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A NOTW Classic (January 2010) Wednesday, August 13
In November 2009, a Chicago judge ruled former firefighter Jeffrey Boyle is entitled to his $50,000 annual pension even though he'd pleaded guilty to eight counts of arson and allegedly confessed to 12 more. Boyle is known locally as "Matches" Boyle …
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.
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.
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.
WHO YOU CALLIN’ SHRIMP? Wednesday, October 8
Buddhists believe in the wholesale “mercy release” of living creatures, with smaller and less consequential animals making even stronger statements of reverence, according to a July New York Times story from Yushu, China, describing the freeing of river shrimp the size of a fingernail clipping.
TAKE A LOAD OFF Wednesday, October 8
University of Arizona Medical Center surgeons removed a 47-pound tumor from a woman’s stomach in April — not even close to being the largest ever mentioned here, but likely the only such large tumor held in the arms of a member of the surgical team, as pictured in a post-op photo.
WHAT’S THE MAGIC WORD? Wednesday, October 8
A September report from Rhone, France, tells of a 33-year-old man sentenced to prison for 10 months for harassing his ex-girlfriend with 21,807 phone calls and texts over the 10 months following the split (a daily average of 73). The man insisted he only wanted the woman to say thanks for carpentry work he’d done on her apartment.
SIZE MATTERS (SOMETIMES) Wednesday, October 8
A court in Leer, Germany, ordered a medical examination of the manhood of Herbert O., 54, to help decide a criminal charge of exhibitionism. The man’s wife testified Herbert’s organ is “too short to hang out of [his] trousers,” as claimed by the victim of the flashing. The judge asked a local health official to make an exact measurement.
CLUES AT THE SCENE Wednesday, October 8
Alfred J. Shropshire III was charged in June with burglarizing a home in Lakewood, Washington, identified by his having accidentally dropped at the scene a plaque from a local Mazda dealer naming Alfred J. Shropshire III Salesperson of the Month.
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT Wednesday, September 17
A 20-year-old woman was arrested in Seattle in August after calling police to complain she was being harassed by a man who was following her. Police arrived to find that the "stalker" was simply trying to get his phone back after the woman stole it …
 
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