• A report commissioned by the Beer Academy says beer is one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks available, for both body and mind. After exploring the psychological and social benefits of downing a few bottles, the report argued.
"Beer contains vitamins which can help you to maintain a well-balanced healthy diet, fibre to keep you regular, readily absorbed antioxidants and minerals such as silicon which may help to lower your risk of osteoporosis." If that's not enough justification to pick up a six-pack, I don't know what is. • Paralyzed patients may one day be able to move their bodies with a robotic device, controlled by a chip implanted in the brain. Scientists are currently developing chips that can read your mind and transmit the information wirelessly to prosthetic limbs. Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga said he believes the technology may be available for people within five years. They have had some success with similar devices in monkeys, though they have yet to figure out a way to make it cable-free. • According to new research, four out of five Australian women drink during pregnancy, and one in five mothers admitted to drinking heavily while knocked up. The lead author of the study believes most women don't really have a clear idea of how much alcohol is too much, due to confusing advice from health practitioners. • An all-female flotilla is set to leave from Lebanon in an attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. The vessel has been deemed the "freedom flotilla," and organizers have denied any link to Hezbollah, though Haifa Wehbe begs to differ. Apparently, the Lebanese singer has been rejected from the vessel on the grounds that her "nudity, degradation and immodest dress" would damage the reputation of Arabs. • The Kabul Women's Center in Afghanistan is currently undergoing a $500,000 face-lift sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development. The center is a rare place of refuge for women and children (only males under 9 are allowed inside). It is staffed by women, including female police officers and intelligence officers. Inside the walls are housed a women-run mosque and several small businesses. • The Indian government announced this week that they will begin subsidizing menstrual pads for impoverished school girls. Many female students are unable to afford proper sanitary products, which often means they have to miss school when they have their periods. This will help girls get a better education (and allow them greater freedom of mobility for a week out of every month) but on the flip side, it may have a negative impact on the environment. • According to a Tehran newspaper, about "62,000 women were warned for being badly veiled" by police in the province of Qom. However, it is unclear whether the women were all from Qom or were travelers passing through. Police have also confiscated 100 cars for carrying improperly dressed women. • Political smear tactics may be losing their effectiveness in South Carolina, reports the Washington Post. Despite reports that candidate Nikki Haley had a few affairs, she still won 49.5 % of the vote in the primary. Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped the Haley-haters, who have started a new campaign questioning whether the Indian-American politician is really a Christian, like she says. • A recent study found that obese patients without metabolic risk factors for diabetes and heart disease do not have the elevated cardiovascular risk typically associated with obesity. However, this only represents 6.8% of obese individuals, and as one researcher adds, "they may still suffer from other obesity-associated diseases like muscle and joint complaints." • A disturbingly high percentage of doctors in Britain have witnessed a colleague discriminating against people with learning disabilities, study says. A poll of hospital staff across the UK revealed that 45% of doctors have personally seen a patient being neglected or receiving poor quality care, and a similar percentage say they believe patients with disabilities received below-average NHS care. • "The seasonality of child abuse is clearly a myth," claims a new study out of Indiana. Despite common belief that abuse rises during winter months, especially during the holidays, researchers found that the risk for death by homicide is pretty much the same throughout the year. • Police officers in New Delhi are teaching women how to defend themselves using a scarf known at a "dupatta." Though many women don't report their harassers, officials recognize that so-called "eve teasing" is a huge problem throughout the country. "Come on women. Learn to shout, learn to object and learn to hit back," shouted a trainer at the self-defense workshop. • The results of a study on what women want online are pretty unexceptional. It's mostly what you would expect; 76% of women plan on using the internet to keep in touch with friends and family, and 67% will probably use it to check the news. • The Johnston siblings aren't getting along, according to Levi's attorney. Rex Butler says Mercede Johnston isn't in touch with anyone from "Team Levi," and though she published a lot of junk on her blog, she knows nothing about Levi's whereabouts or his life. •