Things I’ve been reading.

I’ve been a long-time subscriber to The New Yorker magazine. The thing I like most about it is the long in-depth articles about an amazing variety of topics. A year or two ago I started also getting an email subscription to Longreads. If you don’t know Longreads and you are a reader, it’s very worth checking out. It’s a website that compiles the best long format articles from across the web. There are news articles, long non-fiction magazine articles, short stories and interviews. The email is free and gets you a weekly email with the best five longreads of the week. You can also support the website by being a member, I’m not sure exactly what membership gets you at this point.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve read a few excellent articles, mostly science and medicine related and thought I’d share them here.

From the Texas Observer, Autism, Inc.: The Discredited Science, Shady Treatments and Rising Profits Behind Alternative Austism Treatments by Alex Hannaford. (sent to me via Longreads) An excellent article. I think the title pretty much says it all. 

From the New York Times, Drowned in a Sea of Prescriptions by Alan Schwarz (sent to me via Longreads). A tragic story about a young man who became addicted to the ADD medication Adderall and ended up committing suicide. The article raises all sorts of questions about how doctors (I include myself here) prescribe psychiatric medications and about the state of mental health care in this country where we focus primarily on pharmaceuticals often without taking the time to see the whole picture. 

The Journal of Pediatrics has an interesting article by pediatrician Beth Tarini talking about how Mary Ingalls likely didn’t go blind from scarlet fever but from viral meningoencephalitis. Unfortunately, you can’t read the full article without a subscription but you can read an interview with the author at NPR. (link originally sent to me by my Dad)

And finally, A Loaded Gun by Patrick Radden Keefe in this week’s New Yorker. A look at the troubled past of Amy Bishop, a neurobiologist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville who shot six people at a department meeting in 2010. Many years earlier, at the age of 21 Amy shot and killed her brother in the kitchen of their childhood home. That shooting had been ruled an accident and it’s that shooting and that ruling that Keefe focuses on. There is also an interesting companion piece by Keefe on the New Yorker website looking at whether women are less likely to be suspected and convicted of violent crimes.

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