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back to article Santa Fe man demands half a mill for being near iPhone

Arthur Firstenberg is suing his neighbour for $530,000 for refusing to switch off her iPhone, claiming that the electromagnetic fields generated are destroying his health. Not only does Mr. Firstenberg want the iPhone switched off, but he also reckons that leaving the iPhone and a laptop charging overnight is denying him the …

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FAIL

EMF Free Zones

EMF free zones? If you can find one of them anywhere on the planet I'd be surprised.

Anyhoo, I've yet to see any concrete evidence that a mobile phone will harm the user's health, let alone the health of somebody several yards and a least one wall seperated from the phone in question. At that distance the radiation from the nearest base station, or indeed the nearest TV or radio transmitter, will be as powerful as that from his neighbour's phone. Is he suggesting all radio communication should cease at night?

And does he switch off everything electrical in his house at night? Fridge, freezer, central heating controller, burglar alarm, etc.

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Coat

re: EMF Free Zones

How about inside a Faraday Cage? IIRC, there is a nice one on the top of a hill that overlooks Portsmouth Harbour. Clue, It's got a Radar Dish on the top.

how about at the bottom of something like a salt mine (not coal as there is sometimes radioactive grot in it)

Back on topic. I wonder if this idiot's neighbours are suing him for an equal amount?

Mines the one with a lead lining.

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Microwave

Tell him to sit in a large microwave - a nice farady cage there. While hes in it, switch it on.

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Coat

Re: re: EMF Free Zones

First of all Faraday cages are not usually meant to protect again electromagnetic radiation, but against external static electric fields and discharges. However, you are correct that they can to a large degree shield the interior from electromagnetic radiation. But the shielding will not be complete and it will only shield against frequencies that have a significantly larger wavelength than the holes in the cages, and only then if the conductive material is thick enough. So what then if the distance between the atoms are significantly larger than the wavelengths of the radiation, as it the case with gamma radiation. Yes, usually sooner or later a gamma ray will hit the core of an atom, but there is no guarantee.

Further more let us assume if we can make a perfect Faraday Cage that will catch all electromagnetic radiation. That isn't enough. It would have to deflect all radiation and maintain a temperature of zero Kelvin. This since only at that temperature will it not radiate heat as electromagnetic radiation, and only if it deflects all radiation, instead of merely catching it, and is suspended in vacuum will not pick up any energy either.

Personally I recommend a tinfoil hat to mister Firstenberg, it should provide him with adequate cover.

Mines the one made of fur - What, it is cold out.

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Really?

Is he serious? If one iPhone can screw him over that badly I should be a jibbering wreck in my wireless-technology-infested open-plan office. Well, sometimes I am, but I'm sure it's unrelated.

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The telly makes me sick

Yes, it does, but its the crap content that does it.

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Stop

tinfoil hat anyone?

Maybe we can advise him and his fellows to wear blue tinfoil hats thus making them easier to round up....

Although anyone wanting to blame apple for everything can't be all bad....

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Black Helicopters

re: tinfoil hat anyone?

I would be hilarious if the judge ruled that medicare should provide a roll of tinfoil to the accuser.

However the poor accused, being harangued by some loony exercising his right to free (crazy) speech.

But maybe they want you to wear tin foil hats, its all a plan to make you act as range extenders for the at&t wireless network. The black helicopters are coming!!! AHHHHHHHH!

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Pirate

Beware of the Neo-luddites

I wonder if i can start a business selling faraday cages to nutters like this.

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Alien

Too late...

www.lessemf.com has all you need, including a stylish shielded baseball cap (so much more discreet than tinfoil).

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There's definitely a market

http://www.lessemf.com/cellphon.html#Garments

Somebody's already selling tinfoil baseball caps and shielded phone holsters. I'm not sure how you're supposed to receive a call with that.

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Too late

There are already people selling stuff like RFI blocking paint for $400 / gallon or copper "mosquito nets" to hang over your bed. Even some magic black boxes that run on a 9v battery that can cancel out all RFI in an area (it must be true, it says so on the website).

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Probably...

http://www.healthy-house.co.uk/products/electromagnetic_and_radiation_protection.php?sub_cat=63

Be quick though, it's a 'healthy' market already.

