back to article Brit chap weaves silver bullet for wireless health scare bollocks

Move over, brain-cancer scare-mongers: a Brit physics graduate has taken the kind of material used to create anti-stink exercise gear, run it up as underwear, and is trying to flog it as a Faraday cage for mens' wedding tackle. By including four times as much silver in its product than the typical five per cent weave used for …


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  1. herman Silver badge

    Silver thread? Those undies won't stop anything unless it is woven from Monster Cables.

    1. Richard 26

      OTOH, if you wear these you're very unlikely to be bitten by a werewolf.

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

        " if you wear these you're very unlikely to be bitten by a werewolf."

        Bitten where -- exactly?

        In these modern times of Twighlight and the rest, a werewolf would be expected to go for a bit of rumpy-pumpy as well as ripping heads of enemies.

  2. Otto is a bear.


    In the name of science and consumer awareness, a valiant Reg reporter should don a pair and test the veracity of the claims.

    Alternately just put their iPhone inside an unworn pair and see if they can ring it, before trying the same trick about their person.

    1. mtp

      Re: Perhaps

      Send me a pair and I will book a session at a test site and post a formal report. No iPhone but a carefully positioned Nexus 5 should do the trick.

  3. Graham Hawkins

    And you filed this under your 'SCIENCE' section because....?

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      every now and then even the most serious science editor wants to have a good laugh?

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Is there enough silver in the thread

    To provide an alternative path for, say, Taser current?

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Is there enough silver in the thread

      Did you watch the pilot episode of Babylon?

  5. qwertyuiop

    Airport scanners?

    What kind of effect would a pair of these have when you walked through a metal detector at an airport security check or if you were asked to step into the scanner? "Honest officer, it's just my silver-thread chuddies..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Airport scanners?

      Little, stated 5% weave, a minor increase in contrast on thz scanners.

      On walk-thru I would say 0. Back of envelope calc ... and personal experience of silver foil in pocket say so.

  6. Bottle_Cap

    So one way or another this article is about nuts?

  7. Mage Silver badge

    Fake Snake oil

    The kind of nano silver in Anti smelly stuff isn't RF blocking or conductive. An RF shield has to have wires long enough and in all directions to "short out" any induced current. Foil or fine mesh is best. Any metallic threads in a yarn used to weave will not short reliably.

    Also two large holes at base and big hole at top. Maybe lead lined pants would block an ionising radiation source at crotch level, but these will not block RF.

    Also there is ZERO evidence that any normally encountered RF Field has any harmful effect. A strong field will give cataracts, like if you peer into running transmitter waveguide or stand in front of high power radar dish (pretty much like microwave oven 700W average power, 10kW repetitive peak).

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Fake Snake oil

      No, not at all,

      Genuine 100% snake oil.

      Only the best.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Fake Snake oil


      I don't think you actually need to make the arguments. The idea is pretty obviously bollocks in more than one sense and no El Reg reader would think otherwise.


    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Fake Snake oil

      OK, so much for silver. But I've got tinfoil underpants, to match my tinfoil hat. Let's see your government control-rays get through that!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Fake Snake oil

        Let's see your government control-rays get through that!

        They can get latex-covered fingers up various orifices whenever you look at them wrong, why would they need control rays?

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Fake Snake oil

      Turns out tin foil hats actually *amplify* certain EM frequencies. Specifically two frequencies which are classed by the FCC as being for government use.

      I look forward to the law suits as men find that wearing tin foil undies actually fries their genitals.

  8. paultnl

    What can I say?

    Bollocks for bollocks

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Oh Well

    Reminds me of the man who covered his genitals in duct tape, at a time when Tom Ridge, the US Director of Homeland Security, suggested windows and doors be sealed against terrorist attacks. This bloke's reasoning was that after a terrorist attack, he would have to help repopulate the US, so he thought it prudent to cover his family jewels in duct tape for the duration of the 'Amber Alert'.

    Unfortunately, when he tried to remove it a week later hair and skin came with it. To add to his woes, medical staff kept laughing at him, 'causing him psychological distress'. He then announced his intention to sue Tom Ridge for 'giving him bad advice', and George W Bush for employing Mr Ridge in the first place.

