Pencil Removed From Head After 55 YearsAPPosted: 2007-08-08 07:54:53BERLIN (Aug. 7) - A woman who had a pencil lodged in her head for 55 years after a childhood accident has finally had most of it removed, which should end her chronic headaches and nosebleeds, her doctor said Tuesday.Margaret Wegner was 4 when she fell while carrying the 3.15-inch pencil, which went through her cheek and into her brain.
"It bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head," Wegner, now 59, told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. "It hurt like crazy."
At the time, the technology did not exist to safely remove the pencil, so Wegner had to live with it - and the ensuing chronic headaches and nosebleeds -- for the next 5 1/2 decades.
But on Friday, Dr. Hans Behrbohm, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Berlin's Park-Klinik Weissensee, was able to identify the exact location of the pencil so that he could determine the risks of removing it, and then took most of it out.
The operation was difficult because of the way the pencil had shifted as Wegner grew, Behrbohm told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"This was something unique because the trauma was so old," said Behrbohm, who has also done brain surgery to remove bullets from shooting victims and glass from people involved in car accidents.
Although a piece of a pencil about four-fifths of an inch long could not be removed, Behrbohm said it does not pose a danger.
And now Wegner, the wife of German boxing coach Ulli Wegner, will no longer have the headaches and nosebleeds, and her sense of smell should return soon, Behrbohm said.
"She shouldn't suffer any longer," he said.Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-07 15:40:15
Airline Reports Monkey Business on JetAPPosted: 2007-08-08 10:14:05Filed Under: Weird News(Aug. 7) - A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.
During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.
"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.
The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security.
Airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed about 3 p.m., and the man was taken away for questioning. It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges.
The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.
If the monkey is healthy, it could wind up in a zoo.
"It is kind of a spirited monkey," Russell said. "That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit."Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-08 07:29:17
(The last line of this next one made me laugh for some reason. Otherwise, the story is really cool, but not crazy.)
Scientists Discover Largest-Known PlanetAPPosted: 2007-08-08 11:04:30Filed Under: Science News(Aug. 7) - Scientists have discovered the universe's largest known planet, a giant ball made of mostly hydrogen that is 20 times larger than Earth and circling a star 1,400 light-years away.
Scientists believe the planet is 1.7 times the diameter of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and has a temperature of 2,300-degrees.
"There is probably not a really firm surface anywhere on the planet. You would sink into it," said Georgi Mandushev, a research scientist at Lowell Observatory and lead author of an article announcing the finding in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Lowell, along with the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory in San Diego County and telescopes operating in Spain's Canary Islands, discovered the planet circling a star in the constellation Hercules.
Lowell announced the finding Monday. Scientists first spotted the new planet, called TrES-4, and a smaller one in spring 2006. Scientists at Caltech, Harvard University and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii later confirmed the discovery.
"It's very solid stuff," astronomer Alan Boss at the Carnegie Institution of Washington said of the discovery of TrES-4. He marveled at the planet's extremely low density, about half that of Saturn in our solar system.
"It's just letting us know that nature has some surprises for us ... a much wider range of possibility than we could imagine," Boss said.
He said scientists "can't understand why these so-called fluffy planets are so fluffy. It really is a mystery, just how they can be so low-density."
Scientists also are working on the possibility of another planet in the same constellation. "It's tough," Mandushev said. "We're not really sure what's going on there. There might actually be another planet in this field, which would be incredible."
The participating Lowell telescope is housed on top of Anderson Mesa, about 15 miles south of Flagstaff.
Lowell is best known for the 1930 discovery of Pluto, which since has been demoted from planet status. (this is what made me laugh. Anyone else laughing?)Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-08 09:21:59
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
As I was searching for news online about what trains are running later today, I came across some really crazy stories on aol.com. I hope you are all entertained on this dreary, dreary day!