Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dr. Howard Oliver Travels to Tokyo

When Dr. Howard Oliver is not busy with his career in Forensic Pathology or his personal interests in studying the Civil War, his greatest passion is traveling.

Tokyo, Japan is the world’s most populated metropolitan area at 37.8 million people; 13.6 million in the city itself. As the capital city, it is the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, the Japanese government, and one of the world’s biggest financial hubs along with New York City and London. The internationalization of Japan after World War II has made Tokyo a sprawling landmark city, mixing modernity with tradition, and attracting millions of tourists every year. An average of 20 million tourists come into Japan every year to visit Tokyo and the rest of the country, ranking them among the Top 10 places visited in the world.

Dr. Howard Oliver loves traveling to Tokyo. Throughout his travels he has learned a great deal about the beautiful city which he has summarized below to help fellow travelers better understand the people, history, and culture.

Dr. Howard Oliver - Tokyo

A Brief History

Tokyo (“Eastern Capital”) was previously called Edo (“Estuary”) and was a small fishing village until 1868, when Emperor Meiji made it the new imperial capital, and thus changed its name. The city began to build in its high-density form in the 1900s so its railways would be the center to take people in and out of places – hence the city being very unfriendly to cars. After being bombed out in World War II, the city was completely rebuilt with high-rises and an extensive subway and commuter rail that brought back in millions of people. Because of the country’s danger to earthquakes, the infrastructure is resistant enough to minimalize damage. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympic games and will host the next Summer Olympics in 2020.

Geography & Climate

The city is extended from the bay 56 miles inland and comprises of 23 special wards, 26 cities (a city within a city), 5 towns, and 8 villages. This comes from the merger of Tokyo City with Tokyo Prefecture in 1943, creating the “metropolitan prefecture.” In addition, the metropolis is extended in the Pacific Ocean’s two island chains off the coast, the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, which go as far as 1,150 miles from the mainland. Tokyo’s climate is humid and subtropical, averaging from mid-40s in the winter to high-70s in the summer.

Where To Go

There are a whole lot of places to go to. Here is a list of places to check out recommended by Dr. Howard Oliver.

Shibuya – You may have recognized this district for all the people crossing the street surrounded by colorful ads on buildings. It is the most well-known district in the city and just standing in the center of it all is a great visit.

Meiji Shrine – It is one of the most popular temples in the country with its combination of traditional architecture and nature. Weddings take place here within the heart of the city.

Sensō-ji Temple - In the Asakusa district stands a shrine to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, which was built in 645 with the Kaminari-mon Gate’s red paper lantern with the inscription "Thunder Gate" in Japanese.

The Imperial Palace - With its beautiful 17th-century parks and the Nijubashi Bridge leading inside that goes over the moat, it is still in use by the Imperial family. It is also a place where you could see the Emperor if you are around on January 2 or April 29, where he and his family do go out to the main Palace Gardens.  

Ginza – Tokyo’s busiest shopping area has major shops and massive megastores with many tea/coffee shops and restaurants that are some favorites for Dr. Howard Oliver. So, if you are a shopper-holic and want to spend half a day browsing and wanting to buy stuff, here’s one place to have on your radar.

The National Museum of Tokyo - Opened in 1938, it houses more than 100,000 works of Japanese, Chinese, and Indian art, as well as a collection of old textiles, historical weapons, calligraphy, and military equipment dating back to the 6th century.

The National Museum of Nature and Science – Opened in 1871, it has a large collection of artifacts with natural history and science, as well as interactive displays on Japanese space development, nuclear energy, and transportation. As a history buff, Dr. Howard Oliver is particularly fascinated by these museums.

Tokyo Skytree – Something modern, indeed, as it opened in 2012 and became a smash with its panoramic views from the top, a glass spiral walkway with glass floors (don’t look down if you can’t handle it), and its restaurant inside.

In addition there are dozens of sightseeing services in nearly all languages, both on foot and by bus. Plus, Japan’s famous tea ceremony can be experienced at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, oceanfront Tokyo can be seen by taking an unmanned train to Odaiba-kaihin Park, and the politically interested can visit the Diet Building.