    - I wish I could find a source online, but I read it in Private Eye's 'Funny Old World' section some years back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Well

      Well he was clearly an idiot. Everyone knows you should use saran wrap first underneath duct tape...

  10. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Dr Allan Percy?

    Talking about male reproductive stuff? Nominative determinism?

  11. Mark #255

    Shielding Effectiveness only quoted for the fabric...

    So, the material itself provides (according to their indiegogo page, and converted into proper numbers) 70 to 80 dB, which is actually quite reasonable for a woven fabric.

    But once you fashion it into a pair of pants, and leave great big holes for the leg and trunk, you'll be lucky to get any level of SE worth bothering about.

    Also, measuring the SE in a meaningful way would require a body phantom (full of toxic goo which mimics the body's electromagnetic properties accurately enough), so actually it would be a rather expensive measurement.

    So all in all it's a good job that the threats these pants are supposed to mitigate are not actually backed up by credible, peer-reviewed science, since the pants won't actually provide the (implied but strictly speaking not promised) protection.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Shielding Effectiveness only quoted for the fabric...

      I'm guessing that the people behind this are assuming that the holes for one's torso and legs don't matter, as they are plugged by the user's body.

      Which implies that the user's body does an equally good job of blocking this "evil EM radiation" as the silver pants do.

      But if the human body blocks this radiation already WHAT'S THE BLOODY POINT OF THE PANTS?!

  12. FartingHippo

    Good luck, fella!

    I can't see much wrong with making money from gullible idiots.

    Also, he could sell it to concerned hill-walkers and antenna engineers. It would surely redirect any lightning strike around the sensitive area and therefore stop your testicles behaving like two eggs in a microwave.

  13. Irongut

    Does it help with

    maggots in your scrotum?

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Does it help with

      see icon

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: WTF

        That's a "The Book of Mormon" (by the South Park guys) reference, apparently.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: WTF

          And an old story on alt.tasteless

          1. LINCARD1000

            Re: WTF

            Ah, good ol' alt.tasteless... I used to hang around on there a few years back. There were some real gems, both in terms of posts and the people that posted them.

            Have an upvote for nostalgia's sake :-)

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: WTF

              It was /b/ before moot.

            2. David 132 Silver badge

              Re: WTF

              Are you THE Lincard who used to post frequently and outrageously on a.t, back in the mid 90's? Man, good times, consider this a "hi" from someone who remembers you (even if you never knew me. I think I posted a grand total of once.) I lurked there all through my student days and have never, ever laughed so hard as I did then. Saved many of the posts to my hard drive and they've been carefully migrated from system to system over the last 20 years or so. I always particularly enjoyed the stories from Tae Kim the paramedic. Wow. Thanks for the memories.

              *wanders off mumbling about things definitely NSFW*

  14. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Not suitable for iPhone users

    As fanboi's todger is a mandatory part of the antenna circuit... ;-)

  15. The last doughnut

    I salute your sir

    For inventing this little money-making scheme. Someone will buy it. Lets have a beer and consider some more means of making money out of idiots.

  16. Frankee Llonnygog

    Would sir like long, medium, or shortwave?

    Are these to block yer tackle from receiving, or transmitting? Reception of unwanted emissions can get you into trouble.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      You must be living in Sweden.

      Radio Assange FTW!

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    What's with the overexposure of "Wifi kills better than $THREAT and more insidiously" meme lately? In the last couple of days two persons talked my ear off bleedingly about the nefarious effects of digital microwave energy in the ether. Said nefarious effects being all well known to the sciency circles which are, however, unable to speak because their righteous voices are being ruthlessly ballgagged by "industry power".

    On the other hand, I have been spared such nonsense the whole last year.

    Creeping Califonization or Something in the Daily Mail?

    TETRA merely uses the old carriers for digital instead of analogue signals

    I tried to explain something about digital signalling in the time domain being exactly the same as analog signalling in the time domain if they are mapping to x GHz in the frequency domain, but to no avail. This digital shit is DANGEROUS with all these sharp corners, man!

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge


      Sadly conspiracy theorists have confirmation bias at a disease level.

