Thursday, March 11, 2004

Bad news

Three news stories that freaked me out this week:

1. Losing a Child Increases MS Risk. The Danish study that released that finding sees it as an indication that extreme psychological stress -- and certainly the death of a child, especially an unexpected death, falls into that category -- is a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. But the whole thing just makes my head spin. Did they follow a bunch of families who had suffered the tragic loss of a child just to see if any other bad stuff would happen to them? It seems sort of macabre, doesn't it? And since so many studies are aimed at prevention, it's hard to see that headline among ones that say eating too much or smoking too much or not exercising enough is bad for you. Like -- want to avoid MS? Make sure your kids don't die!

2. Drivers Spot X-Rated Films in Other Cars. On a lighter but similarly unsettling note, it appears that folks who buy cars and minivans tricked out with DVD players are not universally using them to watch Disney movies. Who would have imagined? And if we pass a law that makes watching offensive DVDs in your car a moving violation, can we also pass one about blasting offensive "music" from one's stereo? And most importantly, would this prevent me from singing along to old Barry Manilow tapes?

3. Toilet Seats Are Cleaner than Keyboards or Telephone Dials. And some minivans, apparently.

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