Friday, April 24, 2009

From the "Approved Drugs Are Safe" Department 

A new drug comes on the market, approved by the FDA etc, and we blindly presume this means it will do the job and not harm us. Time and time again this isn't the case. Unless you are desperate (ie wil die otherwise), please think twice about any drug that has been available for only a few years. Read and weep:

Many people who took the anti-obesity drug fenfluramine before it was banned in 1997 carried on developing damage to their heart valves long after stopping the medication, a study of 5743 former users reveals (BMC Medicine, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-6-34). Of these, 20 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men were affected. For all ex-users, the chances of needing surgery for valve damage was seven times normal.
from New Scientist


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extraordinary Graffiti Animation 

Here is some animated art the likes of which I have never seen before - give it an instant Academy Award!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Love is Blind (and lacks a sense of smell) 

Interesting research has shown that when a woman is in love, she still pays the same attention to the body odours of her beau and her female friends... but doesn't notice the smells of male friends or strange men. This suggests that once she has made her mind up, she switches off to other men. Is this for practical reasons, to stop her life becoming too complicated? Whatever the reason, it's nice.

More at New Scientist.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ecstasy - no major long term effects 

Ask any long-term user who knows others, and the long-term effects are plain to see, but many consider that on the balance they don't mind.

In the UK, it looks like this happy pill (that costs less than a pint of beer) will be lowered from Class A to Class B - good news for the 500,000 regular users.

Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe.

The review was carried out by the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), an independent body that advises the UK government on drug policy. Its headline recommendation is that, based on its harmfulness to individuals and society, MDMA should be downgraded from a class A drug - on a par with heroin and cocaine - to class B, alongside cannabis.
More at New Scientist


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Media Out Poor Billionaire 

I really feel for Blair Parry-Okeden, outed by the media as Australia's richest person. Prior to having her life turned upside-down, she was working as a school teacher in Scone, presumably trying to lead a normal life because she doesn't care about the $7 billion she is worth. That to me spells decent, honest and nice.

Now all that has been spoiled for an, albeit very interesting, little news item.

Shame on the media!


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