There are many hotels with all the room for you to relax in. Here are some to consider that Dr. Howard Oliver has experienced throughout his travels:

  • Hotel New Otani – Enormous and in a city where there is no center, this is a great place that is not far from major areas thanks to its close distance to the Metro and the famous “bullet train” station.
  • Palace Hotel Tokyo – It overlooks the Imperial Palace, yet it is elegant in modernity with intimate rooms and Grand Kitchen for dining services.
  • Park Hyatt Tokyo – It was well regarded prior to 2003 when the film Lost In Translation made it a real legendary place because of its jazzy cocktail bars, interior pool, New York Grill on the 52nd floor, and views of Mount Fuji.
  • Grand Hyatt Tokyo – Yes, there are 2 Hyatt’s, so be aware of which one you’re staying in. This Hyatt is in the Roppongi district, where it has plenty of shopping and nightlife for businessmen and tourists.
  • The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon – It is of great value, even though it’s a little off the major center of the town, but it’s by the “Thunder Gate” at Senoji temple.

To learn about other travel experiences from Dr. Howard Oliver check out his profile:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dr. Howard Oliver - Major Civil War Battles

Dr. Howard Oliver has spent many years studying and learning about the major battles of the American Civil War.

As a major history buff, Dr. Howard Oliver is fascinated by the Civil War era for its many significant and defining events. Each battle of the Civil War tells an interesting story complete with victory, loss, sacrifice, and incredible war heroes.

Civil War Battles - Dr. Howard Oliver

In Washington D.C troops came together to attempt to seize Manassas, VA which was extremely important to them. The troops lay in wait at the creek for the Union Forces and this was deemed the first of the bigger battles during the war. The outcome was that the forces were able to defeat the Union on Sunday 21st July 1861.

The union army was commanded by General McClellan who decided it was wise to start the approach from the Atlantic Coast to get to Richmond. There were troops that were left in Yorktown Peninsula and battles continued all through July of 1862. The Union were again defeated by the Confederates and this was known as the Peninsula Campaign.

One of the 7 day battles started on June the 25th in 1862 when the Northern Virginia Army fought the Union in Maryland. A messenger had dropped battle plan copies which were then picked up by one of the Union soldiers. This showed that the Virginia Army were in fact divided which led to General Grant attacking. A battle took place on the 17th September 1862 in Maryland which resulted in a battle draw.

Dr. Howard Oliver has also specifically studied some of the major battles of the American Civil War, described below.

The Battle of Shiloh
Once the Union had dispersed all troops to the East and West the Battle of Shiloh was one of the West battles. The Union troops advanced into Tennessee. Near to Shiloh an attack was made by the Confederates which led to thousands of casualties from both sides after only 2 days fighting. The Union won this time around in one of the bloodiest battles of the whole Civil war despite having more losses than their opponents.

The Battle of Chancellorville
It was the South that came out on top in the Battle of Chancellorville because of the amount of troops the Union had lost. In an unfortunate event, General Stonewall Jackson was mistaken for being a Yankee and was killed by one of him own troops members.

The Battle of Gettysburg
The Confederate Troops found the Union Cavalry almost by accident when they arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This is when they attacked which gave way for the biggest battle of the whole war. This battle lasted for three days and was won by the Union despite the surprise attack. This led to the destruction of the plans to continue the fight further North.

Fall of Atlanta
It was during the Atlanta fall that General Sherman took over the Union Army command. The troops were taken through Georgia where they seized and burned Atlanta which was a main city as well as a railroad junction. This happened on the 2nd of September 1864. General Oliver Howard also played a major role leading troops through the Atlanta Campaign.

March to the Sea
The army continued to the Atlantic coast burning and tearing up the railroad tracks, homes as well as capturing livestock. As a result the Confederate Army were forced out of Savannah by 22nd of December 1864.

The burning and destruction continued through North Carolina despite attempts to half the Union to get through Grants lines. Petersburg was seized by the Union on the 2nd of April 1865 and then seized Richmond the following day. General Lee was cut off from taking his remaining forces to North Carolina. It was on the 9th of April 1865 that he surrendered to the Union which was accepted later at the Appomattox Court House.

The exciting turning points and major victories and losses that took place in the Civil War are an essential part of understanding our history as a nation for Dr. Howard Oliver. Dr. Howard Oliver continues to read new books and research on the topic, hoping to uncover new and interesting details of what was one of the most important moments in the history of the United States. Learn more about the Civil War and his other passions on Quora:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Determining the Cause of Death in an Autopsy

Dr. Howard Oliver - Determining the Cause of Death in an Autopsy

A forensic pathologist’s main mission during an autopsy is determining the cause of death of the individual. From a legal perspective, law enforcers need to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the cause of death was due to reasons or circumstances deemed unnatural.
Any sudden or unexpected death of an individual in today's times is looked at through an autopsy in order to completely rule out foul play and simply to gain a better understanding of the exact cause of death.