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WTF?

jokers?

http://www.lessemf.com/emf-appl.html

What??

Most of this is simple cheap chinese made tech.

Take for example the dashing alarm clock.

The image shows a cheap typical chinese made clock with a photoshopped (or rather MS painted) low EMF logo.

I think possible these people know how ridiculous these tinfoil hat wearers are, or they actually believe this stuff works.

Or even take the Degaussing coil.

Isn't this contradicting the point?

You may demagnetize a credit card - because we all know that gives off a massive electronic field /sarcasm

/rant end

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Happy

Nowt as queer as folk!

I'm sure there is some feeble basis to this, some people are sensitive to EMFs, but sounds like he picked up a copy fo New Scientist in the dentist waiting room and a light-bulb ( a low wattage, eco one of course ) went off in his head, he was then on the phone to this lawyer within minutes!

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No no

Not a eco bulb. Fluros make quite a nice EMF field when you turn them on.

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Alien

Counter suit?

I doubt this will be a problem for him for long. Given his ridiculous claims are not backed up by any kind of medical science, I'd expect his suit to be thrown out, and that the inevitable counter suit from his neighbour for "distress" probably will win rendering poor Arthur penniless and homeless!

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Anonymous Coward

On the bright side

On the bright side, his new neighbours won't have iPhones.

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Pft

This is America. He'll probably be awarded all he claims and more.

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I trust Mr Fruitloopenberg lives nowhere near any TV signals

or indeed on a planet which has a large electromagnetic field of its own

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Well..

He does live in New Mexico....

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He lives where?!?

Great! Roswell, aliens, and he's worried about an iPhone...

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Go

Blind testing

Piece of piss for the neighbour to humour him if required - tell him you're going to switch it off one night and get him to tell you which night he thinks it was.

Then just leave it on the whole week and tell him to f**k off when he tells you it must have been Tuesday night.

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re: Counter suit

With the added advantage that he'll no longer need to worry about the shared wiring in his house intensifying his exposure, as he won't have a house to start with.

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Joke

Anyone want to take a guess....

At what this guy may do for a living.

I would suggest a politician. Maybe a distant relative of Peter Mandelson?

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Alert

He's sniffed one too many alien probes...

And the woo woo fairies are stealing his sleep. Seriously needs some mental help, some Xanax to take care of his anxiety disorders, and a place out side the universe if he wants an EMF free zone. Between cosmic rays and background radiation, dieing is probably his only relief. Or maybe wrapping himself in about a 100 layers of tinfoil and a layer of lead connected to a 4 gauge copper wire connected to an eight foot ground rod.

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I think we need to start a new trend

Whenever someone files a lawsuit like this, the defending side should start out with paperwork to have them committed to a mental institution. At the very least, it would slow down some of the other folks of similar disposition, and at best it could cause some of these loonies to be put where they belong.

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Megaphone

Throw him out

A hefty fine for wasting court's time.

A counter suit for the time and effort of the victim (neighbor).

Then lock him away at some prison for the mentally unhealthy (can't recall the correct term for those in English now...) until he is cured, or dead, or can prove EMF really makes him sick (burden of proof is on the claimant, obviously), whichever comes first. Make him pay for his stay, of course.

Ain't I feeling generous today?

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EMF-Free zones and nutjobs

"was campaigning to have the government pay for EMF-Free zones where fellow sufferers could hide out"

There are already. Move to West Virginia, a large portion of it bans any radio, cellular, etc. sites so (publicly) the radio telescope can operate and (covertly) so the feds could have a clean RF environment to try to pick up Soviet broadcasts better. Oh, you want one that's not in the middle of nowhere? Too bad, piss off. Or better still move to a deserted island. Or, build a farraday cage around your place. Or better for a nutjob. get a tinfoil hat.

What a nutjob. I would DEFINITELY countersue. This has been proven false, in an experiment where basically the suckers started twitching, complaining about headaches, etc. etc. AS SOON as they saw a cell phone, then got real sheepish as soon as the researchers pointed out "this phone is off." They were, without exception, unable to tell if a device was operating or not, and if they could not SEE an operating phone they would not react (even if they were well within it's strong RF field.)

