EnigmaticPenguin (of death)

Here be lots of Mark Gatiss-obsession, Sherlock reblogging, random appreciation of Things-What-Be-Awesome and gif-experimentation. Most of my gifs are Gatiss themed and are tagged. Old gif dump posts can be found here and here. I like to spam the place with Mark-related things, particularly on Wednesdays.

The basics about me:

Folks usually call me Nicola - what with that being my name. I'm from Bristol in the UK, am 29 years old and apparently should know better. I've been in a variety of interweb fandoms over the years but am happily parked between the Gatissian and Sherlockian circles on the Venn diagram at the moment. I have two pet hamsters and one rather moth-eaten taxidermy squirrel. I go by alocin42 in a few other places online. I'm always happy to respond to queries or random questions; drop me an ask. I'm on twitter too but it's not particularly fandom related. My Gatiss-wife is the lovely Holly aka deathbygatiss. Penguins mate for life. <3

When I've remembered to tag them fic recs can be found here and here. I'm a multi-shipper in the sense that if it involves Mycroft hooking up with anyone (or indeed anything) then I'm all for it; from Holmescest to Johncroft to Mystrade (or all three combined) - seeing Irene for some recreational scolding or bizarre situations involving cake. He's my fandom little black dress and you'll get no shipping judgement here.


The Gatiss Guild is a loose, primarily carbon-based group of Mark Gatiss admirers on tumblr. If you're interested in Mark for his work, his life or his gorgeous ginger physical form then come on over to the Guild blog, follow the Guild twitter feed or join us by checking out the tag.

I also recommend checking out the Gatiss Wednesday tag as it's just about the most concentrated location of Gatissian goodness on the web. Wednesdays are happy days.
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There’s a fascinating article on Slate entitled “Murder in Miniature - One woman’s ghastly dollhouse dioramas turned crime scene investigation into a science”.

It’s about Frances Glessner Lee, an American millionaire heiress born in 1878 whose intricate dioramas revolutionised crime scene investigation. She became interested in “legal medicine” as it was then but had been prevented from entering formal education by her father. Later in life she found an outlet for her interests and creative talents by designing and making miniatures of crime scenes - both real and adapted from fictional accounts. She called them “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” and they were used as teaching aids for medical examiners and detectives learning the new scientific process of criminal forensic examination at Harvard. Though they were made in the 1940s and 50s they are still used to teach forensics today.

The dioramas are bafflingly detailed and took months to make - the locks operate with tiny matching keys, all the lights work and cupboards open, she knitted or sewed all the tiny clothing herself, calendars and letters are all intricately hand-labelled and everything is weathered and aged to match the conditions of the crime scene - the better to prompt trainee investigators to ask themselves the right questions in determining appropriate lines of enquiry from the evidence at hand. Some of the photos above are borrowed from the Death in Diorama website where you can take a closer look at several of the surviving models along with extracts from the witness statements that accompany them.  

As a bonus, Lee also reportedly inspired the creation of Murder She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher. So you know she was a definite BAMF and deserves more recognition. 

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