It’s not brain surgery. Well, yes it is.

With football starting at 9:30 a.m. from London Sunday followed by a full slate of afternoon games, it’s possible people will be weary of watching men beat each other’s brains out by the time the Sunday night game rolls around.

So flip to the National Geographic channel at 9 p.m. and watch someone get his brain cut open and operated on live. Just forget the popcorn.

In a first for a medium that many thought has run out of firsts, doctors at University Hospitals in Cleveland will implant electrodes inside the brain of a 49-year-old man suffering from Parkinson’s disease as the cameras broadcast the procedure to 171 countries around the world. The show, aptly entitled Brain Surgery Live and hosted by Bryant Gumbel, is drawing heavy criticism from medical ethicists who say any number of things could go wrong to distract surgeons during the tense and delicate operation.

“It’s hard to say we are getting serious about patient safety when putting on circus acts like live brain surgery,” Duke Cameron, the cardiac surgeon-in-charge at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, told the Boston Globe‘s Stat website. “This kind of behavior is absurd.”

While there have been live surgeries before, they have mainly been closed-circuit telecasts to other medical professionals. Part of the concern in Sunday’s broadcast is who the producers are. Leftfield Pictures, which has produced such reality shows as Pawn Stars and Real Housewives of New Jersey, has joined up with Mental Floss, a pop science magazine, to televise the two-hour production. That commercial connection is adding to the ethical concerns.

At least two other medical centers were approached and rejected the idea before University Hospitals consented. The surgery will feature equipment and devices provided by manufacturers who have financial relationships with University, though Stat says those connections will not be disclosed.

Greg Grindleythe Ohio electrician who will be on the cutting table, will be awake during the procedure as doctors drill a hole in his head and slice his brain so they can implant four electrodes in a procedure known as deep brain stimulation. Viewers will hear him tell doctors what and how he’s feeling as they implant the electrodes designed to reduce his tremors from the Parkinson’s and improve his motor control so he can walk without his cane.

Doctors will also take questions from viewers during the operation. What could possibly go wrong?

“A lot of people aren’t aware that we have these therapies available and a lot of patients suffer needlessly,” says Dr. Jonathan Miller, who will conduct the surgery. “Our goal is to publicize the problem and the solution.”

Lights, camera, scalpel.




The fight over solar is getting nasty on Beacon Hill. (CommonWealth) Meanwhile, Jiminy Peak in Hancock goes solar, building the largest “community solar” project in the Northeast. (Boston Business Journal)

The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance removes more than $32 million in campaign contributions from its listings after discovering they were duplicates. (Metro West Daily News)

A Lowell Sun editorial urges lawmakers to bottle up a bill that would permit liquor store openings on Thanksgiving Day.

Rep. Diana DiZoglio is winning support for legislation that would bar prescriptions of Oxycontin to anyone between the ages of 11 and 17. (Eagle-Tribune)

A group of police chiefs and one district attorney gather to show support for Gov. Charlie Baker‘s opioid legislation that would allow for 72-hour involuntary confinement of substance abusers. (Boston Globe)


Joan Vennochi says Mayor Marty Walsh is repeating the same mistakes made with the Olympics by trying to bring Grand Prix racing to downtown Boston’s streets without any public process or buy-in beforehand. (Boston Globe)

In a tribute to slain Danvers teacher Colleen Ritzer, individuals perform random acts of kindness. (Eagle-Tribune)

Shirley Leung says Boston’s new arts czar has been strangely silent on the turmoil in the city’s theater world. (Boston Globe)


Dante Ramos says the rise of DraftKings and Fan Duel signal diminished expectations for the traditional casino industry. (Boston Globe)


Republicans finally got their way by getting to confront Hillary Clinton for nearly 10 hours on when and what she knew about the attack in Benghazi, but they may not have gotten the result they sought. (New York Times) Or maybe they did. (National Review) Time explains how Clinton won the Benghazi hearing.

A federal judge in Louisiana rejects Gov. Bobby Jindal’s challenge to the Common Core educational standards. (Associated Press)

Eileen McNamara says the New York Times is crazy to suggest that US Rep. Paul Ryan may be the new poster child for work-life balance. She says Ryan doesn’t give a hoot about any families but his own. (WBUR)

Mormon leaders, whose church opposes same-sex marriage, say the law trumps faith for people in public offices who must perform their duties. (New York Times)

Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, bears down on Mexico. (USA Today)


The Donald who? Ben Carson now leads in Iowa. (Des Moines Register)

Lincoln Chafee bows out. (Boston Globe)

Larry DiCara et al explain what’s happening to the incredibly vanishing Boston voter. (CommonWealth)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage contends that public financing of political campaigns is like “giving your wife your checkbook.” (Maine Beacon)


A 12.5-acre tract in Boston’s Seaport fetches an eye-popping $359 million. (Boston Globe)

DraftKings has been hit with subpoenas from the US attorneys’ offices in Boston and New York. (Boston Globe)

Most Americans have a hard time relating to GDP when it comes to measuring economic strength so economists are looking at other indicators, such as the sales of men’s underwear, as a barometer of economic activity. (U.S. News & World Report)

The Boston restaurant Abe and Louie’s is one of the top earning eateries in the country.(Boston Business Journal.)

Dunkin’ Donuts stock hits a 52-week low. (Boston Herald)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is giving $200 million of his stock in the company to employees. (Fortune)

Amazon has 30,000 robots working at its warehouses. (Boston Business Journal)


Bridgewater State University officials have determined a report of a sexual assault on campus was “unfounded” and the student who made the claim could face suspension or expulsion. (The Enterprise)

A New Bedford city councilor wants the state to change the funding formula for public schools before acting on Gov. Charlie Baker‘s proposal to lift the cap on charter schools. (Standard-Times)


Dr. David King, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, is pushing for tourniquets to be included among routine first aid items. (WBUR)

The Globe maps out the toll of opioid overdoses across the Commonwealth.


The MBTA spends $2.07 on average to subsidize each ride it provides. (WBUR)

The Globe has a Q&A with the T’s three top officials. For a complete look at who is in charge at the embattled transit agency, check out CommonWealth’sOverlords of the MBTA.”

As state lawmakers consider a bill to require drivers to use hands-free devices, a new study by AAA finds even that technology can be a distraction. (State House News Service)

Milton residents, upset over airplane noise caused by flight path changes, are organizing an effort to get Massport to review and alter those new approaches. (Patriot Ledger)


Anti-nuke activists want regulators to shut down Pilgrim power plant immediately rather than allow it to operate until 2019 without the needed safety upgrades. (WGBH)

A service station gasoline spill leaves four Marlborough families in legal and financial limbo. (CommonWealth)

Lynn implements automated trash collection and sheds its image as one of the worst communities at recycling in the state. (The Item)


Fifteen to eighteen warrants are issued every day for offenders whose GPS monitoring bracelets signal that they’ve been tampered with, cut off, or are otherwise malfunctioning. (Boston Herald)

A Pepperell police officer resigns amid an investigation into his use of excessive force. (The Sun)


In a highly unusual move, the Boston Herald redesigns its website and doesn’t trumpet it. (Boston)