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PLAY IT AGAIN, DOC Wednesday, October 8
For patients who are musicians, deep brain stimulation (open-brain) surgery can provide entertainment for operating-room doctors as they correct neurological conditions such as hand tremors. In September, concert violinist Naomi Elishuv, who’s performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, played for surgeons at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center so they could locate the exact spot in the brain for inserting the pacemaker to control the hand-trembling that had wrecked her career.
DRIVERS WHO RAN OVER THEMSELVES Wednesday, October 8
In June, Robert Pullar, 30, Minot, North Dakota, subsequently charged with DUI, fell out of his car and was run over by it. In July, Joseph Karl, 48, jumped out of his truck to confront another driver in a road rage incident in Gainesville. As he pounded on that driver’s window, his own truck (negligently left in gear) crept up and ran him over.
BEST OF JAX 2014: LOCAL COLOR Wednesday, October 8
The best in politics, media, scandals and local notables
DEFINITIONS Wednesday, October 8
Commentators have had fun with a new system of medical diagnostic codes (denominated in from 4-10 digits each) scheduled to take effect next October, and the “Healthcare Dive” blog had its laughs in a July post. The codes for “problems in relationship with in-laws” and “bizarre personal appearance” are quixotic enough, but the most “absurd” codes are “subsequent encounters” (i.e., at least the second time the same thing happened to a patient) for events like walking into a lamppost, getting sucked into a jet engine, receiving burns from on-fire water skis, or having contact with a cow beyond being bitten or kicked — those have separate codes.
SQUAAAAWWK Wednesday, October 8
Regulatory filings revealed in August that AOL still has 2.3 million dial-up subscribers (down from 21 million 15 years ago) paying, on average, about $20 monthly. Industry analysts, far from rolling on the floor laughing at the company’s continued success with 20th-century technology, estimate AOL’s dial-up business constitutes a hefty portion of its quarterly “operating profit” of about $122 million.
HOW TO CONFUSE AN ARIZONAN Wednesday, October 8
In August, a state appeals court overruled a lower court and decided Thomas and Nancy Beatie could divorce, after all. The first judge determined their out-of-state marriage wasn’t valid in Arizona because they were both women, but Thomas has had extensive surgery and hormone therapy and become a man — though he’s also the spouse who bore the couple’s three children, since he retained his reproductive organs.
FRONTIERS OF FLIGHT Wednesday, October 8
Dutch inventors Bart Jansen and Arjen Beltman struck again recently when Pepeijn Bruins, 13, asked them to help him grieve over his pet rat, Ratjetoe, who had cancer and had to be put down. Having heard of the inventors’ work, Pepeijn asked if they could have Ratjetoe stuffed and turned into a radio-controlled drone.
PISCES: October 10-14 Wednesday, October 8
Horror novelist Stephen King has sold more than 350 million books. When he was young and destitute, still honing his craft, his self-confidence was low. His breakthrough work was Carrie, about a teenage girl who develops telekinetic powers. When he was first writing that manuscript on an old manual typewriter, he got so discouraged he threw his first draft in the trashcan.
AQUARIUS: October 10-14 Wednesday, October 8
Walking in San Francisco, I passed Pacific Heights Health Club. The sign out front said, “Birthday suits tailored here.” It was a witty reference to the idea that working out at a gym helps people get their bodies in good shape. I’d like to interpret the message a different way, and apply it to you.
CAPRICORN: October 10-14 Wednesday, October 8
Director Michael Bay makes big, loud, fast, melodramatic action films, including Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and the four Transformers movies. The critics hate him, but he’s unfazed. “I make movies for teenage boys,” he says. “Oh, dear, what a crime,” he adds sarcastically. I love that. He knows what he’s good at, and makes no apologies. Cop some of that attitude now.
 
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