      No objective evidence is ever going to get past their certainty without first being being twisted 180 degrees.

      Especially where their government say anything they don't want to hear.

      If you've managed to meet a few recently don't bother trying to explain anything, let alone persuade. Unless you enjoy fruitless argument for its own sake. They are impervious to reason, or indeed self-doubt, which makes them much better at arguing than rational people.

      The main problem with such people is that they provide useful camouflage for when governments really *are* up to some kind of dodgy collusion or cover-up. Like giving big contracts to big companies that already have a track record of screwing up big projects. Or when lots of people die in a football stadium.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        Yeah, well, all these new scares are nothing but some well forgotten old fears...

        Refer to "Waldo" by Heinlein, published in 1942 :-)

  18. mtp

    Oyxgen free?

    I accept that it is bi-legged and by the looks of it directional but it is it oxygen free? Got to have the ultimate hifi undies here.

  19. M Gale

    Microwave is non-ionizing radiation.

    This means that the stuff does not play smash-it-with-a-baseball-bat with your DNA. Unless water molecules rotating can cause cancer, you're going to protect approximately jack, and shit.

    But I suppose some suckers will buy it.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Microwave is non-ionizing radiation.

      But it will cook you alright if you stick your head into a microwave oven and disable the safeties...

      There are known cases of engineers having been killed while working on radar antennae which weren't switched off and during my military training we were not allowed to switch radars into transmission mode if there were unprotected people around our vehicles.

      But that is that - you have to be *very* close to the source and the latter must be *very* powerful for it to affect you.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Microwave is non-ionizing radiation.

        And at that distance and power output, the microwave energy being absorbed by your metallic undies will be getting converted into heat and frying your gonads quite effectively.

        And yes, yes I've been hit by a practical joker who wanted me to pick up an illegally-powerful 27MHz FM CB antenna, with the rig still live unbeknownst to me. Then he keyed the thing up. Most unpleasant.

        1. Roger Mew

          Re: Microwave is non-ionizing radiation.

          Firstly that is not funny, he could have killed you, a 20w 2 metre thats 144Mhz radio will light a 60w 230v lamp bulb.Secondly now you know why non radio technically adept people should not play with over 5w radio.

          Some years ago in a van I was passing the radar at London airport and all the flourescent tubes in the van used to light up (circa 1968) however the radar was running about 10 Mw, thats about 2,000,000 more than a legal CB. Note the van would equate to the silver in the underpants, some small holes eg the windows and not grounded.

  20. Mitoo Bobsworth

    For some reason...

    ...I keep thinking of the song "Silver Bells".

  21. Peter Holgate

    Load of Bollocks

    If I remember an old study from years ago, the reason for the low sperm count is more due to the tight underwear that athletes wear. I'm not a Scot, but the kilt is the best way to increase sperm count

    1. Roger Mew

      Re: Load of Bollocks

      I have to laugh I wear a kilt most of the time but do wear shreddies.

  22. mark jacobs

    That is a great headline! Perhaps the Register's headline writers could do some hard-to-solve cryptic clues for a technical crossword!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am an Elec eng and a radio amateur. The only load of bollock that this covers are the bollocks that it is designed to cover. The other bollocks is absolute bollox.

    Firstly as there are 3 openings the radio waves would pass thru via the body. Secondly, the transmissions that are likely to be received are so low as to be almost unnoticeable to the body. And finally if one has ejeculated in their knickers then I am suspecting that the sperm was not on its way to work, just excited!

    Sure if you are very near to a transmission mast say at Mundford road industrial estate near Thetford, sustained resting there or working there MAY have an effect, it does on other electronic things, however, as far as I know there have been no instances of RF induced death there which would be the more likely than cooked sperm.

    Finally, where does one connect the earth to as to work properly as a Faraday cage it should be grounded, and to only one point. As far as I can see, the only superficial probability of grounding is down the leg (where the excited sperm may go as well) and if 2 legs were then grounde you may have actualy created a loop antenna.

    As stated bollox for bollox!

    Incidentally active 70 Cms thats 430-439 Mhz using about 50 w and I have had 2 kids.

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