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Silver badge

"This has been proven false"

Actually the experiment you cite only proves that the headache-inducing effects of cell phones is mediated through the eyes of the victims. It all makes sense now! I'm sure that Mr. Firstenberg would sleep much better if he plugged that peep hole to his neighbour's bedroom (regardless of the state of said neighbour's phone or laptop).

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Boffin

Absolutely Right

None of the properly set up experiments (they began to use the techniques the parapsychology people use) have been able to find anyone who can demonstrate electrosensitivity. Apparently they are not necessarily ruling out that there are some truly sensitive souls out there, only that they have never found one. These people are either in need of psychiatric help or just out to seek to blame anyone but themselves for problems in their lives (most likely). It's a goldmine for hypochondriacs, being 'electrosensitive').

Since we have now had in much of Europe cellphone coverage for 30 years now, the epidemiologists have been mighty quiet about the huge extra load on health services that must have resulted if these people are right. Which is a good thing to ask yourself when the doom mongers tell you civilisation will end if you continue to eat/drink/wear/breathe/be exposed to X. Where are all the bodies?

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Alert

look out for...

Look for "Cancer", you may find some bodies...

Have you done a MRI lately?

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Linux

Bothered by loony neighbours with paranoid delusions?

Unfortunately there is no app for that. Having said that, it has given me an idea for an app. Basically it would be just a button that said on/off but with "Brain Frying Ray" at the top. iPhone users could then point their phone at those overly sensitive types and watch them squirm.

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Terminator

wait..

Wait till he finds out about the satellites (commercial geosynchronous C,Ku,Ka bands, military, weather, etc.) and the cell towers too (not just the phones)..that'd be precious to observe. What's he gonna do, put tinfoil on all the walls inside his house? That might help this nut.

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Alien

Disconect his electricity

If we wants to be free of EMF he shouldn't have any electricity to his house in the first place.

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WTF?

It's only certain EMF fields that are DANGEROUS!

My neighbor has FOX news on all the time - can start a class action suit? I'm sure it's giving me the runs.

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EMF Free Zone?

Its called Montana.

Seriously, there are loads of places in the US that have no cell coverage - its called "the countryside".

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Exposure to the iPhone?

I often find that exposure to iPhone _owners_ is far more headache-inducing than exposure to their fruity devices. But maybe it's just me.

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Common Complaint

I'm with him. All iPhone users make me feel sick.

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This guy belong

in the looney bin.

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FAIL

All you need to know about EMF sensitivity...

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/12/72265

I particularly like the refernce to Compulsive Risk Assessment Psychosis.

I seem to remember an article in New Scientist saying that in controlled conditions it was simply impossible for the supposedly afflicted to tell whether they were being subjected to such fields with any better than a 50/50 chance of success.

Give 'em an MRI and see what happens...

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Dead Vulture

I really...

Wish you lot managed to get yourselves exposed enough till you started suffering Electromagnetic HyperSensitivity...

then you'd be screaming for recognition of our disability that the British Government Refuses to acknowledge exists, as they (without asking any scientist) think all this high tech crap will save them in the next election and the worlds economy (they also believed the sun shined out of the arses of the corporate bankers.)

there are places in France, Romania and Finland where mobile phone networks are non existant. most of the rest of europe accept that the condition exists, we all have different sensitivity levels.

Emissions from TV and GPRS and survey satellites are something we cannot avoid anywhere on the planet (unfortunately) but the levels from them are still very low.

DVB, 3G/4G and the damned WiFi networks are growing in power levels and will have a increasing effect in cancer clusters and other physical/physiological effect on the population.

and yes living in a salt mine is a option, though not a very healthy one.

i believe there is a Faraday Cage at the science museum in London, why not pop along and see just how much ElectroSmog we are really being exposed to after being in there for a few minutes. You will be surprised by just how much we have become accustomed to over the years.

oh an that junk science alzheimers report on benificial EMF's helping is utter junk, they used a scientific microwave generator, not the emmsions of a 3G phone or wifi or even Tetra radio (all of which utilise PMR) which is very damaging to DNA.

wishing you all the very best with living next door to a Mobile phone tower,(it wont only be your property value going south, but you family into pine boxes going the same way)

welcome to your next residence, a pretty plot with a view....

you are most welcome to it..........

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Faraday cage

You know that a Faraday cage is really easy to make, right? With some money you can even turn your whole apartment into a nigh-perfect Faraday cage (search for "shielded rooms"). Of course you'll have to get rid of all electrical appliances if you really want a RF-free place. If sleep is the only problem you can set a shielded tent around your bed (doubles as a mosquito net). For a whole-apartment shielding on the cheap, you can check shielding drapes and tarpaulins (not as perfect as real shielded rooms, but you can open them when you want to watch TV, listen to the radio or use a cellphone.)

You know, the funny thing with "mobile phone towers" as you call them is that most of the people complaining (headaches and whatnot) are the ones living directly underneath. That is, where the relay tower actually doesn't emit anything. Funny that.

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Flame

And so...

Like the peanut-allergic causing nuts to be banned on all flights, you would have all electronic technology banned so you and your ilk can perpetuate your weak genes. Seriously, I (and LOT of others) are sick of these allergic-to-everything minorities demanding impositions on the whole of society because 0.001% of the population has a problem with something. Guess what? A century and a half ago, a gentleman by the name of Charles Darwin posited a scientific principle that held that lifeforms with genetic properties that prevented them from adapting to changes in their environment became extinct through a process he called "natural selection". What you have is what is called a non-survival trait. You are destined for extinction because you can't adapt. The world isn't going to stop changing so that you and your maladaptive genome can survive.

Now please to die and fossilise so the world can continue evolving and future paleontologists can study your remains and speculate on what might have caused such an aberrant creature to evolve.

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DIY bedroom shielding

Now that I'm not wating my employer's money anymore, here is a simple DIY recipe for the members of the tinfoil brigade wishing to shield their well-desserving sleep from noxious brain-cooking, cancer-inducing, kiddie-fiddling electromagnetic radiations. It's not as efficient as living in a 10-cm thick airtight copper box but it should dim the radiations enough to cut most man-induced signal transmission. (effect on headaches not guaranteed, though: paracetamol -or in this case Xanax- are probably more efficient).

Material:

-A few tens of Times worth of newspaper

-a bunch of cheapo white bed linen (two times the surface to be shielded, plus2 linen. Don't forget floor and ceiling.)

-a few tens of tinfoil rolls (adapt the number to the area of the shield needed. Don't forget to take floor and ceiling in consideration). Real tin foil (i. e. Fe, not Al) is probably much better, but Al foil will probably do the trick anyway (tin foil is more difficult to get -and more expensive). Given the choice, go for the "industrial" or "heavy-duty" variety, a bit more expensive but probably more "effective" -especially regarding your time and curses: save your fragile nerves, kitchen-type aluminium foil is nigh-impossible to handle for the kind of surface we're talking about. And thin tin foil is even worse.

-a few bags of dry poster glue (cheap as dirt, don't hesitate to over-buy, you can still pour the surplus in your neighbour's mailbox, oughta teach'em). If you want, recipes for poster glue abound on the web. Just check your fave pseudo-activist website. Most artisanal glues will crumble to dust quite fast though, so you might want to use real wallpaper glue instead.

-a large glue brush.

-some way to keep the shielding in place (nails and hammer for permanent wall install, rods, string and contact glue for your very own fort, same plus 147 rolls of duct tape if you are an engineer, etc. Your imagination is the limit)

-semi-optional: a heavy-duty bathtub, large amount of water (x2), mop, pants.

-optional: assorted acrylic paint pots, assorted paintbrushes, paint thinner.

Method:

-lay one linen on the floor, cover generously with poster glue.

-remember that you forgot to cover the floor with newspaper

-frantically remove the glue-soaked linen from the floor, throw in the bathtub.

-clean floor with large amount of water and mop

-Allow the floor to dry.

-get glue-soaked linen from the bathtub

-The floor was not the only thing to dry...Soak linen in second large amount of water (in the bathtub, of course)

-lay new clean, dry linen on the newspaper-covered floor

-cover generously with poster glue

-apply tinfoil on the linen so as to cover the whole surface. Avoid tinfoil superimposition as poster glue does a bad job at gluing metal on metal.