As an expert forensic pathologist with a total of over 30+ years of extensive educational and professional experience, Dr. Howard Oliver holds in depth knowledge in conducting a proper autopsy and determining the cause of an individual's death. Below, Dr. Howard Oliver discusses the different steps and processes a forensic pathologist must go through in order to determine the cause of death of an individual.

Aspects to contemplate on
To determine the actual cause of death, several aspects need to be taken into account by the pathologist. First of all it need to be ascertained whether the deceased was found at a place that he or she should not have normally been. Did the person have any visible injury or was he or she in any condition of undress? If indeed there were injuries, what could have caused those injuries? Could it have been a weapon? If so what kind of weapon?
These type of questions are very pertinent and answers need to be found quickly and satisfactorily. In some cases of death an inquest is essential to find out how an individual died- whether natural, accidental or by misadventure- and a pathologist’s expert opinion is sought to prove the actual cause of death beyond an iota of doubt.
Difficult chores
However, even the pathologist may find it extremely difficult to prove how exactly it occurred, in the absence of visible signs or a case of ill health of the deceased. He would have to rely on deeper examination and indeed his diagnostic instincts.  
When death occurs suddenly and without warning, statements of close relatives are essential. Also, medical records, and other sundry reports are required to be considered. All these would help the pathologist to create a detailed sketch of the deceased person’s life and lifestyle. Especially so, if the deceased was in some kind of duress that could have led to possible cardiac arrest.
In spite of all this, a forensic pathologist can arrive at a concrete conclusion regarding the cause of death only subsequent to a thorough autopsy. This is because an autopsy can provide substantial proof of what caused death and how exactly it could have happened. If it was a case of murder, the weapon used could be determined. For example, if the victim was stabbed with a sharp weapon the type of weapon as well as the characteristics of the attacker- if he was well built or not, whether he was right handed or a southpaw- could be determined through profiling.  
Similarly, it would be easy to guess if the victim had tried to defend himself or was simply overwhelmed by the attacker. All this information would eventually help in recreating the sequence of events as had happened.   

Concrete conclusion
So too if death occurred due to natural causes or even accident, homicide or suicide. An autopsy would remove all doubts, as the pathologist would be able to arrive at a definitive conclusion. Along with the cause of death, an autopsy would even help to estimate the approximate time of death.
Determining the cause and time of death would go a long way in helping with a criminal inquiry or investigation. It would definitively provide valuable evidences of events that led to the death of the victim.

To learn more about Forensic Pathology and determining the cause of death in an autopsy, check out the TV Appearances Dr. Howard Oliver has made throughout his career, dealing with major events and well known individuals.

Monday, June 20, 2016

1000 Ways to Die TV Series

From 2008-2012, 1000 Ways to Die brought us a tongue in cheek look at the many mysterious, dramatic and unusual ways people have been reported to have met their death. The series is much like what Myth Busters does with myths… but with death, and to be honest we’ve been sad ever since it finished a few years ago after a row between the network and those involved with the show.

Dr. Howard Oliver has made several appearances on the television series as an expert Forensic Pathologist, explaining the science behind each death.

100 Ways to Die Series: Dr. Howard Oliver

1000 Ways to Die does apply some artistic license, but what TV program doesn’t, right? The names of the deceased, dates of death, locations and well, some of the context and details do get changed, too. Not always, though, they did provide an accurate description of Harry Houdini’s death.

A lot of the episodes take bits and pieces of true stories and amalgamate them into one epic story.
Thankfully the narrator provides a lightness and comedic slant to what would be some pretty horrific ways to go.

1000 Ways to Die is a great example of black humor, thanks in part to that narrator. The show also includes recreations, expert and witness testimony and my personal favorite bits are the computer generated animations that are used in an obvious, and much appreciated, nod to CSI. Just like when watching CSI, I have to look away when watching 1000 ways to die, particularly when an overly hands on carnival stall fella fell head first into a deep fat fryer. Just one of the many interesting aspects you will find in 1000 Ways to Die.

