Special Twitter event really is brain surgery, actually

special twitter event really is brain surgery actually brainsurgeryConsider it a step forward for social media as educational tool… or perhaps the best way to freak out friends and family who are more than slightly squeamish: A hospital in Texas live-tweeted a brain surgery carried out by the same surgeon who treated Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, complete with gory/informative details and pictures.

Details of the surgery, to remove a cavernous angioma tumor from an unnamed 21-year old woman, was broadcast to the Internet in real-time by a social media team working in an adjacent room to the operating theater by Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital earlier today. The live-tweeting was the second Twittered surgery by the hospital following a heart operation in March; a spokesperson for the hospital told the Guardian newspaper that, internally, the event was considered “an educational opportunity for the public – for high school, college, medical students and residents, and for anyone that may ever have a brain tumor or know of someone in need of brain surgery in the future.”

That intent was shared by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon responsible for the (successful) removal of the tumor today. “Social media is a powerful vehicle to help demystify brain surgery, a source of much fascination to people,” he explained in a statement, adding that “by providing this up-close glimpse of the OR, we can educate the public, particularly future patients, about what happens during brain surgery, about what to expect.”

Almost all parts of the surgery were broadcast online, including video of the patient in day surgery, Dr. Kim scrubbing in and pictures of the drill bit used to make an incision into the skull (Admittedly, that last one may not be ideal for those curious about their own future brain surgery; no-one needs to think about that part of the whole operation). Happily enough for those following the tweets, the social media team – which included a neurosurgeon to answer any medical questions posed by curious followers – reported Kim giving the patient the thumbs up as she recovered from surgery. “We had a nice conversation and she looks great,” he was quoted as saying.

While this sort of transparency into what has traditionally been an area left mysterious – for obvious reasons, perhaps – may be new, it’s likely to be something that will gain in popularity and usefulness as it becomes more commonplace. Whether or not live surgery broadcasts will become a new Internet meme remains to be seen, but watching this real-life drama unfold today was both thrilling and affecting. It also raised a question that some of us may actually have to deal with in the future: Would you be okay with your surgeries being shared with millions of strangers online?

Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, Google+ data breach, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler talked about the latest attraction from the Star Wars Disneyland expansion and other newsworthy headlines, and welcomed guests Luke Hopkins and Fuslie to the show.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.