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June 12, 2008

BehindTheMedspeak: How is it that every operation is a success?

Bkugig

Above, the headline over a June 3, 2008 New York Times story about the senator's brain surgery the previous day.

Long before I even dreamed of entering medicine I was struck by how good surgeons were — every single operation was reported as being a success or having gone successfully.

If you set the bar low enough – i.e., the patient wakes up no worse than they were when they went to sleep — well then, I suppose you can say the operation was a success.

Although I'd say the anesthesia was a success, and the success — or failure — of the surgery remains to be determined.

For example, in the sports section every single operation is termed by the surgeon "a complete success."

That way, when the athlete doesn't come back to where he or she was prior to surgery, the surgeon can blame the athlete for not rehabbing properly — "Hey, the surgery went perfectly, I did everything I could, it's not my fault the player didn't do what he was supposed to do post-op."

Yeah, right.

Lots of times the surgery doesn't go successfully — but the only people who'll ever know are those of us in the OR.

So take these postoperative evaluations for what they're worth — hope, not fact.

June 12, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Lettuce Corer

1giuyg

And to think until yesterday I didn't even know such a thing existed.

What planet have I been living on?

From the website:

    Lettuce Corer

    A kinder, gentler lettuce core remover.

    Core lettuce simply — without smashing it.

    This handy cutter has two serrated edges to core all types of lettuce easily.

    Dishwasher safe plastic.

    4"L x 3"W x 2.5"H.

....................

Ioo

$7.99 (head of lettuce not included).


June 12, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hair Accessories: Pythons are the new pink

Ph2008061103436

That's my reaction to the startling photo above of Dani Rose wearing two ball pythons in her coif.

Long story short: Ms. Rose is a stagehand with the Shakespeare Theater Company, currently performing Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C.

This past April she began training three 18"-22"-long ball pythons named Mortimer, Cassani and Coco to play the scene where "The deadly worm of Nilus slithers out of the basket and into the hands of Cleopatra as she contemplates her doom," wrote Moira E. McLaughlin in today's Washington Post article about the thespian reptiles.

The story follows.

    Snake Corner

    Picture this: The deadly worm of Nilus slithers out of the basket and into the hands of Cleopatra as she contemplates her doom. The dramatic scene is played in "Antony and Cleopatra" by trained actors with the Shakespeare Theater Company. We don't mean Cleopatra; the snake's role is shared by three ball pythons.

    Mortimer, Cassani and Coco are anything but deadly, according to stagehand Dani Rose, who trained them. The nonpoisonous snakes, which range from 18 to 22 inches long, are affectionate and take direction well, she says.

    When Rose began training them in April for their big break, she handled them a lot so they would get used to the way she smelled and would feel at ease.

    "They understand a lot," Rose says. "That's why they're responsive so much to the affection, because they understand that's a good thing."

    To rehearse their brief scene in the show, Rose had each snake rise out of the basket over and over again. They were rewarded not with food, but with vocal encouragement. Snakes can't hear, but they can feel the vibrations caused by someone's voice, she says. Rose changes her tone of voice when she communicates with them.

    The snakes take turns performing their role and do not appear when they are shedding or after they have eaten (which they do roughly once a week). Rose says she doesn't choose which snake will perform until right before a show, and the decision is up to them: "It's all about what mood they're in."

    Like all successful actors, the snakes like to be greeted by their fans. Rose can be found after a show interacting with theatergoers as one snake weaves through her brown hair, another slides around her neck and a third peeks out from her pocket.

    Catch them yourself slithering in action at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F St. Northwest) through July 6.

...................

June 12, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What are they?

Whitespace_20h_x_119_22222
222_2

Answer here this time tomorrow.


June 12, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How to find a power outlet in an airport

Wall2pre

"To those who said outlets aren't available in airports, where you do think the custodial staff plug in their cleaning machines? The sockets are either behind trash cans or under removable screw caps in the floor. Look around, you’ll find them."

From a comment on David Pogue's New York Times blog.

June 12, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Floating Wireless Speaker

Hneyhu

From the website:

    Floating Wireless Speaker

    This floating speaker communicates wirelessly with a transmitter connected to any audio source, allowing you to listen to music in your pool.

    The transmitter works with any audio source with a 3.5 mm headphone jack including iPods, radios and most MP3 players, and uses the 900Mhz band.

    You can select from three channels to provide an interference-free signal for the speaker up to 150 feet away.

    The 6-inch-diameter 5-watt speaker is housed in a floating, fully-submersible (up to 3 feet), weatherproof ABS-and-rubber case with controls for power and volume.

    The speaker has two blue LED mood lights that cast their glow over the water at night.

