Disembodied Dog’s Head Kept Alive?

Above is a clip from a 1940’s film called Experiments in the Revival of Organisms where a dog is decapitated (not shown) and attached to a machine which allegedly keeps the head alive. Is it real?

Since its Prelinger Archives release, the film has provoked much controversy. Ken Smith, author of Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945 – 1970, believes the film is fake. He mentions, among other things, that the decapitated dog scene shown in the film could have been produced with simple special effects. Smith cites only his reaction to the film as evidence. Others are skeptical of J. B. S. Haldane’s ties to the Communist party; they propose that the film was produced as Soviet propaganda.

Definition of ‘Planet’ Expected in September

We may be back at having only eight planets again.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is expected to propose wording to delineate planets from other small, round objects at its 12-day General Assembly meeting in Prague this August. The proposal will be based on recommendations from a newly formed committee that includes experts outside the realm of astronomy tasked to break a deadlock in earlier committee discussions.

(via del.icio.us/plutor)

Dr. No and the case of the hospital bill

Ouch. Lucky for them that they have good health insurance.

It’s become somewhat of a household game to guess the total when one of these invoices arrives from a recent procedure. Since we were in the hospital for thirty-seven days, we knew this one would be a whopper. Sure enough: the grand total is $549,000. And that doesn’t include the bill from the surgical team (in other words, it’s for just the hospitalization overhead, not the surgical procedure itself).

(via del.icio.us/wcitymike)