Saturday, April 19, 2008

McFly, metal detectors don't work over metal

I came across this bit of presidential trivia about the assassination of President Garfield, written by Richard Lederer:
  • After James Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, he spent 80 days on his deathbed while a team of doctors probed him with unwashed hands and unsanitary medical instruments. They tried to find the bullet with a metal detector invented by Alexander Graham Bell – but the device failed because Garfield was placed on a bed with metal springs, and no one thought to move him. To escape the Washington heat, Garfield was moved to a seaside cottage in New Jersey early in September. There he died on Sept. 19, 1881, succumbing to death by doctors.
So, no, we don't have hoverboards yet, but our technology's pretty amazing. For all our health care problems, if that story doesn’t make you appreciate how far we’ve come, I don’t know what will. That was less than 100 years before we were born. And remember, that’s illustrating the very best care of the time, since it was for the president! So, what do you think medical care will look like in 2081?


Marc V. said...

I'm curious what you were perusing when you came across this tidbit. The James Garfield wikipedia page? I won't ask how that happened. In any case, congrats on getting the blog up and running. I'm looking forward to getting regular updates.

leighv said...

Jesse congrats on the book and best of luck getting published! I look forward to reading it.
Very interesting post and I'll be back to check out others.

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