what i learned last week

i’m a little late this week… too many other things on my plate.

1. during the last ice age, the build-up of ice on the ground caused the earth’s crust to sink due to the weight. the heavier the ice, the more the ground sank. since there was more ice in the north (in placed like canada) and it lasted longer, the earth sank more than in other places. the cool thing is that the earth’s crust is still bouncing back, and therefore it’s rising at a rate of a couple of millimeters a year. since the north is bouncing back more than the south, the great lakes are changing shape, pushing water towards the south.

2. hitler probably had parkinson’s disease

3. there are currently three major drug types for treating depression: a) ssri’s (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors) which increase the amount of seratonin in the brain, the theory being that a lack of seratonin makes you depressed; b) ssre’s (selective seartonin reuptake enhancers) which decrease the amount of seratonin in the brain, the theory being that an excess of seratonin makes you depressed; and c) dri’s (dopamine reuptake inhibitors) which affect dopamine levels in the brain and don’t affect the seratonin levels at all, the theory being that seratonin has nothing to do with depression. interestingly, if you look at the studies that test the effectiveness of each of these drugs, you’ll find that each one reduces depression in approximately 60% of patients. this is strange, since this accounts for 180% of the population…

4. if you look at the clinical trials for all of the drugs mentioned above, published and unpublished (the latter category accounting for 40% of the data), you will find that, although these drugs are better than a placebo statistically speaking, they are not better, clinically speaking. listen to the lecture here.

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