Ultimate Pittsburgh Test Drive: Get Behind the Controls of a Surgical Robot

If you ever wondered what it was like to perform surgery, now’s your chance.

PHOTO: da Vinci Surgical Robotic System

The Allegheny Health Network is inviting anyone who wants to step into a surgeon’s shoes and get behind the controls of the da Vinci Surgical Robotic System.

You can “test drive” the robot on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 6-8 p.m. at the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion on 12311 Perry Highway.

The da Vinci was first developed by NASA for operating remotely on astronauts. It also has been used by the military to operate on soldiers in the battlefield.

Each of the robot’s six arms contains a tool that enhances a surgeon’s visualization, dexterity and precision. It allows delicate and complex surgical procedures to be performed through very small incisions.

Cutting edge, indeed.

—Richard Cook

#Rachel Lambert Mellon's Good Taste Worth Millions

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And at a Sotheby’s auction, value is in the flashing bid paddle of the buyer.

Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon was an avid collector of art and objects that appealed to her; she had a particular passion for the color blue. Even after she and her husband Paul Mellon, son of Pittsburgh financier Andrew W. Mellon, donated or willed away more than 900 works of art there still were quite a few left over.

Sotheby’s sale of the 43 “masterworks” brought in $158.7 million. Rothkos, Diebenkorns and even a Georgia O’Keefe painting were among the pieces bid on by the likes of fashion designer Valentino.

—Margaret J. Krauss

#Need a Pick-me-Up? Try a Room Full of Rabbits

The Internet, from whence cometh all manner of serotonin-releasing cuteness, pales in comparison to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

Every Saturday from 2-4:30 p.m., the society’s rabbits are brought together for the weekly Bunny Romp.

The romp is just as jubilant as its name suggests — a room full of nose-rumpling, ear-cleaning, hip-hopping bunnies indulging in exercise and community socialization.

Beyond satisfying that deep corner of the soul reserved for the small and fuzzy, the weekly event allows potential adopters to better get to know their adoptees. Attendees are asked to not pick up or chase the rabbits. Bunny Buddies, the rabbits’ human caretakers, are on hand to answer questions such as, “What do I do if I’m feeling overwhelmed by joy?” or “Can I adopt them all?”

—Margaret J. Kraus




Categories: The 412