Car Accident Attorney inWhite Stone, SC

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Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC Fighting
for Your Rights in White Stone, SC

When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in White Stone, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:

  • "What happens now?"
  • "How will I pay for my hospital bills?"
  • "Will I get fired from my job?"
  • "Will I be able to function independently ever again?"

With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.

While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.

Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dill‘s vast experience in the auto insurance industry.

Personal Injury Attorney White Stone, SC
Service Areas

We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Drunk Driving
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-Vehicle Accidents
  • Automobile Defects
  • Roadway Defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Uninsured Motorists or
    Underinsured Drivers
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Car Rental Accidents
  • RV Accidents

If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in White Stone. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.

The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.

We Recover Compensation
When You Need It Most

The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in White Stone, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.

How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:

  • Rehab-Related Expenses like
    Physical Therapy
  • All Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Lost Wages and Loss of
    Future Income Earning Ability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in White Stone, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.

 Personal Injury Lawyer White Stone, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

What Our Clients Say

The Role of Negligence in Your
White Stone Personal Injury Case

If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.

 Car Accident Attorney White Stone, SC
At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, our team works to prove negligence
for our clients by proving:
  • The defendant had an obligation to look out for your safety.
  • The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  • There was causation between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • You suffered real damages.

After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.

Steps to Maximize Compensation
After an Accident in White Stone, SC

All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in White Stone, follow these steps before doing anything else:


Go to a Doctor

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.

 Law Firm White Stone, SC

File an
Accident Report

The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in White Stone, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.

Personal Injury Attorney White Stone, SC

Preserve Evidence
if Possible

Personal injury cases in White Stone are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.

 Personal Injury Lawyer White Stone, SC

Contact a Lawyer

One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in White Stone, SC. At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.

Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in White Stone, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.

 Car Accident Attorney White Stone, SC

Common Car Accidents in
White Stone, SC

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of White Stone's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow

Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.

Drunk driving accidents in White Stone care result in horrible injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Mental Anguish

If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in White Stone can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.

 Law Firm White Stone, SC

Rental and RV Accidents

When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.

Fortunately, the lawyers at Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.

If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in White Stone, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.

We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:

  • Injuries from Boating Ac
  • Rental Cars Injuries
  • RV Accidents
  • Jet Ski Injuries
  • Golf Cart Injuries
  • Rental cars
  • Boat accidents
  • ATV Accidents

Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.

Personal Injury Attorney White Stone, SC

Texting While Driving and
Distracted Driving Accidents

We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in White Stone. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.

Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,

They miss crucial road signs and information such as:

  • Changes in the Flow
    of Traffic
  • Traffic Lights
  • Traffic Signs
  • Work Zones
  • Bicyclists
  • Lane Changes
  • Incapacitate Cars and

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we represent injury victims in White Stone who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in White Stone, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.

 Personal Injury Lawyer White Stone, SC

Unflinching Legal Advocacy. Compassionate Care

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in White Stone and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.

We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC.


Latest News in White Stone, SC

Uncovering an Overlooked Source for Iconic Alabaster Statues

Medieval and Renaissance sculptors carved gorgeous statues and religious icons from alabaster, a soft, creamy white stone similar to marble. Much of their work, from visages of the Virgin Mary to angels slaying demons, now reside in museums like the Louvre in Paris and others across Europe. But a mystery remains: Where did the alabaster come from?“This is quite a frustration for museum art historians to have qu...

Medieval and Renaissance sculptors carved gorgeous statues and religious icons from alabaster, a soft, creamy white stone similar to marble. Much of their work, from visages of the Virgin Mary to angels slaying demons, now reside in museums like the Louvre in Paris and others across Europe. But a mystery remains: Where did the alabaster come from?

“This is quite a frustration for museum art historians to have question marks everywhere,” said Wolfram Kloppmann, a geochemist at the French Geological Survey.

In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Kloppmann and a team of art historians, geologists and geochemists traced the origins of more than 60 alabaster statue. While many came from known quarries in England and Spain, the analysis of the stone also revealed an overlooked hub for alabaster production in the western French Alps. The site was a much richer source of the mineral than previously thought. The researchers’ work helped reconstruct an art trade route that existed across western Europe from the 12th to 17th centuries.

