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  #1  
Old 10 August 2007, 07:54 AM
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Cell Phone Surgically alters thumbs to better use iPhone

This almost sounds like an Onion article:

--------------------------------------

Thomas Martel, 28, of Bonnie Brae is a big guy. So he has a hard time using the features on ever-shrinking user interfaces on devices like his new iPhone. At least, he did, until he had his thumbs surgically altered in a revolutionary new surgical technique known as "whittling."

http://northdenvernews.com/content/view/922/2/
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  #2  
Old 10 August 2007, 04:34 PM
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Googling this turns up only a couple of articles identical to this one, and Dr. Robert Fox Spars turns up nothing whatsoever. I did find and Ira Spars at The Hospital of Central Conneticut, but I'm not convinced it's the same guy.

I'm skeptical.
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  #3  
Old 10 August 2007, 09:00 PM
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I can't find any other internet mention of a "Dr. Robert Fox Spars" - as a plastic surgeon, you'd think his name would be online somewhere. Even a "Dr. Robert Spars" turned up zero results. A listing of "board certified plastic surgeons" in Colorado also was missing the name or variations.

While Thomas Martel claims to be tech obsessed, I was unable to find a match for his name around Bonnie Brae or Denver, CO.

The article also doesn't mention where the surgery was performed, just the patient, which seems like a key detail any respectable journalist would have included.

The other missing question/answer is how the dude thought to seek out a plastic surgeon for the "whittling" - and I can't find any other reference to this type of surgery online.

In short, not a single detail corroborated.
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  #4  
Old 11 August 2007, 07:34 AM
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Ponder Thumbs Surgically Altered For iPhone? Think Again

Quote:
Tech sites around the Web swiftly picked up this story and repeated it as fact. I dunno, maybe it was the Onion-esque headline. Or maybe it was the fact that the iPhone doesn't have tiny little buttons, or maybe it was the closing quote ("Opening spaghetti sauce jars has been a problem. That was a big surprise.") Anyway, I just didn't buy it.
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/..._surgical.html
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  #5  
Old 11 August 2007, 08:35 PM
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As someone who already lost a good part of a thumb, rest assured no responsible surgeon is going to do anything like that without a very good reason.
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  #6  
Old 11 August 2007, 08:48 PM
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Since the iPhone was just released June 29th, I think fake. He would have had to get an iPhone, decide to alter his hands to use it, find a surgeon willing to completely ignore the ethics, have the surgery, and recover -- all in under six weeks. I don't buy it.

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  #7  
Old 12 August 2007, 06:23 AM
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Default CONFIRMED: Hoax

An editors note in the North Denver News admits the whole thing is a hoax but takes a condescending tone towards anyone who who discussed whether it was or not:

Quote:
Strangely, while many readers have grasped that "Surgically alters thumbs" represents satirical social commentary, many on the internet, alas, have not.

Careful reading of the piece makes it clear to any critical consumer of information that the piece is pure humor and not news or reported as fact.
Since I've never read the North Denver News, I was not aware they inserted the occasional "humor piece" in with hard news... but then again, I didn't know of any respectable news organizations who did the either (bar for the occasional April Fools joke). Regardless, I think the Denver News missed the point - few believed the story was true, but many believed it was the Denver News who was hoaxed.
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  #8  
Old 12 August 2007, 07:35 PM
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New page on the ULRP: http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/iphonethumb.asp

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