Robotic corpse

There may be no need to donate your body to your local med school after all. A $95,000 animatronic cadaver is replacing med-school corpses. The Syndaver is a realistic robotic human corpse simulator with replaceable viscera that med students can dissect again and again. Syndavers are mostly water and need to be kept submerged when they're not being sliced and spliced to prevent them drying out. They have fully dilating pupils that respond to light and trauma, breathing lungs, a pumping heart that keeps blood at the correct temperature, and optional features from seizure-simulating limb actuators to realistic tumours. Hospitals and med schools can control the corpse wirelessly so practitioners can rehearse elaborate medical scenarios in which the patient goes into shock and even dies. (Source: Wired)

Fishy weather forecasting

With Hurricane Ophelia hitting the UK, it seems like an appropriate moment to remember the Great Storm of 1987 when TV weatherman Michael Fish opened his forecast with the remark: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't." A few hours later, the worst storm in 300 years hit Britain, killing 18 people. In the UK, whenever anyone makes a really bad prediction, it's still known as a Michael Fish moment.

(Fire) in brackets

A fire extinguisher was removed for testing and the bracket holding it in place posed a hazard as it is next to the printer. Somebody put a cup over the bracket and fastened it to the wall with sticky tape. The next minute a sign was placed above the cup with instructions how to respond in case of a fire.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Tread softly and carry a torch

Malcolm came across a sign in a reserve in Sri Lanka, which read in part: "Frequent visits by wild elephants that roam the hotel premises make it unsafe for guests to walk around during evening hours. We encourage you to carry a torch light when walking outdoors. If charged by a wild elephant, quickly move towards the closest cover. Dropping the torch and running may earn you several extra seconds as the elephant may stop to investigate the bright light from the torch. Or maybe not; we don't guarantee this. So in the event the elephant ignores the torch, you are well advised to run even faster." Actually, they needed a sign for the crocs basking in the sun there too.

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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz