You’ve Got It
“The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous. This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.” That’s Keith Conners reflecting on the fact that one in seven high school students has been diagnosed with A.D.H.D., and more than 3.5 million kids are taking medication for the disorder. And Keith Conners isn’t a naysayer. He’s a doctor who spent much of his career “leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” On one hand, you’ve got a legitimate issue faced by a lot of kids. On the other hand, you’ve got drug companies with a vested interest in making the disorder seem a whole lot more widespread than it is. And now, they’re selling the symptoms to adults too. From the NYT’s Allan Schwarz: The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Guess Who’s Bacterial
Are antibacterial soaps any better at protecting your health than ordinary soap and water? That’s something the FDA just tasked manufacturers with proving. At this point, there’s little evidence that these soaps are any better, and some evidence that they could be bad for us.
+ And while we’re on the topic of products that might not work and could do harm: You might want to skip the supplements.
“Can you imagine the wall-to-wall press coverage, the outrage, and the empathy for the victims that would follow if an American wedding were attacked in this fashion?” The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf on a drone strike that hit a wedding party (and got almost no media coverage).
Stuck in the Middle
According to a recent British survey, people think so-called “middle age” comes a lot later in life, if it comes at all. Respondents also came up with a list of signs that you’ve hit the milestone. Here are some samples: Hating noisy pubs, getting more hairy around your ears, eyes and nose, choosing clothes for comfort rather than style, groaning when you bend down, forgetting people’s names, and talking a lot about your ailments. According to this list, I’ve been middle aged since I was twelve.
Before the Bombs
“As he got older, the voice became more authoritative, its bidding more insistent. Tamerlan confided in a close friend that the voice had begun to issue orders and to require him to perform certain acts, though he never told his friend specifically what those acts were.” Following a five month investigation, the Boston Globe provides and in-depth look at the dysfunctional family that produced the worst act of terrorism in Boston history: The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev.
It’s Not Just Football
It’s a story you’ve undoubtedly heard before. A former athlete becomes depressed, struggles with substance abuse, and eventually commits suicide. But in this case, the sport wasn’t football. Ryan Freel is the first baseball player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Are You OK?
“We heard something like a gunshot, and then the administrator came in to make sure the door was locked. Now we’re all huddled in a corner.” The latest school shooting gets a lot more personal as Kevin Conboy shares texts from my son during the Arapahoe shooting.
Peter of Arabia
“Of all the many people I’ve written about in 60 years of being published, Peter O’Toole remains my favorite.” Gay Talese re-introduces his August 1963 profile of Peter O’Toole. A star comes home. This piece and its intro also serve as a look at stardom and media, before Twitter and TMZ.
What if you had a $25,000 budget to market a movie and you decided to spend every penny helping victims of typhoon Haiyan? You’d end up with some money very well spent and a very moving video. And maybe the movie promoters would be getting a pretty good deal too.
The Bottom of the News
“While Instagram has been a great place for high-schoolers to share photos with friends (and maybe get famous in the process), it is also now a place for men to find photos of 15-year-olds wearing sports bras.” The sad and rather disturbing story of the private lives of the cheerlebrities of Instagram.
+ How a typo led to NORAD tracking Santa’s path.
+ Jerry Stahl shares his list of the 15 junkiest books about drugs. “Elvis Presley did so many drugs, the America Pharmaceutical Association should put a plaque on his grave.”
+ Long before the age of summer blockbuster, Hollywood execs thought we’d never go to see big movies during the warm months. But, as you know, shark happens.