“This gives a picture of Medieval Europe in details we didn’t suspect before,” Dr. Kloppmann said.

The team asked museums and galleries across Europe and in the United States if they could take samples from their alabaster artwork for chemical analysis. They all said yes, allowing the team to investigate the origins of several royal and papal tomb figures, as well as the 14th century Carrying of the Cross from the Louvre, the 14th century the Archangel Gabriel from an Annunciation Group from the Cleveland Museum of Art and a 17th century seated greyhound originally from a gallery in London.

But the team had to collect samples as carefully as possible to avoid scarring the priceless works of art. They could not drill. They could not scrape. Instead, they used a tiny chisel to collect just a flake that measured only two millimeters from the base or rear of each statue.

At their lab, the scientists analyzed the flakes for sulfur, oxygen and strontium isotopes. Such signatures are fingerprints that made it possible to match the flakes to their original alabaster quarries. Of the 66 samples, 15 came from a quarry in the English Midlands to the west of Nottingham and three came from northern Spain. Both were historically well-known as centers for the alabaster trade.

The “alabastermen” of the English Midlands are believed to have provided the material from the 12th century until 1550 when religious icons were banned during a period of civil and religious turmoil in Britain known as the English Reformation, when the Church of England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the works were destroyed in this period. Shiploads of alabaster artwork escaped the furnaces and were sent to France. This exchange was long thought to be one of the primary sources of the country’s alabaster.

But to the team’s surprise more than 20 of the statues they analyzed originated from near Notre-Dame-de-Mésage in the western French Alps. The quarry there operated for more than five centuries, supplying material for some of western Europe’s most important artworks.

“We did not know that this was really a major source of alabaster in western Europe,” said Dr. Kloppmann. “We discovered the French part of the story.”

Jane A. Evans, an isotope geochemist from the British Geological Survey who was not involved in the study, called the paper “well-constructed” and said the technique “could be extended to look at a wider range of carvings from differing periods, and they could extend their fingerprinting methods to incorporate other isotope and geochemical methods.”

Dr. Kloppmann said the next steps for their work is to analyze alabaster in Germany, Poland and Italy and perhaps from ancient Mesopotamia, as well as use their technique to detect alabaster fakes.

We could be the last humans to see the green comet passing Earth for the first time since the Ice Age. Here's how, where, and when to watch it.

We could be the last humans to ever see the green comet hurtling past Earth from the outer reaches of the solar system in late January and early February.C/2022 E3 (ZTF), or Comet ZTF for short — the name astronomers gave this space snowball after the Zwicky Transient Facility discovered it in March — hasn't been in our cosmic neigh...

We could be the last humans to ever see the green comet hurtling past Earth from the outer reaches of the solar system in late January and early February.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF), or Comet ZTF for short — the name astronomers gave this space snowball after the Zwicky Transient Facility discovered it in March — hasn't been in our cosmic neighborhood since the last Ice Age.

Researchers calculated that the icy ball of gas, dust, and rock orbits the sun roughly ever 50,000 years, which means that Neanderthals were still walking the Earth and humans had just migrated out of Africa for the first time when the comet last whizzed by.

With no telescopes or binoculars, those ancient peoples may not have spotted the comet at all. And there may never be an opportunity to see it again.

"Some predictions suggest that the orbit of this comet is so eccentric it's no longer in an orbit — so it's not going to return at all and will just keep going," Jessica Lee, an astronomer at Royal Observatory Greenwich, told Newsweek.

So it might be worth the effort to look for Comet ZTF and become one of the few humans to ever see it up close. Here's what you need to know to maximize your chances.

When to see the green comet

In the Northern Hemisphere, the green comet was visible just before dawn in late January, according to NASA. Amateur astronomers took photographs of the green comet to show what you could see.

A completely shaded new moon provided ideal dark skies for spying the comet on January 21.

If you missed that, your last, best chance to see the comet in the Northern Hemisphere was on and around Monday, January 30, when ZTF was between the end of the Big Dipper and Polaris, the North Star.

