The Friday Roundup

CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in past 20 years   – USA Today 

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the use of antidepressants has risen 400% since 1988; making them the most used medication in people ages 18-44. They also found that 1 in 25 teenagers is currently on antidepressants as well as 1 in 4 women ages 40-59. What accounts for this spike? A bad economy, home foreclosures, 50 hour work weeks (and that’s if you are fortunate enough to need only one job), spiraling health care costs; these things certainly aren’t helping but specialists also site advertising by pharmaceutical companies and the inability to see a therapist due to cost of treatment as reasons behind the upsurge. Most often these medications are prescribed by a physician rather than a mental health expert.


Penguins Get Sweaters To Protect Them From New Zealand Oil Spill – Huffington Post

On October 5th a cargo ship ran aground dumping 350 tons of oil into the ocean off the coast of New Zealand. Unfortunatly 1,000 sea birds have already died and many more are still at risk but one New Zealand yarn store is doing their best to help the native blue penguin population. They have put out a request around the world for donations of knit penguin size sweaters. These sweaters serve a dual purpose; they keep the penguins warm until they can be cleaned by volunteers and they prevent the birds from trying to clean themselves, and let’s face it it makes them look awfully cute in the process. The store Skeinz has posted instructions and specifications on their website as well as where the sweaters can be sent.


Health-care “scorecard” shows Americans get raw deal – CBS News

While not the lightest of topics for a Friday afternoon this is one too important to exclude. Here are the highlights from the 2011 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance.

  • Out of 16 nations, America ranks dead last for deaths that could have been prevented by access to healthcare. That’s around 91,000 deaths that could be prevented each year.
  • One third of American children are now morbidly obese
  • Even in the states with the lowest infant mortality rate the rate is still twice that of other countries
  • 44% of adults do not have access to a primary care physician and only 50% of adults received adequate preventive care.

“Costs were up sharply, access to care deteriorated, health system efficiency remains low, disparities persisted, and health outcomes failure to keep pace with benchmarks,” the study’s authors concluded.


Government advisors call for new, easy-to-understand food labels – Los Angeles Times

In yet another attempt to help Americans reduce their collective waistline government advisors are suggesting that the FDA come up with a clear and simple nutrition rating system to place on the front of food packages. The institute is asking for a clear system like the one used to rate energy efficiency in appliances using points, checkmarks or stars. While there is no doubt that Americans need to start making healthier diet choices attempts by fast food restaurants to display their menus nutritional content in an obvious way has done very little to change consumer habits. At the end of the day people usually know that foods are healthy and what foods aren’t, its really what they do with that information that’s important


The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Vintage Toys – 

When I was a kid you didn’t have to wear a helmet, playgrounds were still made out of cement and metal and occasionally you could even make it out of the house with sunblock but we could not hold a candle to the kids that played with some of these vintage toys. Here are a few samples of some of the worst ideas for toys of all time.

Gilbert Glass Blowing Set

Exactly what it sounds like. I wouldn’t even let most adults play with this “toy” that requires your child to heat glass to a thousand degrees and then shape it using their mouths.

Atomic Energy Lab

Back in the 50’s atomic energy was the wave of the futire, who wouldn’t want to share that with their little ones. This kit not only had fantastic packaging but also came with samples of uranium and radium and required children to handle dry ice to conduct certain experiments.

Tiny electrical appliances

How do you train the perfect 50’s housewife? Start your little girl out early with miniature working home appliances. From red hot irons to ovens and toasters, hopefully these toys came with a first aid kit.

Powermite Working Power Tools

It wasn’t just the girls having all the fun. The very young man in your life could play with his very own circular saw, router, drill press or sabre saw; we are talking real power tools just smaller, perfect for cutting off little fingers.