Every story is narrated throughout giving the background story and details surrounding each occurrence of death and ends with a deliciously morbid pun that includes popular figures of speech and applies them to the ridiculous death that has just befallen the “victim”.

Unfortunately, as indicated above, the show was cancelled due to the producers and stars striking against the network, but the good news is that repeats are now airing and our love has been rekindled. So if you missed out before then don’t miss out now, get your TV set to record series, and if you saw it the first time around and you’ve had an empty void in your life since it finished then now is your chance to catch up with all of your favorite ridiculous deaths all over again.

With death being the ultimate unknown this is an amusing look that is not only educational, but hilarious and horrifying, too.

Dr. Howard Oliver has made other TV appearances as well on other documentary series, news shows and more. Check out his TV appearances here:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Life After People Documentary Series

The History Channel has had some extremely successful, engaging shows throughout its tenure, even if many of them don’t deal exclusively in history, or have anything to do with the past at all. One of the most compelling of those shows goes in the exact opposite direction, as Life After People chronicles just what would happen in the future if people were to suddenly disappear.

As a well known and experienced forensic pathologist, Dr. Howard Oliver was given the opportunity to star in several episodes of the show to discuss his knowledge in forensics, death, autopsies, and more.

Make no mistake, the show is not about any specific extinction event – it seeks only to show just what would happen to the planet in the absence of the human race. Life After People did not start out as a series, instead debuting as a two-hour special in 2008 which gathered nearly 5.5 million viewers. The overwhelming viewership gave rise to the series, which lasted two seasons and offered countless glimpses of a world run exclusively by nature.

The show uses spectacular CGI visuals to give a detailed picture of what the planet would be like sans humans. The fallout is shown progressively, explaining what an area might look like in 50 years, 500 years, and so on. These visuals are the key element of the program, because we are all obviously aware that if people were to disappear, things would get a bit messy. But being able to show the destruction precisely was the hook that many found difficult to turn away from.

Each episode of the two-year, 20-episode series had a different focus, showing the unique decay of numerous locations. Landmarks were used extensively to demonstrate the destructive force of nature, as the Washington Monument, Golden Gate Bridge, Gateway Arch, Space Needle, and many more meet their ultimate demise.  

Animals are a large focus in Life After People, as they become the rulers of the natural world. The show explains that in a world without people, only the larger, more capable dogs will be able to survive, and will eventually merge with wolves to once again become predators. As for cats, they have a much better time of it, surviving due to their ability to climb and snare small prey.

Learning about the fate of different animal species and their new place in the natural world was necessary for context, but the real meat of the show, and what made it so popular, was showing exactly what would happen to familiar structures across the globe. For example, the Eiffel Tower eventually collapses due to corrosion, but does so in pieces, and it takes 1,000 years. It takes just 200 years for the Leaning Tower of Pisa to finally topple, with the Alamo joining it in pieces some 50 years later.

Dr. Howard Oliver made appearances in a handful of episodes including:
  • The Bodies Left Behind (2009)
  • The Invaders (2009)
  • Crypt of Civilization (2010)
  • Take Me to Your Leader (2010)
  • Wrath of God (2011)

To learn more about Life After People and other shows that Dr. Howard Oliver has starred on, check out his TV Appearances page:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Basics of Autopsies

Autopsies have existed in some form or another for centuries. One of the first records of it being used for surgical purposes is found in the life of Galen (a disciple of Hippocrates). For a while, autopsies were associated with ancient brutality, but as religion and science converged, the practice gradually became an accepted procedure. It is now considered a legitimate means of medical examination by experts from a variety of fields.

With over 30 years of experience in Forensic Pathology, Dr. Howard Oliver has a strong knowledge of autopsies and how and why they are performed. Below, Dr. Howard Oliver describes the basics of autopsies and how they are used in his profession.

