Livin' on the MDedge

Have you heard the one about the cow in the doctor’s office?


Maybe the cow was late for its appointment

It’s been a long day running the front desk at your doctor’s office. People calling in prescriptions, a million appointments, you’ve been running yourself ragged keeping things together. Finally, it’s almost closing time. The last patient of the day has just checked out and you turn back to the waiting room, expecting to see it blessedly empty.

Instead, a 650-pound cow is staring at you.

“I’m sorry, sir or madam, we’re about to close.”



“I understand it’s important, but seriously, the doctor’s about to …”


“Fine, I’ll see what we can do for you. What’s your insurance?”

Moo Cross Moo Shield.

“Sorry, we don’t take that. You’ll have to go someplace else.”

This is probably not how things went down recently at Orange (Va.) Family Physicians, when they had a cow break into the office. Cows don’t have health insurance.

The intrepid bovine was being transferred to a new home when it jumped off the trailer and wandered an eighth of a mile to Orange Family Physicians, where the cow wranglers found it hanging around outside. Unfortunately, this was a smart cow, and it bolted as it saw the wranglers, crashing through the glass doors into the doctor’s office. Though neither man had ever wrangled a cow from inside a building, they ultimately secured a rope around the cow’s neck and escorted it back outside, tying it to a nearby pole to keep it from further adventures.

One of the wranglers summed up the situation quite nicely on his Facebook page: “You ain’t no cowboy if you don’t rope a calf out of a [doctor’s] office.”

We can see that decision in your eyes

The cliché that eyes are the windows to the soul doesn’t tell the whole story about how telling eyes really are. It’s all about how they move. In a recent study, researchers determined that a type of eye movement known as a saccade reveals your choice before you even decide.

Close-up of eyes pxfuel

Saccades involve the eyes jumping from one fixation point to another, senior author Alaa Ahmed of the University of Colorado, Boulder, explained in a statement from the university. Saccade vigor was the key in how aligned the type of decisions were made by the 22 study participants.

In the study, subjects walked on a treadmill at varied inclines for a period of time. Then they sat in front of a monitor and a high-speed camera that tracked their eye movements as the monitor presented them with a series of exercise options. The participants had only 4 seconds to choose between them.

After they made their choices, participants went back on the treadmill to perform the exercises they had chosen. The researchers found that participants’ eyes jumped between the options slowly then faster to the option they eventually picked. The more impulsive decision-makers also tended to move their eyes even more rapidly before slowing down after a decision was made, making it pretty conclusive that the eyes were revealing their choices.

The way your eyes shift gives you away without saying a thing. Might be wise, then, to wear sunglasses to your next poker tournament.


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