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O kay, so the fact that computers are changing society is hardly news. But the ways they're changing specific industries can still be pretty amazing. For instance, lawyers used to require access to huge libraries of fat books filled with court cases and other minutiae. Now it's possible to access that same information via nothing more than an elegant laptop computer. Lucky lawyers. As the article Mouse Calls shows, a similar shift is taking place in the medical industry. While microchips may never replace scalpels and medicines, many of a doctor's most time-consuming duties, including basic diagnosis, may soon be automated and available through the Internet. The question, of course, is whether this is for better or for worse? And how will people tell the difference between legitimate online physicians and snake-oil salesmen?

Pressing questions, there. Downright stressful. Let's take a break and look into the fun-filled lives of Jerry's Kids. No, I'm not talking about those poor, disabled recipients of telethon funds. I'm talking about Jerry Springer's bouncers, who are interviewed, over beers, in this fine feature story. There was once a time when fisticuffs on trash-TV talk shows were so rare that when they did occur, they merited national news coverage. Now they're as common as soap commercials. What's the world coming to?

Speaking of violence, read this article to find out why so many of today's letter carriers are "going postal" (my theory: they spend the whole day handling mail -- who wouldn't go crazy?). Then take a look at this editorial for a realistic response to the latest efforts of the hooded neanderthals over at the Ku Klux Klan.

If you've been as sick as I've been during the last week and a half, you might want to check in on these articles -- one about the flu, and one about Poop-Berry Tummy Ache Syndrome. Deadly. And if you'd like to fight what ails ye with a healthy does of know-it-all reading, be sure to check in on Letters @ 3AM, in which our intrepid columnist looks back at the past year; and Mr. Smarty Pants, who never gets caught with his pants down, intellectually speaking anyway.

Doctor's advice: stay warm, drink plenty of fluids, and keep on reading Weekly Wire. I'll bill you later.

Volume I, Issue 32
January 12 - January 20, 1998

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Mouse Calls
Internet access to medical information is changing people's lives -- but is it always for the better? [2]
Tinker Ready

Talk Toughs
Carrying on with Jerry Springer's kids. [3]
Sam Weller

One in a Million
How many women does it take to stage a march? And what do they get out of it? [4]
Khivka Pratt

Time to "Go Postal"
By rewarding administrators and increasing the average carrier's load, the U.S. Postal Service has concocted a recipe for on-the-job stress -- or "going postal." [5]
David Madison


Opinion
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Calling All White People!
An open message to the white race about the Ku Klux Klan. [6]
Phil Campbell

Letters @ 3 AM
Letters @ 3 AM. [7]
Michael Ventura


Columns
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"Just Passing Through"
Walter Jowers spins the best cellular phone story you'll ever hear. [8]
Walter Jowers

"By Degrees"
The flu bugs Margaret Renkl's household. [9]
Margaret Renkl

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [10]
R.U. Steinberg


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