Monday, April 23, 2012

Link roundup

1. The new plans Disney has for allowing people to schedule everything from ride times to food makes a trip to Disneyland sound more like work than fun.

2. This is from The American Conservative. Deeply Disturbing if accurate:

In September 2004, Merck, one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies, suddenly announced that it was voluntarily recalling Vioxx, its popular anti-pain medication widely used to treat arthritis-related ailments. This abrupt recall came just days after Merck discovered that a top medical journal was about to publish a massive study by an FDA investigator indicating that the drug in question greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes and had probably been responsible for at least 55,000 American deaths during the five years it had been on the market.
...
A cursory examination of the most recent 15 years worth of national mortality data provided on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers some intriguing clues to this mystery. We find the largest rise in American mortality rates occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn. Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population. The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates.
(I was never able to get through Michael Crichton's book Next about corruption among scientists and doctors. At first I found it too outlandish, then I tried it again and found it too accurate.) Via.

3. Make cinemagraphs with this free app from Microsoft. Via.

4. Relatedly, free movie-making app from Lego, and free video game-designing app. Via these sites.

5. Last chance to win last week's ebook giveaway.

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