In recent weeks, ProPublica has published a major—and scathing—investigative series on the dangers of Tylenol’s main active ingredient, acetaminophen. Two years in the making, this series shows yet again the essential role of investigative journalism in providing public information that can literally save lives.
On the chance that the impact of the revelations has already been overtaken by other news, here again is the gist of the stories. Tylenol’s marketing has long emphasized its safety. Among the more memorable of its advertisements was that Tylenol was the pain reliever “hospitals use most” and packages asserted that the pills provided “safe, fast pain relief.” It turns out that these claims were dangerously misleading, and were known to be so by both the pharmaceutical manufacturer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To expand the reach of its findings to millions of radio listeners, ProPublica, brought in public radio’s This American Life as a collaborator which incisively summarized ProPublica’s evidence of the dangers of acetaminophen. “During the last decade,” the first ProPublica piece begins, “more than 1,500 Americans died after taking too much of a drug renowned for its safety.” Moreover, the series and broadcast showed that the FDA has known for decades about the scale of the problem, but has failed to fully implement a succession of recommendations and warnings.
Read more. [Image: ProPublica/Flickr]
How do you make a library live online?
Read more. [Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library]
An astounding, alarming, and basically false statistic.
Read more. [Image: Danny Moloshok/Reuters]
Taken by Robert Ludlow of the University College London’s Institute of Neurology, this is a rare shot of a living brain, revealing the cerebral cortex of an epileptic patient during surgery. Oxygenated blood flushes bright red in a web of small arteries while larger veins, tucked in the sulci or crevices of the brain, carry away purplish, deoxygenated blood. Gray matter (so-dubbed because that’s its color after death) is pink with life.
The image won a 2012 Wellcome Trust award for photography.
The Living Learning Brain
We are amazing machines.
When my daughter first showed signs of hating herself, I got out photoshop. We went and found an image of her choosing, of a woman. I spent the next two hours showing her just how easy it was to alter this woman. I changed her hair, whitened her teeth, made her thinner. I erased her blemishes and even made her taller while my daughter sat there aghast. At the end of it she loudly said - ” THAT’S NOT FAIR!”
I told her that damn near every image she saw of people in magazines, on television, etc, was altered like this, and that she should never compare herself to that, because even supermodels don’t look like supermodels.
I wish I could do that for every child. I wish it was a mandatory class in school.
I AM SHOWING THIS TO EVERYONE
I SAW THIS IN CLASS BEFORE. THE TEACHER WAS ALL LIKE ”please, never compare yourself to people you see in magazines. They’re always altered. It’s as easy as that.” I ALMOST STOOD UP AND YELLED ”AMEN, MISS. AMEN.”
Amsterdam is turning rainbow for a visit of the Russian president Putin. The council of the city of Amsterdam has decided to hang out the gay pride flag on all council owned buildings and offices, in protest to Russia’s new anti-gay law.
I love protest by shaming
One of the most incisive responses to some of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing in the wake of the Steubenville rape verdict is this blog post over at The Belle Jar. It articulates a discomfort many of us have with the sentiment (invoked in many contexts), “Imagine if…
From Feature Shoot:
Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”