First an interesting item on how belief can kill. It's a curious phenomenon but even so I can't bring myself to read the book. See The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills.
Much more interesting and useful is a long article on the National Geographic site about the workings of Teenage Brains and how this should be seen as a sensible evolutionary trait. It might also help all of us understand and relate with teenagers. It certainly seems to explain quite a lot.
Next an investigative journalism piece about the Fukishima Disaster and especially the long-term effects on the Japanese population. The suggestion is that the effects of stress etc. will be far more significant than the actual radiation doses (I guess excluding the immediately affected workers). For my money the article still doesn't delve deep enough — but the journo writing it probably couldn't get access to do so.
Law and Lawyers has written several pieces about the worrying machinations of the Metropolitan Police in attempting to get The Guardian to reveal some of its sources. First they were going to use the Official Secrets Act, then PACE 1984. For now though it seems the dogs of war remain caged.
Also this week Obiterj at Law and Lawyers has pointed out that the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 comes into force. This means the next General Election will be on 7 May 2015 — unless both Houses of Parliament decide otherwise by a two-thirds majority.
Which for a scientist somewhat pales into insignificance beside the apparent result from a team at CERN that they have detected neutrinos doing the impossible and travelling faster than light. But hold on guys, they don't quite relieve it either and they're asking the scientific community for help to test their results. Good scientific commentary by Adrian Cho at Wired and Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy.
Finally back to earth. There's been lots of twittering in the dovecotes about female orgasm, how it relates to evolutionary pressures and to male orgasm. Also some good demonstrations on how to demolish a (supposedly) scientific study. The best of the critiques I've seen is from Scicurious. Maybe you girls should just be allowed to enjoy it?
Have an orgasmic weekend!