The Healthland Podcast: Spanking, Drinking and Mind Control

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Welcome back to the Healthland Podcast. This week, we discuss the harrowing “spanking” case in Texas, the benefits and risks of alcohol, and a new device that allows you to control images on your screen only by concentrating. Listen instantly by clicking the play button below, or subscribe for free on iTunes.

Belinda began the discussion this week with her take on a Texas judge’s profanity-fueled whipping of his 16-year-old daughter. For context, John brought up his 2009 story on research suggesting that kids who are spanked end up with lower IQs.

Sora then discussed two conflicting articles on alcohol by our medical writer Alice Park. One story explored the widely documented benefits of red wine; the other showed that just a few drinks per week can raise the risk of breast cancer among women. John tried to settle the debate by referring to his piece from last year showing that, among those who live to 55 without serious health problems, drinking — even drinking heavily — is associated with longer life than abstaining from alcohol.

John then discussed his new TIME print story on a device that allows you to operate computer images only by concentrating. You have to be a Time subscriber to see the story online, but here’s a link to the company that makes the device.

Please comment on our conversation below. We follow these comments every week, and some of our best discussions can start from your thoughts. You can also comment at See you next week!