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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.
CAN JIMMY COME OUT? Wednesday, August 13
James Jordan Sr. died in Brooklyn, New York, in 2006, but NYPD officers have barged into his family's home 12 times since then — four in 2014 alone — seeking him on various charges. His widow, Karen Jordan, even taped his death certificate to …
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.
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.
 
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