-if you used the kitchen-variety of tinfoil: realize that tinfoil prefers to stick to your glue-covered hands rather than to the linen. Cuss a lot, make a total mess of the thing, stop short of turning yourself into a tinfoil mummy and throw everything in bathtub.

- go get industrial-grade tinfoil (well, you can't say I did not warn you)

-take fresh linen

-realise that the newspaper protective layer went in the bathtub with the rest of the bloody stuff.

-Lay new layer of newspaper.

-Ooops, what was this Sun edition doing in there?

-Admire page 3, save it for, erm, a friend of yours who collects them and happens to miss this particular one.

-finish laying the newspaper.

-lay new linen, cover in glue (you should be an expert at that by now).

-Cover the linen with tinfoil, avoiding superimposition.

-Notice how easy it is when you use heavy-duty tinfoil. Laugh at the cheap fools who try to use the kitchen-grade one.

-Wonder what you are going to do with these 30 rolls of kitchen-grade tinfoil that the missus seems to have bought for some reason. Seriously, what was she thinking.

-once the linen is covered with tinfoil, lay a second linen on the floor.

-realise that you don't have that kind of surface available, go do that in the neighbours' living room (hey, you're watering their plants, they owe you that)

-cover generously with poster glue.

-realise that you forgot the newspaper

-don't give a crap. After all, you're watering their plants. Not to mention the mail. (more about that later)

-Lay the second, glue-covered linen on the tinfoil layer covering the first linen to make a linen-glue-tinfoil-glue-linen sanwich.

-carefully chase air bubbles away.

-let dry (while possibly admiring your friend's collection of Sun's page 3s which he happened to leave there for some reason -if you forgot to wash your glue covered-hands, cuss a lot)

-check the dryness state of your crafty creation

-realise that glue-soaked jeans dry faster thant tinfoil-covered linen. Especially at 37 degrees.

-cuss a lot

-be thankfull that you don't have to shave your legs anymore.

-actually, don't. Especially when you realise that it's not only your legs.

-stumble to the bathtub

-after half an hour in the bathtub, take off your pants, discard the mud (made of 2 linen, some tinfoil, newspaper, and your pants.)

-have a shower, get new pants

-repeat until shortage of any supply.

-cover walls, ceiling and floor with your homemade shielding.

-optional: decorate (using the optional acrylic paint, paintbrush and paint thinner).

-notice that you have 9 liters of glue left. Pour half a liter in any letterbox you have access to (except your own, stupid). That should take care of your neighbour's mail. What do they think you are, their slave?

-realize that you have 8.5 liters of glue left. Use that to water the neighbour's plants. It's organic, they should like it.

-Realise that you had only 8 liters left, not 8.5. Wonder where the missing half liter went

-don't check your mailbox now, you've had enough for today.

-go to bed, have a nice, quiet night, undisturbed by all the nocive radiations.

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Boffin

Re: Electromagnetic HyperSensitivity

It's called natural selection – and it’s nature's* way of strengthening the human gene pool by weeding out the weak and the deficient.

* - (with some help from Vodafone, Linksys, the national grid, et-al)

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However in this case...

The electromagnetic field generated by electrical devices from a neighbours house is what is really being ridiculed here. The levels of exposure from these devices would be so low at that range as to be unnoticeable in comparison to background radiation. And I'm pretty sure it's not being carried by shared wiring.

We are all hoping that common sense, and maybe a bit of science, will be applied in this case.

You will note that I am not saying that hypersensitivity doesn't exist, just that it does not apply in this case.

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Joke

GTAIII

There's a joke about Citizens Raging Against Phones somewhere around here...

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Oh dear...

... perhaps we can send him to a nice, quiet, and overall EMF-free zone so that he can live out a happy and peaceful life - that is until the French use it as a nuclear test site.

Problem solved.

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Bronze badge

Inverse square: It's the Law!

One of these days the tin-foil-hat people will understand, but probably not in their lifetime. Of course, one must consider ALL sources of EMF, including that great nuclear reactor that is emitting them 93,000,000 miles away. Until THAT gets shut off, I don't think anything will truly be EMF free. Of course there is the big-bang background radiation that persists, and I don't think THAT is going away anytime soon.

Why doesn't he move to Taliban territory. They seem to be in the 13th century when EMF wasn't a problem!

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