MINNEAPOLIS, May 18 (UPI) -- A Minneapolis hospital has taken patient comfort a quantum leap higher by offering warmed gowns to patients undergoing examinations and procedures.
Nurses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital are using a flexible hose attached to a hair dryer-like device to fill a two-layer surgical gown with warm air. The result is a warm surgical gown from neck to knees, even though the back may still be open.
"It feels great," Tom Merten, a 51-year-old machinist, told Wednesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune after undergoing a biopsy.
The newspaper said the hospital began the experiment to improve patient comfort after finding temperatures as low as 62 degrees in operating rooms.
"You come into a hospital and they give you this flimsy little cloth gown," said an anesthesiologist. "Operating rooms are cold. Recovery rooms often are a little chilly."
The disposable Bair Paws gowns cost about $10.50 each.
FBI agent ate his way into mob boss' heart
NEW YORK, May 18 (UPI) -- Once-svelte undercover FBI agent Joaquin Garcia gained 80 pounds while infiltrating the New York mob, a change noticed by the judge hearing the charges.
"Were you slim before you started this case?" New York federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein asked the now-retired agent, who testified Tuesday about secretly recorded chats during meals with accused mobster Greg DePalma.
The fake GoodFella confessed he had become a fat fellow while posing as Jack Falcone during his 2-year undercover stint.
"I gained a good 80 pounds in this case," said Garcia. "I did a lot of eating."
The judge allowed Garcia to dodge a later defense question about how heavily he tips the scales, The New York Daily News reported.
Garcia was so convincing that DePalma in October 2004 invited him to join the mob family once headed by John Gotti, the newspaper reported of trial testimony.
Survey: Men more hooked on Web surfing
SAN DIEGO, May 18 (UPI) -- A survey of U.S employees has found men spend more time surfing the Internet at work than women do and are more prone to personal surfing on the job.
The study by Websense, a publisher of web security and Web filtering productivity software, polled 851 people on their work habits and the Internet.
The survey found 65 percent of men who access the Internet from work admitted to accessing non work-related Web sites during work hours, vs. 58 percent of women.
Additionally, more men than women view online pornography at work. Whether it was by accident or on purpose, 16 percent of men said they had visited a porn site while at work, while 8 percent of women had done so. Of those who admitted viewing pornography sites at work, 6 percent of the men and 5 percent of the women said it was intentional.
When asked if they would rather give up their morning coffee or their ability to use the Internet at work for personal reasons, 54 percent of men said they would rather give up coffee. In comparison, 47 percent of women stated they would rather give up their coffee.
British town offers free dog-talk lessons
PETERBOROUGH, England, May 18 (UPI) -- The Peterborough, England, City Council is offering free dog-talk lessons in its effort to battle barking, which accounts for 15 percent of noise complaints.
"When dogs are left on their own they can often bark for hours at a time," Pollution Control Officer Laura Bradley told the London Telegraph.
Next week's free training will include a dog behaviorist, a veterinarian and a nurse "who will explain why dogs bark, what they are saying and how to stop the problem," Bradley said.
The dog-talk seminar will coincide with Peterborough's Noise Action Week.
Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has produced a guide for the country's 6.8 million dog owners.
Aside from barking, which is responsible for an estimated 25 percent of British noise complaints, the guide covers whines, whimpers, howls, growls and tooth snapping.