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Vodka and hypnosis: the new anesthetics

Feeling no pain

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Vodka obscures, if not cures, what ails you

Yury Lyalin and his co-worker were drinking vodka at work — they were in northern Russia, if that explains anything — when the two got into a heated game that involves blindfolds, dancing, a knife and the aforementioned vodka. If there is a name for this game, we couldn't find it. "We had a few vodkas and I remember playing some silly games and someone had a large knife," he told Russian newspapers. When they were done, Lyalin went back to his desk but was sent home because he was too drunk. So he left, missed his bus stop, got a bite to eat, then went to bed. He awoke to the sound of his wife screaming. It was probably because of the knife buried four inches into his back. Doctors took the knife out and said the booze must have acted as an anesthetic. The co-worker faces assault charges, but not because Lyalin is mad at him. "Things happen when you drink."

Hypnosis has a good prognosis

Alex Lenkei of Worthing, England, underwent surgery to correct osteoarthritis problems in his arm. Making the 83-minute surgery noteworthy is that Lenkei went through it without anesthetics. Instead, Lenkei, a hypnotist, needed 30 seconds to put himself in a trance. "I could feel the surgeon pulling and manipulating me, then I heard the cracking of bones," Lenkei told the Mirror. "I heard him say 'Can I have the saw, please?' He used a hammer and chisel and I could hear him hammering away at the bone." But he says he felt nothing. His surgeon says that skipping the anesthetics can reduce recovery time and that he is sure Lenkei felt nothing. "If he had been grinning and bearing it we would have known." It wasn't a cost-saving move, however. An anesthetist was on hand for the procedure, just in case.

Finding religion

New church offers a wing and a prayer

The Rev. Chris Heckaman of First United Methodist Church in Sidney, Ohio, was looking for unconventional ways to reach people. Behold, Country Rock Church, a new branch of the main church that meets in the Pub Lounge, a bar. There's a mechanical bull in one corner and a jukebox instead of a choir loft. Communion could get interesting, as the beer taps are on. Heckaman says everyone seemed to enjoy themselves — his first sermon compared life lessons to riding that mechanical bull — so he expects church to meet weekly.

It says no parking

Cop parks, lawyer gives him a ticket

When Eric Bryant of Portland, Ore., saw Officer Chad Stensgaard park right next to a no-parking sign to go into a restaurant and pick up his food, he decided to issue a citizen's parking ticket. "Citizens should be concerned that he used his status as an officer of the law as justification for breaking the law," said Bryant, a lawyer. He filed a complaint as a private citizen alleging several violations. A spokeswoman for Portland police said Stensgaard would appeal the citations, which could amount to $540 if upheld.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Vodka and hypnosis: the new anesthetics 04/21/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 10:18pm]
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