Then on early February 1 and February 2, the comet will be visible in the Southern Hemisphere, when it makes its closest pass by Earth since the stone age at around 26 million miles away, according to EarthSky. That's nearly 109 times the average distance of the moon, but the comet is burning so bright that it could still be visible in the night sky.

The comet is expected to be brightest on January 31 and February 1, though the moon will be bright and the comet will be "the faintest an object can be seen without optical aid in a very clear, very dark sky," according to the Adler Planetarium.

It's important to set yourself up for success if you're trying to spot it.

How to spot the green comet

At first, spotting Comet ZTF may require a telescope, but as it approaches Earth, viewers may be able to see it with binoculars, or even the naked eye.

"Comets are notoriously unpredictable, but if this one continues its current trend in brightness, it'll be easy to spot with binoculars, and it's just possible it could become visible to the unaided eye under dark skies," NASA wrote in an update on December 29.

For the best viewing, choose a cloudless night and get yourself far from city lights, to the darkest skies possible. When the moon is dim, or at least when it's below the horizon, the sky will be even darker.

If you're near an urban area, you may want to bring binoculars or even a telescope, in case the lights drown out the comet to the naked eye.

Where to look in the night sky for comet ZTF

Look to the right stars to see the green comet. According to, the comet will pass below Polaris — the North Star at the tip of the Little Dipper — and will be visible in the star's vicinity on January 30. It will appear earlier in the evening as it approaches Polaris.

"It will distinguish itself probably from other stars because it will look a little bit fuzzy compared to other stars," Thomas Prince, director of the WM Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech, told FOX Weather.

In the Southern Hemisphere, on February 10, the comet will be about 1.5 degrees from Mars, according to Prince. That's about the width of your pinky finger when you hold it at arms length. If you can locate Mars shining bright in the sky, look just around it for the comet.

EarthSky publishes maps to help you locate the reference objects — Hercules, Polaris, and Mars — in the night sky.

Why the comet is green

The comet has a "greenish coma, short broad dust tail, and long faint ion tail," according to NASA.

Many comets glow green. Laboratory research has linked this aura to a reactive molecule called dicarbon, which emits green light as sunlight decays it.

Dicarbon is common in comets, but it's not usually found in their tails.

That's why the coma — the haze surrounding the ball of frozen gas, dust, and rock at the center of a comet — is glowing green, while the tail remains white.

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Stone, Debo, Pup and Bam! South Carolina’s linebackers look (and sound) the part

Brad Johnson and Sherrod Greene were different types of linebackers.Johnson “spoiled” South Carolina’s linebacker corps with his vocal leadership and commanding physical presence i...

Brad Johnson and Sherrod Greene were different types of linebackers.

Johnson “spoiled” South Carolina’s linebacker corps with his vocal leadership and commanding physical presence in-game, defensive coordinator Clayton White said. Green was a savvy veteran, a run-and-hit linebacker. Both were staples of the Gamecocks defense for several years.

Now, both are gone.

But USC’s current linebackers were born to play the position, White told The State, speaking last week at the annual Birdies With Beamer media golf event. They’re downhill and aggressive.

Debo Williams, Stone Blanton, Bam Martin-Scott, Mohamed Kaba and Grayson “Pup” Howard ought to surprise outsiders in the way they seize the upcoming season, said White, who directly coaches the inside linebackers.

Williams and Blanton have assumed Johnson’s leadership role, White said. Williams, a redshirt junior, played in all 13 games last season, starting in two of them. He had 43 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. Blanton played in 12 games as a true freshman, tallying seven tackles — five solo and 1.5 for loss — and a pass breakup.

Howard, a freshman out of Jacksonville, Florida, and redshirt freshman transfer Jaron Willis from Ole Miss are the new faces at the position. By virtue of their age and lack of experience, White described both players as “green.”

The transition from high school to college football is “the biggest jump in all of sports,” White said, “even a bigger jump from college to pros.”

“Instead of learning six defenses, you’ve got to learn 86 defenses,” he said. “It’s unlimited, and it’s infinity, and it can never stop because there are always pieces that can get added to it.”

