Yeah yeah, you don't need to tell me that the Friday Freakout is late; it was one of those Fridays. On the bright side, the kid is as giddy as a schoolgirl about going to preschool now. And on the other side was...everything else.
Fortunately, except for these alarming studies and news developments to shake your parenting confidence to the very core, the weekend's been great:
First up, how's this for a DT Friday Freakout Mission Statement? "We are all too eager...to hold up a single, unverified scientific study as fact." That's from Bay Area pediatrician and vaccines-cause-autism movement critic Rahul K. Parikh's review Dr. Paul A. Offit's smackdown of a history of the anti-vaccination crusade, Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. I'd write more, but I don't want to give away the ending. [salon via tmn]
The FDA held a public hearing on a proposal to ban over-the-counter cold medicines for use by kids under 6. The ban is being sought by the same Baltimore physicians group who successfully maneuvered the FDA into the under-2yo ban last year. The doctors point out that not only is there "less evidence than ever" about the meds [really? how is that possible? Has Cheney been shredding Dimetapp studies?], "But colds usually clear up on their own after a few days." No shit, Dr. Sherlock, but you're assuming we all survive being cooped up that long with a cranky, whiny kid who can't sleep or breathe. [ap/google]
Sorry this is too late to use it to smugly berate your thoughtless, HFCS-addicted friends on this weekend's birthday party circuit, but the research about the benefits of high fructose corn syrup? Turns out it was funded by the high fructose corn syrup industrial complex. [cbs via consumerist]
From the 2008 Ig Nobel Awards, which were awarded last week come the following Important Scientific Discovery: two teams of scientists found that Coke both is and is not an extremely effective inhibitor of sperm motility, and that Diet Coke works and does not work especially well. In my own personal study, I've found that copious amounts of Diet Coke has, if anything, negative birth control effect, but maybe I just haven't been using it properly.
Another Ig Nobel winner: the University of New Mexico economics professor who found that lap dancers make more money when they're ovulating. Can you imagine what the discussion was like around the Thanksgiving Dinner table at that guy's grad students' houses? [summary at ap/yahoo; complete winners at improbable.com]