The Almost-Kamikaze American Pilots

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the Twin Towers fell. In these last few days there have been numerous articles about that day and of memorials being held in NYC. For the most part I have stayed away from them. While I do think it is important for us to remember what happened, I think I just wanted to avoid it this week.

But one article caught my attention and I couldn’t help but click on it. It told of the two pilots who were ordered to intercept Flight 93. Back in 2001, there were no fighter jets that were armed and ready to take off to intercept planes. It was a different time.

When the order came to intercept Flight 93, the two pilots, Lt. Heather Penney and Col. Marc Sasseville, could not wait for their planes to be armed. They took off with only 105 lead-nosed bullets and the knowledge that those bullets wouldn’t do the job.

From the article:

“It was decided that Sass and I would take off first, even though we knew we would end up having to take off before our aircraft were armed,” Penney, among the first generation of American female fighter pilots, said to C-SPAN.

Penney said each jet had 105 lead-nosed bullets on board, but little more.

“As we were putting on our flight gear … Sass looked at me and said, ‘I’ll ram the cockpit.’ And I had made the decision that I would take the tail off the aircraft,” Penney recalled.

Both pilots thought about whether they would have enough time to eject before impact.

“I was hoping to do both at the same time,” Sasseville told the Washington Post. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

Penney, a rookie fight pilot, worried about missing her target.

“You only got one chance. You don’t want to eject and then miss. You’ve got to be able to stick with it the whole way,” she said.

The pilots chose their impact spots in order to minimize the debris field on the ground. A plane with no nose and no tail would likely fall straight out of the sky, its forward momentum halted, Penney said.

I read the article and was just amazed and reminded about what our men and women in uniform are willing to do for us each day.



In The News: Mom Withheld Meds, sentenced to 8-10 years

I just got home from taking the Psychiatry NBME Subject Exam and logged onto and saw this story. It’s a story of a mother, Kristen LaBrie who withheld chemotherapy medications from her autistic son for at least 5 months. He died at the age of 9 in 2009. A judge has sentenced her to 8-10 years.

I don’t know what she was thinking. A quote from the news story:

“If I could do it differently, I would, because I certainly miss my son, and I think about him every day and I wish he could be with me and my family,” she said.

Labrie, handcuffed in the courtroom, after receiving he sentence. Photo Credit: Cheryl Senter/AP

Her son was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006. The tragedy is that her son’s oncologist believed that he had a cure rate of about 85-90% under an intensive two-year treatment plan.

But for whatever reason, she stopped giving his medication.

Source: – Mom who withheld son’s cancer meds gets 8-10 years


Holy Smokes!

I found this video on today. It’s ridiculous. A toddler in Sumatra, Indonesia smokes 40 cigarettes a day. Supposedly the government has offered to give the parents a car if the kid stops smoking. The parents, however, say that the kid gets irritated and dizzy when not allowed to smoke. Nicotine withdrawal? Who would’ve thought?

Edit: For some reason MSNBC removed their news clip talking about the smoking baby. I found another clip of him from YouTube, this one without any news commentary.

Edit: And now YouTube has removed the video. So here is another one from Break.

EMBED-Ardi Rizal - The real SMOKING BABY !! - Watch more free videos


How to Date a Med Student

Fox News published a story in their “Love & Marriage” section online by Marissa Kristal entitled “How to Date a Med Student. Here are a few selected nuggets of wisdom (a link to the full article can be found below):

6. here will be weeks you’ll forget you even have a boyfriend—friends will ask how he is and you’ll say, “What? Who? Oh….right. He’s well…I think.”
3. Learn to hide your “ew, gross” reactions when they tell you all the stuff you never wanted to know about your bodily functions.
1. Don’t expect to see them. Ever.




Celebs Speak Out: Protect American Insurance Companies

If you live in America and haven’t been a hermit for the past few months you will surely have heard about this whole healthcare debate. Here are some celebrities who are speaking out urging us to protect insurance companies (satire). The celebrities include Jon Hamm, Will Ferrel, and Olivia Wilde who have all joined to collaborate with Funny Or Die.

On a side note, I had a lecture today where the lecturer said that he doesn’t believe there is an answer to our healthcare problems. Government’s solution is to try something we aren’t doing and see if it works. He noted that in the UK, there is also a healthcare debate with the National Health Service (NHS) and the British government is inviting American insurance companies to discuss ways to try something different (more like the American system) which will allow people to opt out of NHS coverage. Food for thought…

post Sleep-deprived docs told to drink 6 cups coffee

Article Link: docs told to drink 6 cups coffee

um… yeah.. very good example of patient care focused on patient safety… (Sarcasm. I hate that I have to put this, but I am paranoid that if I don’t, this Internet post is going to come back and bite me in the future.)

I thought US Resident Physicians had it bad with our 80 hour/week cap (which isn’t as strict as some would like). But 80 hours of work without rest? That’s just downright ridiculous!

Maybe the guys in charge down under think that their doctors are super-human…

Ok, ok… so they admit that there is a doctor shortage. And they need more doctors. I guess it’s a good thing for foreign graduates who have an interest in working there.

Personally I have thought about working there in Australia after I finish training here. But I would not want to have to do an Australian residency in addition to my US one…


Too Skinny?

Just saw this video on Facebook and I thought I’d share it here. Is there anything wrong with this model? Does her ankles look two weak? I know they try to be as slim as possible… but is her “wobbly-ness” a result of weak ankles (as a result of malnourishment) or just poor balance?