Daily Bafflements

The BafflerOctober 19, 2015

Don’t have faith in Gwyneth Paltrow’s health advice. / Mike Licht

• Here’s The New Yorker getting in on a major trend by profiling everyone’s favorite hair-shirted Baffler contributing editor, George Scialabba. (Apparently, the do we threw him for his retirement was “campy,” “quaint,” and “extravagant.” Very good.)

• The journal Pain has published research showing that Americans’ response to placebo drugs is getting stronger. And, weirder still, that there’s something about the specific conditions of testing in the United States—it could be the ubiquity of advertising, it could be the extended clinical trial period—that makes this the case.

• Today in dilettante doctoring: Gee, thanks Gwyneth Paltrow for using your social media omnipresence to spread potentially fatal health tips!

• Your periodic reminder to “Stop Swooning Over Putin.”