Welcome, welcome to another edition of the very best stuff to come to my attention online this week. There is something for everyone here, whether you want to laugh, cry, learn, or ponder life’s mysteries, have a seat and dig in.

Regarding the mind-

At Mind Hacks, Vaughan has an excellent post about the evidence for placebos as medical treatment, carefully defining what exactly the placebo effect is and is not and pondering the ethics of their use to relieve affliction, in light of the new nothing pill parents can buy their children.

Jonah Lehrer, at Frontal Cortex, takes an in depth look and mindfulness meditation and the paradoxical effect it has on pain, controlling it by giving it our full attention.

The British Psychology Digest reports new study findings that harsh discipline for aggressive children makes the child more aggressive. It reminds me of the parent that slaps their child upside the head saying, “we don’t hit people in this family.” Uh–yeah, okay, I guess actions truly do speak louder than words.

Regarding the soul-

At Mormon Organon, Steve has some personal reflections about how limiting it is to view science simply as defined by experimentation. “Science is an Art, “ he proclaims in a simple and forceful essay.

Norbert, at By Common Consent shares the graduation speech he gave. At the risk of gratifying his own pride and threatening humility, I must say Norbert is a wise, wise man.

Speaking of humility, The Art of Manliness has a post that sings its praises. with simple. down to Earth, practical advice, topped off with a hilarious stand-up video. In the spirit of gender equality, while I agree that this humility born of confidence is a sign of manhood, the same humility is very attractive and powerful in Women as well. Lets just call it part of the art of being human.

Regarding the body-

At Medgadget, Tim reports a fascinating technology breakthrough in which a monkey was able to move a mechanical arm strictly through a brain-computer interface. This opens tantalizing possibilities for people with horrific motor disease such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) or Locked in syndrome. Lest people think the day of the cyborg is here, Tim is one of the few to include the significant obstacles such technology still faces.

In the news, Reuters reports that Nursing home patient’s prescribed antipsychotics for disruptive or violent behavior are three times as likely to die as those not prescribed the drugs.

Marijke, Nurse turned writer has an educational post about becoming a bone marrow donor. She lives in Canada, where you don’t actually pay your own money to register, ( Imagine that, tax dollars saving lives rather than destroying them.) I am afraid I must leave that fish to fry for another day.

or All the Above-

The Anesthesioboist has a tremendous post about fear, being human, and the spiritually evolved approach to medical mistakes. This all sounds vaguely familiar, though much more eloquently written than anything I came up with.

Doc Gurley has a gut wrenching post that describes in full, unabashed detail the true, human cost of the world food crisis in the form of Noma and one patient’s story. Warning- this post is not for those with a weak stomach or heart, the latter of which is guaranteed to bleed profusely after reading.

Therese Chan at Rural Doctoring has a thought provoking essay about the birth process, epidurals, and the mother-child bond, complicated by all the complex relationships and emotions associated with the sacrifice of giving a baby up for adoption for the best of reasons, their own benefit.

and just because I Liked it-

I ran into a interesting point of view by Dr. Rich at the Covert Rationing Blog, where he discusses how Insurance companies are in a sense crying “Uncle” both handing over money and driving votes to the Democrats because they know the magic cost lowering power of the market and actually managing patients health at the same time just isn’t going to happen.

Speaking of the market and healthcare, Healthbolt has some fascinating, if macabre vintage ads for medicines back in the day we had much fewer regulations, and no FDA. It’s a little frightening.

In the spirit of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, here is a website showing the interconnectedness of all things, well all 2,111,000+ things wikipedia, anyway. I learned that the center of the internet is 2007, which is 3.45 clicks from anywhere on average, or the United Kingdom (3.67 clicks) if you delete years, dates, and lists and such. Oh, and Kevin Bacon’s clicks to anywhere, is 3.95 if you were wondering.

Oh, and I ran into this at Failblog and nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Also, Brainblogging #34 is here and great as always, covering mind, body, and soul. With that I am afraid I must be on my way. Have fun and enjoy. Happy surfing until next time.