Howard totaled 188 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and 5 sacks, during his senior season of high school, according to He also recovered three fumbles, forced another one and had a rushing touchdown. He enrolled at USC for the spring, which gave him a head start on learning South Carolina’s system.

Shane Beamer has been vocal about true freshmen playing at every position this year. That includes Howard, White said. The number of snaps is still to be determined, but Howard is expected to play impactful downs.

Where the whole group can improve is in its ability to diagnose plays and take control of a defense — as Johnson did.

“Brad was a voice and he was the muscle of the defense,” White said. “Our names are better (this season). We have Stone, Debo, Pup and Bam. They sound like linebackers. But they’re natural-born linebackers.”

White described Kaba as a “work in progress.” He tore an ACL against Arkansas last season and missed the rest of the year. Beamer told reporters at SEC Media Days that Kaba would be somewhat limited at practice, but “everybody should be 100% by Game 1.”

The goal is to ease Kaba back into football, White said. This was Kaba’s second ACL injury — the first came during his senior season of high school.

“The worst thing that we want to do is rush Kaba back and miss him in the month of October, November,” White said.

This Thanksgiving, let science help you roast a tastier turkey

I've got a kitchen confession: I don't do Thanksgiving turkey.It's not because of dietary restrictions, although I do try to limit my meat consumption. It's more a matter of soul-crushing disappointment every time it turns out dry and flavorless.What's the point of getting up super-early and spending hours laboring and stressing in the kitchen if you're just going to end up with a bland bird? I don't need that kind of holiday heartache.But bad turkeys are a problem that science can actually solve. That...

I've got a kitchen confession: I don't do Thanksgiving turkey.

It's not because of dietary restrictions, although I do try to limit my meat consumption. It's more a matter of soul-crushing disappointment every time it turns out dry and flavorless.

What's the point of getting up super-early and spending hours laboring and stressing in the kitchen if you're just going to end up with a bland bird? I don't need that kind of holiday heartache.

But bad turkeys are a problem that science can actually solve. That's why this year I've decided to tackle the turkey tradition once again — this time, with the help of two cookbook authors well known for demystifying the science behind good food: Nik Sharma, a trained molecular biologist and the author of The Flavor Equation, and Kenji López-Alt, a New York Times food columnist and author of The Food Lab.

As López-Alt explains, the fundamental trouble with turkey is rooted in its anatomy. You've got two different types of meat that need to hit two different internal temperatures. The white breast meat needs to reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dark leg and thigh meat should hit at least 165 degrees — and ideally, 175 or so. So by the time the legs hit the right temperature, your breast is overcooked.

It makes sense when you think about how turkeys use their bodies when they're alive. The white meat is made up of fast-twitch muscles — these aren't used often but are activated in short bursts. "Those types of muscles are generally low in connective tissue, low in fat and very strong. And what that means is that it's relatively easy to overcook them," López-Alt says.

Meanwhile, the dark meat is made up of slow-twitch muscle fibers that the turkey is constantly using when walking around or standing, so the dark meat has a lot of connective tissue — which means you have to cook it at a higher temperature to break it down.

So how to solve this problem rooted in bird biology? Science to the rescue! Read on.

"It would be difficult to design a worse tool for roasting a turkey than a roasting pan because you're taking a problem that already exists and making it even worse," López-Alt says.

In a roasting pan, the high sides shield the bottom of the turkey — the legs and thighs — from heat, meaning they take longer to cook to temperature. Meanwhile, the breast sticks up over the top of the pan, which means it gets the bulk of the heat and dries out more.

So one simple hack for roasting whole birds is to choose a different kind of pan — a low-rimmed baking sheet with the bird propped on a V-shaped rack. Even better, place the baking sheet on a heated pizza stone. The heat will radiate up through the bottom of the sheet tray and help the thighs and drumsticks cook faster. (Here's a how-to guide.)

Sharma and López-Alt agree that the best way to fix this white meat-dark meat temperature conundrum is to ditch the idea of serving a whole turkey and chop up your bird instead. While it may sound sacrilegious to those who cling to a Norman Rockwell-vision of a Thanksgiving feast, it's actually the key to a better bird.

