Thursday April 17, 2014




Doctor’s use robot for practice exams

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At least two U.S. medical schools so far are early adopters of Dr. Benjamin Lok’s and Dr. Carla Pugh’s “Robot Butt” for teaching doctors-in-training to properly (and compassionately) administer prostate exams. The robot, bent over a desk to simulate the patient profile, has sensors to alert the students if they dig too deeply or quickly for comfort. Other sensors enable a check on eye contact to evaluate “bedside manner.” (News of the Weird reported a similar innovation in 2012 by Nobuhiro Takahashi, whose model’s “sphincter” has the ability to “clench up” if the probing becomes too distressing.)

Homeless man James Brady had his New Jersey state benefits cut off in October for “hiding” income. He had found $850 on a sidewalk in April and turned it in; when no one came forward, it was returned to him, though he was unaware that he needed to report it as “income.”

A 16-year-old Fox Chapel, Pa., boy realized at a football game in September that he was inadvertently carrying a pocket knife and conscientiously turned it in to a security guard — which earned him a 10-day school suspension. The school’s “zero tolerance” rule, said the boy’s father, “sends a message (that) you should probably lie.”

Betty Green was fired as clerk at the Speedway gas station in Lexington, Ky., in November when she “just said no” to an armed robber, who smiled and walked out. Company rules require always giving up the money. Said Green, “I don’t think anybody knows what you are going to do until it happens to you.”

In November, the senior class president of Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Ore., “came out” — as an atheist. Eric Fromm, 21, is apparently popular on campus, and an ABC News report revealed that he was under no pressure to resign or drop out. Said the director of university relations, “All of our students are on a journey. ... We as an institution meet students where they are at.” Fromm said he was impressed with the school right from his initial visit. “No one was speaking in tongues or handling snakes, so I decided to stay.”

During the September Guantanamo Bay trial of five people charged in connection in the 9/11 attacks, defense lawyers continued to complain that their “confidential” client information was being leaked from the poorly secured “classified” Pentagon computer network. Said the lead defense counsel (Air Force Col. Karen Mayberry), the normal Department of Defense “classified” network is so porous that she has been forced to use the Wi-Fi at the local Guantanamo Starbucks, which she regards as more secure.


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