Odd Files

Robo Medicine

At least two U.S. medical schools so far are early adopters of Dr. Benjamin Lok’s and Dr. Carla Pugh’s “Robot Butt” for teaching doctors-in-training to properly (and compassionately) administer prostate exams. The robot, bent over a desk to simulate the patient profile, has sensors to alert the students if they dig too deeply or quickly for comfort. Other sensors enable a check on eye contact to evaluate “bedside manner.” (News of the Weird reported a similar innovation in 2012 by Nobuhiro Takahashi, whose model’s “sphincter” has the ability to “clench up” if the probing becomes too distressing.)

Bright Ideas

A government-subsidized, foundation-supported program for alcoholics in Amsterdam announced a “welfare”/”work” program offering the city’s drunks the equivalent of about $14 a day — and five free cans of beer — for several hours of street-cleaning. Some beneficiaries told London’s The Independent, in a November dispatch, that, of course, they intended to use the cash to buy even more beer.

People With Issues

A condominium association in Niles, Ill., is debating whether to pursue Norman Kazmierski since he has now moved. As a resident, he was accused of keying cars, egging hallways, disabling the emergency sprinkler system, and leaving several pounds of excrement in buildings in protest of alleged mistreatment. The association said it all started when one resident asked Kazmierski to please park his car between the lines so that parking spaces could be used more efficiently.

Police in Mayville, Wis., arrested John Grant, 42, in November for shooting his wife, Nicole, three times with a Taser gun. The couple tried to explain that Nicole (Green Bay Packers fan) had bet John (Chicago Bears fan) on the game, with the winner getting to Taser the loser (although she sheepishly said later that she didn’t think John would actually shoot her). (According to breath tests, neither of the Grants could have lawfully driven a car.)

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