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Prancercise: The Sequel!

John Mayer, via YouTube

The horsey dance craze is back—with a shocking twist. Winston Ross talks to its creator about her 15 extra minutes of fame, hooking up with John Mayer, and whether she’s rich yet.

If you thought the exercise craze Prancercise had ticked through the last of its 15 minutes of fame already, you don’t know Joanna Rohrback.Or John Mayer.That’s right. The infamously sarcastic crooner, who dated country music star Taylor Swift and then broke her heart and then had to listen to a song about how he broke her heart, has injected new virility into a Florida woman’s strange exercise routine, catapulting her back into the international spotlight long after you may have thought you’d never hear from her again.

Unholy Behavior

Spanking for Jesus

What do you call it when a husband beats his wife with a paddle for disobeying him? Some would say domestic abuse. These people say he’s doing God’s work. By Brandy Zadrozny.

On a pain scale of one to 10, Chelsea ranks the epidural-free birth of her child as a six. Her husband’s spankings? Those are an eight.First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.

Aftermath

When Abortion Is Denied

Getty

What happens to women who don’t get the abortion they seek? The Daily Beast talks to the researcher behind the Turnaway Study about new data on unwanted pregnancies’ aftermath.

It's been quite a week for reproductive-health news—first, the government announced it was backing down on its attempt to impose age limits on access to the over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pill Plan B One-step; then, the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee fast-tracked a bill that would outlaw practically all abortions after 22 weeks, even in cases of rape. And in the midst of it all, The New York Times published an in-depth look at new research coming out of the University of California San Francisco that tracks the psychological and economic plight of women who are denied mid-trimester abortions as compared to women who seek and receive abortions mid-second trimester.

Outbreak

Brooklyn’s Maddening Measles

Spencer Platt/Getty

More than 50 children in Brooklyn’s Jewish enclave have developed measles this spring—a number far too high for a virus easily prevented with a vaccine.

Oy. Another infectious disease is running through the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.   More than 50 children have developed measles this spring—the third or fourth measles problem in the community in the last six years, and following closely on the heels of a mumps outbreak in 2009–10 that affected more than 3,000 people. And don't forget the still-ongoing spread from a ritual circumciser to newborn male foreskin of cases of the sometimes fatal herpes simplex.

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Confessions of a Pot Doctor

Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune, via Getty

A California M.D. says it’s time to repeal marijuana-prohibition laws. ‘At long last and practically against my will, I am doing the right thing,’ writes Daniela Drake.

I hadn’t written a pot prescription in over a year, so I was furious when I was subpoenaed again in 2010, I think. This time, a patient had been caught growing marijuana and had somehow managed to get in trouble with the law. As his physician, I was being called to support the patient’s claim that he needed weed.When I showed up in court, the young man was contrite. He was a polite and well-groomed man, a semipro athlete who used marijuana instead of anti-inflammatories for his muscle pain.

Michael Douglas’s Claim

Was It Really Cunnilingus?

Chris Pizzello/AP

The actor, now in remission from stage 4 oral cancer, now says oral sex caused the disease. Kent Sepkowitz on how it could be possible—and why the announcement will drive doctors insane.

Hollywood actor, producer, director, and disease epidemiologist Michael Douglas made news Sunday by settling a puzzle that has dogged cancer specialists for more than a decade. He pronounced that his oral cancer, diagnosed three years ago, was caused by cunnilingus.With the dispatch, he has pushed the field forward, backward, and every which way in a manner that may be difficult to recover from. Only recently, a solid association had been established between certain types of head and neck cancer and the human papilloma virus (HPV), already well accepted as the cause of cervical cancer, the disease prevented so successfully by the Pap smear.

Special Delivery

Birth Control Makes a Comeback

Lai Seng Sin/AP

For years family planning had dropped out of the international conversation of women’s health. This year, at the Women Deliver conference in Malaysia, it’s back.

It’s hard to talk about women’s health worldwide without talking about birth control, but somehow, when the first Women Deliver conference convened in London in 2007, that’s largely what happened. At the time, support for international contraceptive programs had dried up for a number of reasons, including the urgency of the AIDS crisis and the hostility of the George W. Bush administration. Some feminist groups, meanwhile, shied away from anything that might smack of population control.

Contagion

Please Pay Attention to MERS

Cynthia Goldsmith/Maureen Metcalfe/Azaibi Tamin, via CDC

The WHO calls it a ‘threat to the entire world’ and 26 are dead. Why all of the scary talk about the strange, deadly virus coming out of the Middle East? Kent Sepkowitz explains.

Margaret Chan, secretary-general of the World Health Organization, raised a few eyebrows and dropped a few jaws this week with her proclamation that the weird new corona virus circulating mostly in the Middle East posed a “threat to the entire world.”She might be right, sort of. The virus is a close cousin of the contagion that caused SARS, the acronym for the severe acute respiratory syndrome that appeared dramatically in South China and Hong Kong in 2002, spread rapidly, and ended up causing more than 8,000 cases, including 775 deaths.

HIS MEDICAL CHOICE

He Had His Prostate Removed?!

Stewart Cohen/Getty

A Londoner had his prostate surgically removed after discovering that he was a carrier of the BRCA2 gene that pushed Angelina Jolie to get a mastectomy. Tom Sykes on the historic first for men.

Angelina Jolie had her breasts removed after discovering that her genetic makeup gave her an 87 percent chance of breast cancer. Now, an unnamed 53-year-old Londoner has become the first man in the world to have his prostate preemptively removed after discovering that, like the Hollywood actress, his genetic code made him a prime candidate for prostate cancer.Although standard tests showed no evidence of cancer, doctors finally agreed to go ahead with the controversial operation—which leaves men infertile as the prostate gland is responsible for the production of semen—and were astounded when, after the operation, examinations showed the organ to be riddled with cancer.

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Keeping My Risky Breasts

Jonathan Knowles/Getty

My genetics suggest a high risk of cancer, like Angelina Jolie. But I’m not convinced that preventive surgery is a good idea. By Daniela Drake, MD

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I got the call informing me of the results, I couldn’t understand what my doctor was saying. I’m a physician, and my doctor was offering a nuanced explanation of the findings, but that’s not what I heard. What I heard was this, “On the right, cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer and on the left, cancer cancer cancer cancer cancer.” I began hyperventilating. I was thinking, This is a mistake.

5 Secrets for Better Health Care

Johns Hopkins Hospital surgeon Marty Makary shares the five insider tips to getting top-notch medical care. First stop? The internet.

  1. Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? Play

    Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?

  2. The Number: $5.7 Billion Play

    The Number: $5.7 Billion

  3. The War on Waxing? Play

    The War on Waxing?

Books

Healthy Reads

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

The famous Grant Study tracked hundreds of Harvard men from youth to death to determine what predicts contentment.

Waste

Has the War on Cancer Failed?

Unlikely Cures

An Epidemic of Absence

A Selfish Read

What Richard Dawkins Reads

Nicomachean

How to Be Ethical