Dr. Howard Oliver - Autopsies

Why are they done?
Autopsies are medical examinations that are conducted in order to provide details about a death. Even if the cause of death seems obvious, the deceased could have had a condition nobody knew about while they were alive. Thus, autopsies shed significant light on the contributing factors of a person's demise; they offer information that helps determine what a person's health or state of mind might have been at the time of death.
How long do they last?
Provided there are no objections put forward, the autopsy is conducted as soon as possible. This is so that the family can plan the funeral and the person's body can be returned to them without unnecessary and painful delays. Additional tests by specialists take up to 10 weeks or, in some cases, even longer. The autopsy report cannot be completed until that process is finished.
Who is authorized to do an autopsy?
Autopsies are performed by doctors who have expertise in the examination of body tissues and fluids. Unless required by law (sudden death with suspicion of foul play, for example), no doctor can perform an autopsy without the permission of the deceased's family. A forensic pathologist is the primary doctor authorized to perform an autopsy.
Types of autopsies
Autopsies can be conducted for a variety of reasons, but there are generally three classifications:
Ø  Forensic: Typically entrusted to police surgeons, these autopsies are performed in cases of sudden, violent, or suspicious deaths that occur without medical assistance or during medical procedures (i.e., dying during surgery).
Ø  Clinical/Pathological: These autopsies are done to diagnose diseases for research purposes. They help explain the pathological processes that may have contributed to the person's death. Clinical autopsies are sometimes done to measure the quality of care in hospitals as well. They are done by a pathologist.
Ø  Anatomical/Academic: These are autopsies performed by anatomy students for practice (i.e., medical students). This is usually possible when a person has given permission for this prior to their death.
A means of closure

Although they can initially appear to be disrespectful to the dignity of the human body, it is important to remember that autopsies are not just medically useful; they can help people come to means with the death of someone they care about by providing them with clear reasons and explanations for why that person died. While autopsies are a difficult subject to broach with family members who have just lost a loved one, in the long run, the procedure is capable of providing peace and a significant amount of closure.

For more information about autopsies and the work of a forensic pathologist, connect with Dr. Howard Oliver on Social Career Builder:

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Become a Forensic Pathologist: Training and Education

Dr. Howard Oliver

How to Become a Forensic Pathologist: Training and Education Guide

It is likely you have seen forensic pathologists at work in crime shows on television or in various detective films. The job of a forensic pathologist is an interesting and exciting one, however most people do not know exactly what the job entails. Dr. Howard Oliver is a renowned forensic pathologist with over 30 years of experience in the field. He knows the ins and outs of the training, education, and other experiences required to succeed in this field of work. Are you considering a career in forensic pathology? If yes, stop for a moment and go through this article. This article will explain the right manners, different ways, and proper mechanisms to set out on career as a forensic pathologist. 

Who Are Forensic Pathologists?

A forensic pathologist is a trained physician determined to find out the exact cause of a death by examining a body. The forensic pathologist will conduct various tests on a person who has died suddenly or unexpectedly. Thus, he or she helps detectives and other investigating officers to identify the real suspect or suspects of a criminal case. Specialized persons can identify the cause of a wound, suicide, homicide, accidental, natural or unknown death.

Education Guide

As mentioned above, a forensic pathologist is a trained physician. Therefore, one of the most important qualifications for becoming a forensic pathologist is to obtain a medical degree. Interested persons must hold a significant postgraduate degree in medical science. He or she must earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree from a registered medical school. Additionally, upon completing a medical degree, one must complete training in a residency pathology program as well as a fellowship in forensic pathology.

Check out the training and education completed by Dr. Howard Oliver on his website: 

Eligibility at a Glance
Educational Qualification: 

  • Pathology residency (3-4 years)
  • Prerequisite College courses (2-4 years)
  • Forensic pathology fellowship (1-2 years)
  • Medical school (4 years)

Licensure & Certification: Certification and licensure is required from the state medical board (The board certificate must be renewed after every 10 years).

Required Training to Become Successful in This Profession

Individuals interested in this profession must have deep knowledge in autopsy. He or she must know how to do a post-mortem examination to uncover important evidence that will explain the cause of death of an individual.
He or she must have a strong sense of how to evaluate criminal evidence and wounds of a corpse.
The physician must have the ability to conduct various medical tests and analyze their findings in an official report.
The individual should undergo various training methods to gain sound knowledge in Toxicology, Trace evidence, DNA technology, Serology (blood analysis), and Firearms/ballistics. He or she can attend workshops and seminars related to the aforementioned topics.

Required skills

To hold a bright and successful future in this career, a forensic pathologist must be capable of working as a coroner or a medical examiner. He or she should be eligible to supervise a pathological and forensic lab. The right decision-making power is a precondition for becoming successful in this profession. 

An expert in forensic pathology often plays a key role in determining that facts of a criminal case. An expert in forensic pathology can expect $120,000 to $200,000 as his or her annual salary. 

For more information about forensic pathology and the career of Dr. Howard Oliver, connect with him on social media: