Help Dr. Dalai Quiz Advanced Visualization Vendors!

I’m hoping my loyal and wise readers can give me a hand. As you know, we are set to have a “shoot out” between several Advanced Visualization vendors next Wednesday. The list as it stands includes GE, Philips, TeraRecon, Siemens, and Vital Images, narrowed mostly by our initial look at CT scanners.

This is a big decision with lots of money involved, and we want to do it right. Therefore, I’m turning to my friends out there for advice. Here are the basic questions we are asking the vendors. PLEASE let me know if we’ve left something out…

  • Please provide a brief overview of your system. A drawing would be great.
  • What is your licensing scheme for both thin and thick clients? 
  • Are there two tiers of functionality? Please elaborate on which functions are included for each level. In particular, do you offer on thick and/or thin client:
    • Coronary/cardiac evaluation
    • Stent planning
    • Brain perfusion
    • PET/CT with automatic registration and propagation of lesion ROI’s from prior to new study
    • SPECT/CT processing
    • Fusion of any two modalities
    • Creation of report-quality AVI’s
    • Transparent/translucent bone rendering
    • Vessel seeding/growing
  • Is any special hardware required for the thick client?
  • How many servers are required for full functionality? Is there a user or a slice limit per server? Please outline or provide a table to illustrate.
  • Does the thin client require any additional software to be installed, i.e. Java, .NET, etc. If so, what version?
  • Will the thin client work on a MacOSX, iOS, Android? Does either thin or thick client function well in a Citrix environment, the latter utilized on desktop machine or mobile device with iOS or Android?
  • How does the user login to either product? Does the system have its own user database or can it authenticate to Active Directory? 
  • Has your product been fully integrated with IMPAX 6.5? Please describe the usual workflow we would experience when accessing a study on your system via IMPAX.
  • How will we handle routing of separate datasets to your system as opposed to PACS? (We will likely want to send full thin-slice images to your server but not to PACS itself.)

Have I forgotten anything? Oh, yes…Happy New Year, everyone!!!!

ADDENDUM

Here are the questions in final form as sent to the various vendors:

Advanced Visualization Demonstration Questions

General

  • Please provide a brief overview of your system. A drawing would be great. Handouts are appreciated.
  • How many servers are required for full functionality? Is there a user or a slice limit per server?
  • Please outline or provide a table to illustrate.
  • What is your licensing scheme for both thick and thin Clients?
  • Are there 2 Tiers of functionality, as in Thin and Thick Client? Please elaborate on the functionality available for each Tier.
  • Will both clients function well in a Citrix environment?
  • What is the client to server ratio for each type of Client?
  • Does the thick client require any special hardware?
  • How does the user login to either product?
  • Does the system have its own user database or can it authenticate to Active Directory?
  • What type of auditing functionality does it have?
  • Has your product been fully integrated with AGFA’s IMPAX 6.5? Please describe the usual workflow we would experience when accessing a study on your system via IMPAX. (Any images created on your system would be stored on IMPAX.)
  • How will we handle routing of separate datasets to your system as opposed to IMPAX? We will likely want to send full thin-slice images to your server but not to IMPAX.

Thin Client

  • How do you access the thin client?
  • Is it URL based?
  • Is it dependant on a specific browser or require any additional software to be installed, i.e. Java, .NET, etc? If so what version?
  • Will the thin client work on a MacOSX, iOS, or Android?
  • How many concurrent users can it support?
  • In situations with low bandwidth (outside the Hospitals) how does the thin client perform?
  • What happens if the connection between server and client times out?

Hopefully we haven’t missed much.

My primary goal is to see how these various systems will perform in a pseudo-production environment. I do realize that some of the demonstrations will be hobbled by the restraints WE have placed on the vendors. We are asking them to use data from OUR scanners (which include both GE and Siemens), and we have NOT given the cases to them in advance. Some vendors noted that their automation depends on “learning” the scanners from their DICOM headers, and I almost caved on this issue, but ultimately decided to keep the playing field completely level, for better or worse.

Staging this sort of comparison is quite interesting, and the emotions and actions inspired can be amusing as well. One vendor wanted to place servers in our data center as a long-term demo. Another, as above, wanted the data in advance to train its automation on our particulars. Several requested connections to IMPAX for the demo. We said “no” to all of these, although I’m still wondering if we needlessly limited some of the vendors in our efforts to be “fair” to all. We’ll see.

Doing my research at RSNA was fun as well. I had the chance to meet several of the CEO’s of the companies involved, some after more or less showing up at their carpeted ranches unannounced. (I did not get to GE’s mega-booth, which took some maneuvering to avoid, but I’m sure Jeff Immelt had better things to do than talk to me anyway.) All but one vendor seemed quite interested in making sure I saw what I needed to see; the outlier found an apps person who was clearly brilliant, knew the product inside and out, and barely spoke a word of English. Next time, I’ll be courteous enough to make an appointment.

In the end, we probably won’t go wrong with any of these fine products. I’m just hoping to find the marriage made in I.T. Heaven, although those are probably contradictory terms…

Duh…Importing Outside Studies Into PACS Avoids Repeats

See the recent Aunt Minnie article with a similar title. Basically, someone did some research and found that if a patient has an outside study on CD, AND it imports successfully, they are less likely to undergo additional imaging.

(Graph courtesy Sodickson, et. al., August 2011 Radiology, 260,408-413.)

Gee whiz, folks, is anyone surprised? We don’t have to repeat studies performed an hour ago as long as we can actually see them? Knock me over with a feather.

This is such an obvious observation that I’m really surprised at Radiology for publishing it, although I guess one has to prove everything in this day and age. The AuntMinnie article cites a talk at RSNA by Michael Lu yielding similar observations about hepatocellular cancer patients.

My thought is, of course, to avoid even the CD, and have direct transmission of the prior exam into the system where the patient now resides. lifeIMAGE, for example, does this very well. In my humble opinion, there is no longer any need for the fragile and fickle CD-ROM’s. The only impediment to switching away is politics, which will be overcome sooner or later. Why not get on the bandwagon now? This is such a no-brainer, it isn’t even funny.

Hat tip to The Once and Former PACSMan.

Chicago Sun-Times To Be Sold…To Consortium Including Merge/Merrick’s Ferro

Yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times reports that the venerable paper is to be sold to a consortium of investors including Michael Ferro, of Merge Healthcare and Merrick Ventures fame:

The sale of Chicago’s No. 2 newspaper is imminent, sources close to the situation said.

Sun-Times Media is expected to announce Wednesday that it has struck a deal to be bought by a group of local investors led by Michael Ferro, chief executive of Chicago-based Merrick Ventures, a technology holding company. The group also includes John Canning, chairman of Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

The new group plans to name Timothy Knight, the former publisher and CEO of Newsday, which was once controlled by Chicago-based Tribune Co., as CEO of its holding company, sources said.

Existing Sun-Times investors who will remain stakeholders include Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz as well as Mesirow CEO Richard Price.

Talk about branching out! There are some nay-sayers out there, however, who obviously aren’t aware of Mr. Ferro’s financial accumen:

Many industry observers have scratched their heads over why the new group is plunging into the newspaper business at such a perilous time for the industry and the economy. The Sun-Times emerged from bankruptcy with little debt, and the paper has dramatically reduced costs under Halbreich by, among other things, slashing its workforce and outsourcing its printing operations to Tribune’s Freedom Center.

But as is the case for almost every newspaper company, the Sun-Times’ revenue has been under pressure for years as advertisers, like readers, gravitate toward the Internet. Tyree’s group (In 2009, an investor group led by Mesirow’s previous CEO, Jim Tyree, rescued the Sun-Times from bankruptcy for about $25 million. Tyree died earlier this year. The Tyree group paid $5 million in cash for the company and agreed to take on $20 million in liabilities) tried to reverse the trend by emphasizing a digital strategy aimed at making the most of relatively strong Web traffic. But it is too early to tell whether a recent initiative to boost revenue by charging for some online content will pay off.

One longtime industry executive speculated that the risk the new investors are taking may be mitigated by the acquisition price. That has yet to be disclosed but will likely reflect the fact that the Sun-Times remains a work in progress in an industry under siege, the executive said.

Rescuing the Sun-Times might be harder than rescuing Merge, given the fact that print newspapers are going the way of the buggy-whip and corded telephones. Merge was purchased for pennies (?dimes?) on the dollar, and rapidly turned toward success. Look for some unusual paradigm changes that will turn the Times around in a way none of us would expect. Like maybe an iPhone/iPad app that checks your pulse as you read the e-newspaper and adjusts content accordingly. Who knows?

I’d like to be the first to apply for special PACS correspondant for the Sun-Times. There might be better writers on staff, but none who can write from the heart like yours truly..

Chicago Sun-Times To Be Sold…To Consortium Including Merge/Merrick’s Ferro

Yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times reports that the venerable paper is to be sold to a consortium of investors including Michael Ferro, of Merge Healthcare and Merrick Ventures fame:

The sale of Chicago’s No. 2 newspaper is imminent, sources close to the situation said.

Sun-Times Media is expected to announce Wednesday that it has struck a deal to be bought by a group of local investors led by Michael Ferro, chief executive of Chicago-based Merrick Ventures, a technology holding company. The group also includes John Canning, chairman of Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

The new group plans to name Timothy Knight, the former publisher and CEO of Newsday, which was once controlled by Chicago-based Tribune Co., as CEO of its holding company, sources said.

Existing Sun-Times investors who will remain stakeholders include Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz as well as Mesirow CEO Richard Price.

Talk about branching out! There are some nay-sayers out there, however, who obviously aren’t aware of Mr. Ferro’s financial accumen:

Many industry observers have scratched their heads over why the new group is plunging into the newspaper business at such a perilous time for the industry and the economy. The Sun-Times emerged from bankruptcy with little debt, and the paper has dramatically reduced costs under Halbreich by, among other things, slashing its workforce and outsourcing its printing operations to Tribune’s Freedom Center.

But as is the case for almost every newspaper company, the Sun-Times’ revenue has been under pressure for years as advertisers, like readers, gravitate toward the Internet. Tyree’s group (In 2009, an investor group led by Mesirow’s previous CEO, Jim Tyree, rescued the Sun-Times from bankruptcy for about $25 million. Tyree died earlier this year. The Tyree group paid $5 million in cash for the company and agreed to take on $20 million in liabilities) tried to reverse the trend by emphasizing a digital strategy aimed at making the most of relatively strong Web traffic. But it is too early to tell whether a recent initiative to boost revenue by charging for some online content will pay off.

One longtime industry executive speculated that the risk the new investors are taking may be mitigated by the acquisition price. That has yet to be disclosed but will likely reflect the fact that the Sun-Times remains a work in progress in an industry under siege, the executive said.

Rescuing the Sun-Times might be harder than rescuing Merge, given the fact that print newspapers are going the way of the buggy-whip and corded telephones. Merge was purchased for pennies (?dimes?) on the dollar, and rapidly turned toward success. Look for some unusual paradigm changes that will turn the Times around in a way none of us would expect. Like maybe an iPhone/iPad app that checks your pulse as you read the e-newspaper and adjusts content accordingly. Who knows?

I’d like to be the first to apply for special PACS correspondant for the Sun-Times. There might be better writers on staff, but none who can write from the heart like yours truly..

Mar-Mar, Misses, and Madness

Not long before RSNA, we lost Marion, my mother-in-law, affectionately known as “Mar-Mar”. Her health had been deteriorating for a while, and then she fell, compressed a couple of vertebrae, and spiraled down quite rapidly. Fortunately, she had left instructions to avoid all heroic measures, and she died peacefully with Mrs. Dalai and I and her long-term care nurse by her side. I hope to go in the same manner, although not for quite a while.

In the course of working up her fractures, it was discovered that she had a mass, which turned out to be malignant. I asked her physician to review her images with us prior to biopsy, and there was indeed a truly ugly lesion. The hospital used a PACS that shows thumbnails, and we could easily see a very tiny image from a study performed last year. And that thumbnail quite clearly showed the very same lesion, although somewhat smaller. Mar-Mar’s cancer had been missed, and allowed to progress for at least 10 months.

In her particular case, this was a blessing.  Rather than prolong her dying with futile and probably painful therapy, the miss prolonged her living. She had 10 months of having lunch with the ladies, playing cards, and generally doing what she wanted to do. We have no regrets, and no anger toward those who made the error.

That last one is the most important item for today’s discussion. Anger plays a huge part in the deterioration of our society, in general, and in the medical malpractice game in particular. Let me diverge a moment to tell you about something that happened to me a few days ago. Bear with me and the relationship will become clear.

I was at the neighborhood strip mall, having mailed a package at the Post Office branch. I started to pull out of the parking place with my lumbering, gas-guzzling SUV, when to my shock, I saw a beat-up little red sedan cruise right behind me. I slammed on my brakes, fortunately in time, and avoided the otherwise inevitable accident. I suppose it would have been my fault had I hit, but I had looked both ways, and I’ve got to assume the driver sped up as I started out of my parking spot. But that isn’t the important detail. The driver, a girl in her 20’s wearing a black chef’s tunic, stopped about 20 feet from me, got out of her car, and started shaking her fist and yelling, while a young bearded male in the passenger seat sat and watched the show.  I waved gently, as if to say, “yeah, I know, but we’re all OK.” She kept it up, so I drove off the other way. She followed me for a mile or so, then got tired of it and went on her way.

What does this have to do with misses and malpractice? I’ve got enough friends who happen to be litigators to know that two things drive a malpractice suit: anger and greed/envy, and they go hand-in-hand. (And as an aside, the majority of cases appear to reach the attention of a lawyer because ANOTHER DOCTOR told the patient that something wasn’t done as well as HE would have done it.) As with the young lady driving the beat-up car, an accident or even an incident that approaches such is enough to promote rage in some of us, perhaps even most of us. It doesn’t matter that the act was unintentional. I did not set out yesterday to trash some kid’s little red jalopy. I think it’s also reasonable to say that no physician decides some morning to cause harm to his patient. A missed finding, like a parking-lot collision, is an accident. It is not meant to happen, and everyone would prefer that it doesn’t. This is where greed and envy can augment the madness of rage. The young lady above, at some level, realized that my truck was likely worth 8-10 times what her beater might bring, and no doubt this got her all the more riled.  Why should that doofus have a nice car? Who gave him the right to almost plow into me? He must think he owns the road, having an expensive car like that. I’ll show him! 

In the case of a miss or other adventure in medical errors, I think the same thing applies, although certainly with a little more justification. There is clearly a relationship between doctor and patient. If something goes wrong, the patient feels betrayed And the patient gets angry. Given the perception of docs as wealthy, the next step in the mental equation may become: he hurt me (or could have hurt me) and he’s going to pay! He can afford it!

While a financial award could put a car back together again, it may not be able to fix what was broken by the medical error. Somewhere along the way, our society has decided that money can compensate for the damage, and maybe that is true. However, juries of our “peers” are wont to award huge sums as punitive measure to “punish” the “bad” doctor. And let us not forget the fact that the litigator might receive 30-50% of the proceeds.

This is wrong. The whole scenario is horrible, and accomplishes nothing but padding the pockets of the litigating AND the defending lawyers. It leads to millions and billions of dollars spent for “cover your ass” procedures and tests. And it’s all predicated on the anger over an accident and the thought that there might be a gold-mine to be had having won the malpractice lottery. This must stop.

I want this to be Mar-Mar’s legacy: we must forgive those who make honest mistakes. We need to remove  anger, greed and envy (and lawyers) from the equation, and somehow set up some entity, some body or board, that would determine actual damages and arrange for those to be made as whole as possible, but without multi-million dollar punitive, redistributive, awards . I know this is next to impossible, as there is way too much money to be made by trying “rich” doctors in front of a jury of their “peers” who would love nothing more than to sock it to them. But it is the right thing, and all but those who profit from the malpractice industry, not just the lawyers, but the plaintiff whores who sell their testimony, know that I’m spot on.  Mar-Mar would approve.

How The Kvetch Stole Chanukah

Dalai’s Note:  I was trying to think of a Christmas theme to pervert for next year’s RSNA article. Dalai, Jr. suggested something about the Grinch (or GErinch) stealing RSNA, and in my creative fervor, the phrase, “all the Joos down in Joo-ville” came to mind. I Googled this, and found that someone had beaten me to the punch (line). I present the absolutely hilarious piece by David Goldstein below. (If the terminology is confusing, ask one of your Joo-ish friends. If you don’t have any Joo-ish friends, don’t bother reading!)

Every Joo
Down in Joo-ville
Liked Chanukah as such…

But the Kvetch,
Who lived just north of Joo-ville,
… not so much.

The Kvetch hated Chanukah, the whole Chanukah season.
Now don’t ask me why. What? Should I know the reason?
It could be he wasn’t a mensch, that is all.
Or his petzel, perhaps, was two sizes too small.
Such meshug’as comes from one thing or another,
But like most Joo-ish boys, we should just blame his mother!

But,
The reason, whatever,
His mom or his putz,
The Kvetch hated Chanukah. Oy, what a yutz!
For he knew every Joo down in Joo-ville tonight
Was busy preparing menorahs to light.

“And they’re giving out gelt!” he sighed as he said
“I need waxy chocolate like holes in my head!”
Then he nervously whined as his fingers tapped horas,
“I MUST stop the Joos from igniting menorahs!”

For,
The Kvetch knew that soon…

… All the Joo girls and boys
Would say the baruch’ha, then unwrap their toys!
And then! Oh, the oys! Oh, the Oys! Oys! Oys! Oys!
If it’s not what they wanted, the OYS! OYS! OYS! OYS!

Then the Joos, young and old, would sit down for a nosh.
And they’d nosh! And they’d nosh!
And they’d NOSH! NOSH! NOSH! NOSH!
They would nosh on Joo-latkes, and Gefilte-Joo-Fish,
Which was surely the Kvetch’s least favorite dish!

And THEN
They’d do something
Which made the Kvetch plotz!
Every Joo down in Joo-ville, Bar Mitzvahed or not,
Would sit down together, their proud ponim’s grinning.
Then dreidels in hand, all the Joos would start spinning!

They’d spin! And they’d spin!
AND they’d SPIN! SPIN! SPIN! SPIN!
And the more the Kvetch thought of this Joo-Dreidel-Spin,
The more the Kvetch thought, “I can’t let this begin!
“Oy, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
“Chanukah, Schmanukah! Stop it!
… But HOW?”

Then he got an idea!
And the moment he had,
He said
“I’m no Einstein, but this… not half bad!”

“I know just what to do!” Then he donned an old sheet,
And dug up some sandals to wear on his feet.
“I’m the Prophet Elijiah! They’ve set me a plate!”
(For the Kvetch couldn’t keep Joo-ish holidays straight.)
“The Joos ‘ll oblige ol’ Elijiah, no doubt!
“I will simply walk in. Then I’ll clean the place out!”

“All I need is a camel…”
He looked far and near,
But this wasn’t the desert, and camels are dear.
Did that stop the old Kvetch…?
That pischer? No, never:
“If I can’t find a camel,” the Kvetch said, “…whatever.”
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took an old sack
And he tied a hump onto the front of his back.

THEN
He climbed on this
dog-dromedaryish mammal.
You never have seen
Such a schmuck on a camel.

Then the Kvetch cried “Oy vey!”
As old Max started down
Toward the homes, while the Joos
Where still schmoozing in town.

All their driveways were empty. Just SUV tracks.
All the Joos were out last-minute-shopping at Saks,
As he rode to a not-so-small house on old Max.
“It’s a good thing I brought” the old Prophet Kvetch thought,
“All these bags with to stuff all the stuff the Joos bought.”

Then he looked at the chimney. It seemed quite a stretch
That a fat goy like Santa could fit, thought the Kvetch,
“Still, the goyim believe stranger things, that’s for sure.”
Then the Kvetch shrugged his shoulders, and walked through the door
Where the little Joo dreidels were all strewn about.
“These dreidels,” he grinned, “are the first to go out!”

And he schvitzed, as he shlepped, with an odor unpleasant,
Around the whole house, as he took every present!
Barbie dolls! Mountain bikes! Brios! And blocks!
Pokemon! GameBoys! And all of that shlock!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then his arms spread akimbo,
He shlepped all the bags, one by one, out the wimbo!

Then he shlepped to the kitchen. He took every dish.
He took the Joo-latkes. The Gefilte-Joo-Fish.
He cleaned out the Sub-Zero so nimbly and neat,
Careful to separate dairy from meat.
Then he shlepped the Joo-nosh right out the front door-a.
“And NOW!” kvelled the Kvetch, “I will shlep the menorah!”

And he grabbed the menorah, and started to shlep on,
When he heard a whine, like a cat being stepped on.
He spun ‘round with shpilkes, and coming his way,
It was Ruth Levy-Joo, who was two, if a day.

