Short Story Contest Winner: "The Gerry Program"

Short Story Contest Winner: "The Gerry Program"

A father and son gaze at the ducks in a lake.

(© Photographee.eu/Fotolia)


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Benjamin Graham
Born in the barren heartlands of Durham, England, Ben's love of literature grew from reading the works of Joyce, Hemingway, Ginsberg and several other writers a teenage boy should really have no interest in reading. Following several years struggling to pay rent as a freelance journalist, Ben became a copywriter and editor for an architecture firm in Edinburgh. Ben now divides his time between writing, reading, and frequenting the drinking establishments of renowned Edinburgh authors in the hope of finding some clue to their genius or, failing that, a good dram of whisky.
When doctors couldn’t stop her daughter’s seizures, this mom earned a PhD and found a treatment herself.

Savannah Salazar (left) and her mother, Tracy Dixon-Salazaar, who earned a PhD in neurobiology in the quest for a treatment of her daughter's seizure disorder.

LGS Foundation

Twenty-eight years ago, Tracy Dixon-Salazaar woke to the sound of her daughter, two-year-old Savannah, in the midst of a medical emergency.

“I entered [Savannah’s room] to see her tiny little body jerking about violently in her bed,” Tracy said in an interview. “I thought she was choking.” When she and her husband frantically called 911, the paramedic told them it was likely that Savannah had had a seizure—a term neither Tracy nor her husband had ever heard before.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.

A robot cafe in Tokyo is making work possible for people with disabilities.

A robot server, controlled remotely by a disabled worker, delivers drinks to patrons at the DAWN cafe in Tokyo.

Photo courtesy of dawn2021.orylab.com.

A sleek, four-foot tall white robot glides across a cafe storefront in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, holding a two-tiered serving tray full of tea sandwiches and pastries. The cafe’s patrons smile and say thanks as they take the tray—but it’s not the robot they’re thanking. Instead, the patrons are talking to the person controlling the robot—a restaurant employee who operates the avatar from the comfort of their home.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.