There are a few ways to go about this: If you've got the skills and tools, you can cut your turkey yourself using a technique called spatchcocking — that's where you remove the backbone so the bird lays flat. (Here's a helpful how-to from López-Alt.)

Or, if you want to skip the hassle, just ask the butcher to spatchcock the bird for you when you buy it. Sharma notes you can also just buy the turkey cut up in parts.

The whole goal, really, is to get all the turkey parts to lay flat, so the breast and turkey legs and thighs all get the same amount of heat at the same time. The thighs and legs are relatively thin compared with the bulky breast, so they will cook faster. Which is what you want, because that dark meat is going to hit 175 degrees or so just as the breast is getting up to 150 degrees. "So it works out perfectly," López-Alt says.

For food safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. But at that temperature, López-Alt notes, breast meat will dry out. "Food safety is actually about temperature and time," he explains. While you'll kill a bunch of bacteria instantaneously if you cook your turkey to 165 degrees, you can wipe out the equivalent amount of bacteria a little more slowly at 150 degrees — as long as your turkey breast remains at that temperature for at least 3.7 minutes.

Just make sure to let the bird rest before serving it. And make sure to use a food thermometer — don't rely on just a minutes-per-pound chart, López-Alt says.

We've been focusing on better roasting tips, but of course, you want to brine your bird for maximum tenderness and flavor — something you've likely heard many times. "Salt is the most important thing in a brine because that's what's adding flavor. It's what's helping build moisture inside," says Sharma.

Sharma explains that normally during cooking, some of the proteins in meat fibers tighten up so that they end up squeezing the juices out of the turkey — like how water gets squeezed out of a sponge. But when you add salt, it loosens up the meat proteins so they hold on to more moisture and your bird stays juicier.

Traditional brines are wet — they involve soaking your meat in a saltwater bath. But López-Alt says this can lead to a bird that, while juicier, is also watery, which can dampen the flavor. He prefers a dry brine, where you rub kosher salt and perhaps herbs and spices on the bird and let it sit in the fridge for a night or two before cooking.

Too lazy to brine? Buy a kosher turkey — these come pre-salted, so they're essentially already brined.

Spatchcocked turkey, roasted to the right temperature, results in properly cooked thighs and tender breasts.

If you really want to give your turkey a science-based boost this year, Sharma says that based on his kitchen experiments, one brine rules them all: fermented dairy. Think plain yogurt, buttermilk or kefir.

The key here is the lactic acid in these products. Sharma notes that animal muscles synthesize lactic acid on a regular basis, so their cells have evolved mechanisms to regulate how much of this acid they contain. He thinks that is why marinating in lactic acid tends to have a gentler effect on meat — leaving it tender but not mushy. What's more, dairy is also rich in phosphates, and Sharma says these are even better than table salt at promoting water-binding in meat.

Sharma, who moved to the U.S. from Mumbai, India, notes that dairy-based marinades are common in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. "I find that fascinating historically," he says. "You see that wisdom without the scientific knowledge available today."

Want to give it a try? Sharma recommends this recipe for buttermilk-brined turkey from cookbook author Samin Nosrat. "It's pretty fantastic," he says. (You can also try Sharma's golden garlic roast turkey recipe.)

Bonus: If you cut up your bird, it's much easier to brine, wet or dry, because you can just put the meat in plastic bags in your refrigerator, instead of having to clear an entire shelf for a big, whole bird.

If your turkey still turns out a bit subpar, it's OK. Really. As López-Alt said to me, holiday cooking can be super-stressful, so don't lose sight of what's important:

"As long as the turkey has got people around the table, then it's done its job no matter how dry it is."

Derek Campanile of Dad With A Pan contributed photos for this report. Find his full write-up of how he makes spatchcocked turkey here.

Mystery of Orb in a Record-Breaking Leonardo Da Vinci Painting Deepens

The likely Leonardo da Vinci painting "Salvator Mundi" looks straightforward at first glance: a depiction of Jesus Christ in Renaissance-era clothing, raising one hand in blessin...