The Kvetch had been caught by this small shaina maidel,
Who’d been watching TV on her big RCA’dle.
“The Prophet Elijiah?” she quizzed the old fool,
“You visit on Pesach, they taught us in shul.”

And although the old Kvetch was surprised and confused,
It’s not hard to lie to a girl in her twos.
“Bubbeleh… sweatheart…” he started his tale,
“Your dad paid full price, when this all was on sale!
“And like any good merchant, I just want to please ya.
“I’ll ring it up right, then I’ll refund your VISA.”

Then he patted her tush. Put a Barney tape in.
And she spaced-out as fast as the spindle could spin.
And as Ruth Levy-Joo watched her mauve dinosaura,
HE went to the door and shlepped out the menorah!

Then the match for the shamas
Was last to be filched!
Then he shlepped himself out to continue his pillage.
On the walls he left nothing at all. Bubkes. Zilch.
And the one speck of food
That he left in the house
Was a matzoh ball even too dense for a mouse.

Then
He did the same schtick
In the other Joos’ houses.

Leaving knaidlach
Too dense
For the other Joos’ mouses!

It was quarter to dusk…
All the Joos, still at Saks,
All the Joos, still a-shmooze
When he packed up old Max,
Packed him up with their presents! The gelt and the dreidels!
The chotchkes and latkes! The knish and the knaidels!

He hauled it all up to his condo in haste!
(A Grinch might have dumped it, but why go to waste?)
“Shtup you!” to the Joos, the Kvetch loudly cheered,
“They’re finding out Chanukah’s cancelled this year!
“They’re just coming home! I know just what they’ll say!
“They’ll ask their homeowners insurance to pay,
“Then the Joos down in Joo-ville will all cry OY VEY!”

“All those Oys,” kvelled the Kvetch,
“Now THIS I must hear!”
So he paused. And the Kvetch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising up from the shtetl.
It started to grow. Then the Kvetch grew unsettled…

Why the sound wasn’t sad,
It was more like the noise
Of a UPS trucker
Delivering toys!

He stared down at Joo-ville!
And then the Kvetch shook,
As truck after truck
Replaced all that he took!

Every Joo down in Joo-ville, the Golds and the Steins,
Re-ordered their presents by going online!

Chanukah HADN’T been cancelled!
IT CAME!
…On UPS trucks… but it came just the same!

Then the Kvetch, staring down at the gifts where they sat,
Stood kvitching and kvetching: “For this, I did that?
“It came without traffic! It came without tax!
“It came without shopping at Bloomie’s or Saks!”
And he kvetched on and on, til he started to shvitz,
Then the Kvetch thought of something which might make him rich!
“Maybe stores,” thought the Kvetch, “don’t need mortar and bricks.
“Maybe toys can be bought with a few well-placed clicks!”

And what happened then…?
Well… in Joo-ville they say
That the Kvetch raised
Ten million in venture that day!
And the minute his web site was ready to go,
He raised ten billion more on his new IPO!
He sold back the toys to the homes they came from!
And he…

… he the Kvetch…!
Founded YA-JOO.COM!

©2000 by David Goldstein
All rights reserved
[An HA holiday tradition, with apologies to the late, great Dr. Seuss — but not to the greedy, litigious bastards at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LLC. So there. Happy Christmukah.]

Water On Mars!Government To Level Planetary Playing Field??

From Fox:
NASA Rover Finds Convincing Evidence of Water on Ancient Mars

A well-traveled NASA Mars rover has found some of the best evidence yet that water flowed on the Red Planet’s surface long ago, researchers announced Wed., Dec. 7. The Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars nearly eight years ago, has discovered a thin, bright mineral vein along the rim of a huge crater called Endeavour. This mineral is almost certainly gypsum that was deposited by liquid water billions of years ago, researchers said.

“This is the single most powerful piece of evidence for liquid water at Mars that has been discovered by the Opportunity rover,” Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Opportunity’s principal investigator, told reporters here today during the 2011 winter meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

I can see the headlines now…

The Obama Administration announced plans for immediate interplanetary water redistribution yesterday. “The water-gap between rich and poor planets is unfair and unsustainable; it must be addressed immediately,” according to an unnamed spokesman…