1. Medical treatments are more harmful than you think

    Ever heard of the “number needed to harm”?

     

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  4. After 27 years on this planet, I learned that I am not only a victim of mutilation, but also an amputee; I just hadn’t known it. Like millions of other men, I was, as a baby, circumcised.
    — Stephen Robert Morse, in Fighting for foreskin
     


  5. Laughter, according to various researchers, can lead to syncope (fainting), arrhythmia, and cardiac rupture. In asthmatics, laughing can trigger an attack. Laughing can even cause pneumothorax, a collapsed lung. People with cataplexy, a rare condition tied to narcolepsy, may suddenly lose all their muscle strength and collapse during a fit of laughter. An especially good laugh can make a person’s hernia protrude, or dislocate someone’s jaw.
    — 

    Elizabeth Preston, Inkfish

    Turns out, you can die from laughing too hard

     

  6. Does this handful of horse pills resemble your daily cocktail of vitamin supplements?  

    Sorry to tell you, but they’re useless.

    How the vitamin-industrial complex swindled America

     


  7. The parts of generation during labor should always be well oiled or greased with lard, as it greatly assists and mitigates the suffering, and lubricates the parts of passage.
    — 

    From John Gunn’s 1861 book Gunn’s New Domestic Physician

    How to give birth 100 years ago

     

  8. Sure, these guys are cool, but doctor’s coats can be a barrier between physician and patient, not to mention the perfect transmitter of germs and infections.

    Maybe it’s time to ditch the white doctor’s coat.

     

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  10. Soineya
    — In Japan, the name for the “pay-per-snuggle” touch therapy shop where you can cuddle and nap with a young woman.  For $80 an hour.
     


  11. Today’s mini-podcast is up: Medical excuses for the frequently tardy.

    Check out all of The Week’s audio offerings here, and subscribe to The Week on SoundCloud here.

     

  12. Get ready for "super gonorrhea", just one of the new drug-resistant infections the CDC calls an “urgent health risk” to Americans.

    But why aren’t there new antibiotics?

     


  13. £120
    — 

    The amount the British government is paying some mothers to breastfeed their newborns for at least 6 weeks.

    Should we pay women to breastfeed?