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This Just In: Jan 30 - Feb 6 

Take a Bowel

Summary: Beware! A nasty "stomach bug" is crippling our metropolis! Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Dr. Maria Simbra When it Aired: Jan. 25 Running Time: 2 minutes, 3 seconds Visuals: * A boy sticking his tongue out as he's examined by a doctor. * Another of Dr. Maria's famous examination-room posters of bodily innards. * An oddly out-of-place film of people participating in some sort of dance class -- apparently meant to illustrate recuperation. Highlights: * When anchor Kristine Sorensen boldly suggests, "Either you've gotten it or you know someone who has: the stomach bug. It seems to be hitting pretty hard this winter, but you can avoid getting it." * When Simbra begins, "You could say this is the season for this illness. ... Some families in our area have been affected. In fact, over the past few weeks, one in 10 children coming to the Children's Hospital emergency department have the typical symptoms." * When a young woman conveys the powerful effect of this enigmatic, etymological beast: "It's goin' around through school pretty bad. I know my teacher's even been out sick." * When another man scoffs at the bug, with a different diagnosis: "Actually, my mom -- I just got off the phone with her -- she's sick right now but I think it's more ah, like a chest thing, like a pneumonia thing." * When an impervious man in a ponytail exclaims, "I've got a pretty good constitution. So I think I'll be fine." * When Simbra explains, in doctor terms, this diabolical disorder plaguing us: "The stomach flu is really a viral infection of the digestive tract, a viral gastroenteritis. Common viruses that do this are rotavirus and norovirus. Either way, the symptoms are the same: nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea." * When she offers a cathode ray of hope -- "In a few days, people usually feel better" -- but with a caveat: "There's no specific treatment for a viral gastroenteritis, and really, the over-the-counter diarrhea remedies can cause cramping and delay recovery. To keep from getting sick, don't share household items and frequently wash your hands. Even if you take precautions, you could still get sick because these viruses are highly contagious. Luckily, they quickly run their course." * When she concludes "Now, call your doctor if you haven't been able to keep liquids down for 24 hours, if you're not making much urine or if your temperature is over 102." What We Learned: I guess urine big trouble when you can't pee. Unanswered Question: So you can't really avoid getting it unless you live in an underground bunker, can you, Kristine? News Value: 2. I diagnose Dr. Simbra with boobonic plague after this one.

The Scoop on Poop

Summary: There's a new exhibit in town that counters the moroseness of Bodies: The Exhibition with levity Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Andrew Stockey When it Aired: Jan. 25 Running Time: 1 minute, 30 seconds Visuals: * A museum display entitled "Turd Trivia." * An interactive map on which you can press a country and find out how they say "poop." * Footage of a dung beetle rolling a ball of um, dung. Highlights: * When Stockey digs right in: "Doo-doo, ca-ca, feces -- you know all the names, but did you know all the uses and the stories behind poop? Well, you can get educated this weekend, right here at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History" * When Stockey drops this one: "It's not great dinner conversation, but there is much to learn from what we all leave behind." * When perky poop-promoter Ellen James of the Carnegie Museum concedes, "Some people may hear about this exhibit and think that it sounds gross or weird or just plain funny, and they're right -- it's all of that, but you're actually gonna learn a lot about the science of poop." * After we hear the familiar sound of a toilet flushing, and Stockey says, "That sound usually marks the end of our involvement with waste. But elsewhere, poop serves many purposes." * When James explains, "Even in the human world, we use it for fertilizer; it's an issue of how we dispose of it. And even some people build houses out of it and even have recreation like cow-chip tossing. So there is a wide world of poop." * When Stockey adds this stinker: "And a wide world of ways to label those leftovers." * When we hear the recorded voice of a museum exhibit explain, "In Spanish, we say ca-ca and poo-poo." * When Stockey continues, "The display is designed with children in mind. I mean, what kid hasn't wanted to race in a dung-beetle derby?" (He does have a point, there.) * When Stockey excretes one final word of advice: "While this exhibit promises the whole poop, there is one thing missing -- you won't find a roll of toilet paper anywhere around." What We Learned: This story will totally have you flushing. Unanswered Question: How in the hell did Stockey get through this story without cracking his shit up? News Value: 7. Da doo-doo-doo, da ca-ca-ca, is all I want to say to you ...

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