Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Link Roundup, my computer is making angry sounds at me edition

I'm somehow surprised everyday that goes by that my old Inspiron 8200 doesn't burst into flames. Blogging and other work has taken a backseat to research and more board exam prep, but these links are burning holes in my Firefox pocket.

  1. Sweden's #1 tobacco product, Snus, is getting headlines all the sudden because a recent study found an increased rate of pancreatic cancer for users, even though that rate is still well below that of smoking. The Swedish figured out a long time ago that smokeless tobacco, stored properly with very specific manufacturing techniques, is so much less dangerous than cigarette smoking that converting all smokers to chewers would have health benefits far outweighing our current methods of offering smoking cessation to an unwilling population. But that's the Swedish for you.
  2. Fresh Air turns 20: listen to Oliver Sacks and Tom Wolfe.
  3. Fruit juice doesn't make kids fat? Haven't seen the actual paper, but can't help feeling suspicious that this study didn't do a very good job controlling for other family health habits. We would expect parents who give their kids a lot of fruit juice to be a little more health conscious overall, and might not be surprised to see that kids who get their calories from fruit juice don't get excess calories from other poor diet choices. For some reason I just doubt that fruit juice calories don't count, which is the latent message in the press release.
  4. Parody abounds: Microsoft Firefox ("where am I today?") and the Onion's anti-abortion pill, UR-86, that kills the mother and saves the fetus.
  5. Oral sex increases the risk of a certain throat cancer from ultra-low to slightly-less-ultra-low:
    And those people who had had more than six oral sex partners were 8.6 times more likely to develop the HPV-linked cancer.
    Hear that, kids? You only get to have oral sex with five partners! Choose them wisely. Seems like an interesting take on those cellphone commercials. "Who's in your five?"
  6. Cervical cancer vaccine less effective in sexually active. I'd hope this would come from the "no shit" research files, but sadly, the obvious does need to be stated for the anti-Gardasil crew who don't want their daughters turning into sluts because their risk of dying of a preventable cancer might be reduced.
  7. Psychiatrists are evil and give your kids deadly medications because the drug companies pay them off in smoky, dimly lit rooms! MWAHAHAHA! This is one of the most manipulative, poorly written anti-psychiatry articles (even in the NYT, which manages to run plenty of anti-psychiatry drivel) I've seen in awhile, and I just can't bring myself to fisk it. If you're reading this, you probably already have the cognitive function available to see the gaping holes in the story.


: Joseph j7uy5 said...

Funny about #7, I thought for a few seconds about blogging on that, but decided quickly that it was not worth the effort.

Garrett said...

I sat on that one for at least a week before I just gave up. It reminded me of Romans wanting to kill all the Christians because they drank blood, although that parallel may only work in my brain.

Anonymous said...

The New York Times is anti-psychiatry? What edition do you read? Or do you just think that any criticism at all of psychiatrists or education about dangers of psychiatric drugs is anti-psychiatry. When did you drink the psychiatry as religion kool aid?
When the NYT ran stories about Vioxx did you think they were anti-medicine?

Children got hurt, the NYT reported it. Big Pharma is not your friend, what a surprise. It's called capitalism and it has corrupted all of medicine, but don't let reality get in the way of your true believer stance.

Garrett said...

Don't be silly, I am no defender of bad medicine or of pharmaceutical companies. But this article was simple conspiracy theory, and not a useful critique. There are plenty of bad things I have to say about drug companies, the way they interact with physicians, and the way that all doctors, including psychiatrists, are unable to keep their patients' best interest at heart in all circumstances. But none of those things were dealt with honestly in this article.