More amazing than weird
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 95 18:53:46 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: More amazing than weird
[I have noticed that many WhiteBoard News items later appear in News of the
Weird. Several of this batch are sure to achieve that lofty goal... -psl]
WhiteBoard News for March 03, 1995
A doctor who felt his heart racing dangerously zapped
himself with his office defibrillator to jolt it back
As any viewer of television hospital dramas knows, the
defibrillator is one of the most impressive tools
available to the medical community. It uses a powerful
burst of electricity to restore the heart to a normal
beat after cardiac arrest or other rhythm
The machines are not designed for self-use. But
according to a brief write-up in Thursday's New England
Journal of Medicine, one worried doctor did exactly
The 45-year-old plastic surgeon, Dr. Jean Cukier,
accidently shocked himself while trying to fix a lamp
in his office. He grew dizzy and felt his heart beat
With the help of an assistant, he went into his
operating room and hooked himself up to a heart
There he discovered his heart was racing at 160 beats
Worried he was about to pass out, Cukier smeared
himself with conducting jelly, placed the defibrillator
paddles to his chest and turned on the machine.
The first jolt threw him off the table but failed to
fix his heart.
He climbed back on the table and tried again. This
time it worked.
Cukier said his self-diagnosis was atrial fibrillation,
which he called a "potentially life-threatening"
condition that may not have responded well to
medication during the emergency.
Washington, District of Columbia:
Henry Kissinger, introducing Clinton for a foreign-
policy speech, said, "It's always a privilege to
introduce someone who also speaks with an accent."
Blink and you'll miss this car.
Not because it's so fast. Because it is so tiny --
about the size of a grain of rice.
Nippondenso, a Japanese company, built the Micro-Car to
show its ability to develop precision machinery.
Modeled after the first Toyota car, a 1936 Model AA,
Micro-Car was shown at the Society of Automotive
Engineers convention here.
The Guinness Book of Records has certified the Micro-
Car as the world's smallest motorized car.
Housed under bubble glass, the Micro-Car has a magnetic
motor with five parts that power it around a figure-
With a current running to it via copper wire, the
engine can run at 600 RPM.
The nickel-plated car has 24 parts including wheels,
axle, spare tire, headlights, rear lights, steel
bumpers and a nameplate. Its body is thinner than a
"It took us four years to develop this car," says Shink
Ohmi, a Nippondenso engineer. "We wanted to show what
we could do."
New Delhi, India:
The government of India, bowing to environmentalists
who claim pollution is destroying the Taj Mahal,
Thursday announced a 10-point program to help save one
of the world's most famous monuments.
The program calls for 100,000 trees to be planted to
soak up pollutants and for cleaner fuels to be
introduced in a 4,000-square-mile area around the
glittering white-marble mausoleum in the northern city
State-controlled Indian Oil Corporation Limited
(Indianoil) will spend $325 million to cut back on
emissions from a controversial refinery located 28
miles from the Taj Mahal.
"Nunc hic aut numquam."
That's not exactly the way Elvis Presley sang "It's Now
or Never," but it is the Latin equivalent. Some of his
biggest hits have been reissued in Finland and
translated into Latin on a compact disk to mark his
60th birthday, which was January 8.
"Latin is an eternal language, so what better way to
immortalize a legend?" said Jukka Ammondt, a literature
professor at the University of Jyvaskyla, 165 miles
north of Helsinki. Ammondt made the CD with Finland's
Ammondt's CD also includes: "Nunc aeternitatis" and
"Tenere me ama," "I Surrender" and "Love Me Tender"
The meter was running, and, unbeknown to the cab
driver, so was his passenger.
Police captured a man who, they say, robbed a bank
Wednesday and then flagged down a cab for his getaway
The suspect was arrested six blocks from the scene of
the robbery. The cabbie was incredulous.
"The driver didn't realize what happened until he got
pulled over," Sergeant Landy Black said. "He thought
he was getting stopped for a traffic infraction."
The suspect, a man in his 40s, was taken into custody
without incident and booked into King County Jail.
The man entered a bank and demanded money from a
cashier. He implied he had a gun but did not show one.
Once out the door, the man was spotted getting into a
white station wagon cab by bank employees looking out
the window, and police were called.
Five minutes later, the cab was headed west on Denny
Way, when motorcycle officer Todd Radcliffe, traveling
in the opposite direction, spotted it, turned around
and forced the vehicle to stop.
The cab driver, who was not identified, got out and was
quickly apprised of the situation.
The passenger calmly sat in the back seat with an
undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was found.
"You can't ask for it to be any better than that,"
Black said. "Quick, clean, nobody hurt."
WhiteBoard News Service Bureau Chef
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© 1995 Peter Langston