps Receiving Packages of Serial Killers’ Hair“, by reporter Heather Murphy. The headline was certainly attention-grabbing. It was extremely fascinating. Essentially, it reports on a newer DNA testing technique developed by Dr. Ed Green who figured out how to establish a genetic profile from hair without the presence of hair root. It was previously thought that one could not extract a DNA profile from anything but the root. This posed problems as hair left behind in crime scenes were minimal and didn’t always come with the root. Until now.

While he is unable to comment on his participation in active cold cases, he did receive immense attention and praise for using his technique to help solve the Bear Brook murders in New Hampshire. While this enables families of cold case victims to achieve some closure, the article also touches on the ramifications of the government having access to private DNA.

Dr. Green recently submitted a paper to a scientific journal. Once published, he’s aware that the technique could be used for trivial crimes, corporate espionage or harassment and said that ‘there need to be rules for how that power is wielded.’ But he’s hopeful it will be used for good. There are 200,000 to 250,000 cold cases in the United States, she said, and even if hair was collected in just 10 percent, that’s 20,000 cases that could benefit.

Dr. Ed Green was also involved in cracking the Golden State Killer case. Astonishing how this brilliant paleontologist was able to traverse fields and use his methods in establishing the Neanderthal genome to help solve cold cases. I look forward to seeing how this science pans out and continues to shape the field of criminal justice and forensics.


JVN

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness just made headlines by coming out as HIV positive. I have already posted about how important I think QE is because it often focuses on marginalized groups and guides troubled individuals to finding their potential while continuing to highlight their best attributes. Jonathan is known as the bubbly, fun, and light-hearted queen of the show, but I think his openness about his status is hugely important in destigmatizing those with HIV. This revelation gears up for the release of Jonathan’s memoir, Over The Top, where he shares other painful experiences including sexual abuse at a young age and difficulties with bullying and addiction.

He is one of today’s most-known and most-beloved celebrities, so being this vulnerable with the public, while undoubtedly scary, intense, difficult, and potentially even dangerous for him will only help others that view him as a role model or see themselves represented in him. For that, he should most definitely be applauded for his bravery, openness, and willingness to share the less sparkly parts of his life.


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