The likely Leonardo da Vinci painting "Salvator Mundi" looks straightforward at first glance: a depiction of Jesus Christ in Renaissance-era clothing, raising one hand in blessing and holding a clear orb in the other.

But that orb defies the laws of optics, creating a controversy over just what da Vinci was using as his inspiration. Now, a new study argues that the orb may be a realistic depiction of a hollow glass ball.

The work has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but a preprint of the findings is posted on the preprint site arXiv. University of California, Irvine, researchers used a computer-rendering technique to show that the appearance of the orb would have been physically possible in the real world, if the orb were made of thin blown glass.

Related: Leonardo Da Vinci's 10 Best Ideas


Live Science

But the paper is unlikely to settle the long-running debate over da Vinci’s intentions.

"The paper of the sphere is just one of many examples of scientists making ill-judged interventions in Leonardo studies based on ignorance of the sources," da Vinci scholar Martin Kemp, an emeritus professor of the history of art at the University of Oxford's Trinity College, wrote in an email to Live Science.

$450 million mystery

The "Salvator Mundi" is a painting with a dramatic past. It probably dates to around 1500 and was acquired by Charles I of England at some point in the 1600s. Charles I was executed in 1659 after a civil war, and in 1651 a mason named John Stone purchased the painting. In 1660, he returned the artwork to Charles II, the son of Charles I who retook the throne that year. The trail of the painting then goes cold until 1900, when it was resold not as an original da Vinci, but as the work of one of the master’s students.

It wasn’t until 2011 — after professional conservators got ahold of the painting and repaired sloppy conservation work that had built up over the years — that art experts reassessed the "Salvator Mundi" and realized that it was likely painted by da Vinci himself. In 2017, a Saudi prince bought the painting at auction for a record-breaking $450 million.

Embedded within the painting is a persistent mystery. The orb held by Christ contains a few painted sparkles that look like inclusions within a solid sphere or crystal. But a solid orb would magnify and invert the image of anything behind it due to the refraction of light, and the orb in the painting doesn't do that. Christ's robes appear undistorted behind the glass.

Da Vinci was an avid student of optics and likely wouldn't have made that mistake carelessly. Art historians have been arguing for decades about what the orb was made of and whether Da Vinci deliberately painted it inaccurately. The new paper brings a method called physically based rendering to the question. UC Irvine computer scientist professors Michael Goodrich, Shuang Zhao and doctoral student Marco (Zhanhang) Liang used this method to simulate light in the scene that is depicted in the painting.

Controversy in lights

They found that a combination of dim environmental light, a strong light source from overhead and a hollow blown glass sphere could re-create the scene in the "Salvator Mundi." The glass could have had walls up to 0.05 inches (1.3 millimeters) thick without creating any refraction disrupting the lines of Christ's robes behind it, the researchers wrote in their paper posted on arXiv. (A hollow orb wouldn’t create the same magnify-and-flip effect as a solid orb.)

Liang and his colleagues declined to comment on their work, which Liang said is now under review at a scientific journal. Kemp was not convinced by the study, however. In a section of his new book, "Leonardo's Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts" (Oxford University Press, 2020), Kemp traces the context of the orb from entries in da Vinci’s journals, finding that the artist had a fascination with rock crystals and their optics at the time the "Salvator Mundi" was painted. He also lists examples of paintings in which da Vinci tweaked the laws of physics and light to create a more pleasing composition. In paintings of the baptism of Christ, for example, the painter and his contemporaries skipped depicting the refraction of light in water that would have made the figures' legs look skewed. Da Vinci also painted baby Jesus as unnaturally large, an artistic way to highlight the Christ child's divinity.

"His paintings were not raw demonstrations of optical science, any more than they were stark demonstrations of anatomy," Kemp wrote. In other words, da Vinci was known to use artistic license in his works, and likely did so with the orb in "Salvator Mundi."

Leonardo "is not making a 'photographic image,'" Kemp told Live Science. "If he was, all his 'Christ childs' would be the progeny of giants! He is using his knowledge of natural laws to give conviction to devotional paintings."

Originally published on Live Science.

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Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.


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