Flashbacks: BU Med School's controversial live-animal labs, dissing the Dukester, and stoned stupid

10 years ago
February 27, 1998 | Sarah McNaught discovered that Boston University’s medical school was still offering live-animal labs for would-be doctors.

“AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY, spring is the time for first-year medical students to put their textbook learning to the test. Each week, students break up into groups of three and attend three-hour labs in which a professor straps a rabbit to a table, anesthetizes it, cuts it open, and shows the students how various medicinal injections affect the animal’s heart rate and blood pressure. When the lab is over, the animals are killed.

“This type of lab has been offered at BU since 1970...What the students are supposed to walk away with is a clearer perception of the way a human’s organs might function under the influence of medications like dopamine and epinephrine. ‘It’s all for the sake of science,’ says Dr. Benjamin Kaminer, chairman of the medical school’s physiology department.” Read the Full Article

20 years ago
February 26, 1988 | Ric Kahn relayed what one dumbass voter in Kentucky had to say about Michael Dukakis’s chances in the presidential election.
“As the high-riding Michael Dukakis looks southward, seeking, as all pols do, to employ the wisdom of that noted political consultant Phineas Taylor (‘There’s a sucker born every minute’) Barnum, one Southerner suggests that the Duke would be better off trading his presidential bid for the top for a stab at life under the Big Top.

“Here’s how one Kentuckian from Louisville sized up the Dukester when asked by larger-than-life New York Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin, ‘Do you know Dukakis?’

“ ‘I know he’s a little bitty guy, no way anybody that small goin’ get anybody votin’ for him for President. He ought to run for president of the circus, for that’s where he got to go to find somebody short enough to be vice-president.’ ”

30 years ago
February 28, 1978| For the Phoenix’s “Sightings” column, Jack Bresnahan picked on a couple of folks he spied at Star
Market.                                                                                                                                                          “They were a couple up from the ranks. She had won the lottery perhaps, or was the sole heir to some distant mogul. She wallowed in furs, was a beady-eyed, plump, erect mink. Wealth had ruined her husband. Once he’d been Al who lugged tools, yelled orders, and made things...
“...At the edge of Fresh Vegetables she tethered him with a look and went off to squeeze tomatoes. There, when satisfied, she summoned him by name and beckon. ‘Al-bert.’

“He leaned into his load, head down, and at an intersection crashed with a younger man’s cart. Groceries trembled, some fell out. As they repacked, both men shrugged grins which claimed fault.

“From over by the scales the wife pinned blame...The words were flung, but they were really only habit-words, automatic, hollow as winter squashes...

“For a minute, looking at the younger man, Albert’s fleshy face was keen. He was Al for a minute, maker of things. Earner. He almost spoke...But the fury snuck back down inside his eyes and left his face simple...Then...There was nothing left in his face at all. ‘Come here, Albert.’

“He bent forward and pushed, his face low over the pile of Life cereal and chicken breasts and Pepperidge Farm cookies. To these things he softly said, ‘Shit.’ ”

35 years ago
February 27, 1973| Andrew Kopkind deliberated on the drug culture, or lack thereof.
“The trouble with the drug culture, according to the wise and weird Dr. Humphrey Osmond, is that it is all drugs and no culture. Fantasies of permanently High Society with turned-on politics and cosmic consciousness have lately been dispelled. The stoned segment of the populace...seem no more able to cope with its violence, alienation, and boredom than can the straights in charge...Acid rock, psychedelic art, light shows and doper movies are consigned to narrow moments of nostalgia. The seething creativity of the drug era produced as its masterpiece nothing greater than the musical ‘Hair,’ which now must stand with the Mona Lisa and ‘Don Giovanni’ as the representative work of art of an age of Western civilization. It’s true that the national ‘drug experience’ of the late Sixties did invade mass culture: but in ways that few of the old heads of that era would have predicted, or appreciated.”


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