    Six AA batteries (required) power the speaker for up to six hours; the transmitter requires four AA batteries or can be plugged into AC using the included adapter (batteries not included).

    Supports up to nine additional speakers.

    Transmitter: 4"H x 3"W x 3"D.

    Speaker: 6" sphere.

$179.95.

June 12, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

glassdoor.com — Why is the idiot in the next office making twice as much as you?

Vggfg

Hey, easy — you're getting ahead of yourself.

glassdoor.com, which went live yesterday, is, among other things, "... compiling free snapshots of the current salaries paid by hundreds of major employers, along with reviews anonymously written by current and past workers," according to Michael Liedtke's Associated Press story.

"I like the idea, but there is absolutely no question that some CEO is going to see something negative on the site and just hit the roof.... It just makes me wonder how long it will take before they get sued," said JupiterResearch analyst Barry Parr about the new site.

Note to Barry Parr: That would be the very best thing that could happen to glassdoor — and the site's founders know it and are hoping for precisely that.

"To start, glassdoor is allowing all visitors to look at the salary information and reviews of four high-tech heavyweights — Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Cisco Systems," according to the AP article.

Hey, don't take my word for it — read the story yourself.

    Web Site Offers Insiders' Look at Major Employers

    New Web site opens door to salary information, worker reviews about hundreds of companies

    Ever wonder whether you'd be better off working some place else?

    A new Web site called Glassdoor.com is trying to make it easier to find out by compiling free snapshots of the current salaries paid by hundreds of major employers, along with reviews anonymously written by current and past workers.

    "We think it's super important that people are able to find a job where they can go home happy at the end of the day," said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor's co-founder and chief executive.

    The Sausalito-based startup's other founders include Rich Barton, CEO of online home appraisal site Zillow.com.

    By providing free access to sensitive salary information and sometimes blunt reviews of companies, Glassdoor is bound to upset some employers, predicted Jupiter Research analyst Barry Parr.

    "I like the idea, but there is absolutely no question that some CEO is going to see something negative on the site and hit the roof," Parr said. "It just makes me wonder who long it will take before they get sued."

    A Glassdoor feature that allows workers to rate their CEOs could be particularly provocative.

    In Glassdoor's test phase based on a small sampling of opinions, Microsoft Corp. workers seemed to have a higher opinion of their CEO, Steve Ballmer, than Yahoo Inc. workers had of their CEO, Jerry Yang, who spurned a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Ballmer last month.

    Hohman is trying to convince employers that Glassdoor is a great tool for gathering worker feedback. With 12 employees, the startup plans to screen all reviews to identify remarks that seem fabricated or libelous.

    Glassdoor has an incentive not to alienate corporate America because it hopes to make money from advertising.

    To start, Glassdoor is allowing all visitors to look at the salary information and reviews of four high-tech heavyweights — Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.

    To get the skinny on other companies, visitors must be willing to reveal their salaries and feelings about their employers.

    About 3,300 people provided information on about 250 companies during Glassdoor's testing phase.

....................

Surf and weep.

June 12, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Unicorn' deer discovered — This is fantasy becoming reality'

Eyu35u57

Long story short: "A deer with a single horn in the center of its head [above] — much like the fabled, mythical unicorn — has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy, park officials said Wednesday."

So begins Marta Falconi's Associated Press story, which follows, about the remarkable creature.

    Single-horned 'Unicorn' deer is found in Italy

    A deer with a single horn in the center of its head — much like the fabled, mythical unicorn — has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy, park officials said Wednesday.

    "This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center of Natural Sciences in Prato, told The Associated Press. "The unicorn has always been a mythological animal."

    The 1-year-old Roe Deer — nicknamed "Unicorn" — was born in captivity in the research center's park in the Tuscan town of Prato, near Florence, Tozzi said.

    He is believed to have been born with a genetic flaw; his twin has two horns.

    Calling it the first time he has seen such a case, Tozzi said such anomalies among deer may have inspired the myth of the unicorn.

    The unicorn, a horse-like creature with magical healing powers, has appeared in legends and stories throughout history, from ancient and medieval texts to the adventures of Harry Potter.

    "This shows that even in past times, there could have been animals with this anomaly," he said by telephone. "It's not like they dreamed it up."

    Single-horned deer are rare but not unheard of — but even more unusual is the central positioning of the horn, experts said.

    "Generally, the horn is on one side (of the head) rather than being at the center. This looks like a complex case," said Fulvio Fraticelli, scientific director of Rome's zoo. He said the position of the horn could also be the result of a trauma early in the animal's life.

    Other mammals are believed to contribute to the myth of the unicorn, including the narwhal, a whale with a long, spiraling tusk.


June 12, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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