Mobile phones don't cause cancer?
What am I supposed to do with my tinfoil hat now?
Mobile phones still aren't killing people, according to the latest research from Norway, but in contrast to previous studies the Norwegians aren't calling for more money to fund research. The fact that mobile phones don't cause cancer, or other medial condition, isn't news, but the latest study from the Norwegian Institute of …
It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise-sane individuals will focus on a perceived risk like this rather than the one staring them in the face, like their own obesity/fag addiction/binge drinking etc...
I used to have a hugely fat colleague who drank SlimFast shakes like they were a potion to make her thin (i.e. the more she drank the thinner she would get) but, after getting one of those flashing LED phone stand things for her desk - the ones that light up just before your phone goes off - decided she could no longer keep her mobile phone about her person as the flashing LEDs were some sort of voodoo and however they operated it was clearly bad for her health. Scary.
News isn't really news if it doesn't surprise anybody.
I work in schools and some of them have been the subject of protest because they allowed mobile phone masts onto their sites.
Strangely, the fuss died down quite quickly once things like 3G access came along and the parents could start googling the school in the morning to see what time their little darling has to be there, texting the school to say they'll be late, looking up the school Twitter account (I kid you not) for whether the after-school hockey match is cancelled, etc.
The summary is: If you think the phones are dangerous, don't put one to your ear and you'll be fine. If you think the masts are dangerous, there's not much you can do about it except measure it (and then you'll find that the radio transmitters for things like airports, minicab firms and TV/radio SWAMP them in terms of emitted power).
Inverse square law, people. If it's not presenting a danger to you while pressed next to your head, then it's certainly not doing anything to you when it's hundreds of metres away. And if it was presenting a danger to you, you'd be dead by now giving the sheer amount of them sold every day. And you'd also have died because of radio, TV, minicab firms and even just standing near an unshielded piece of electronic equipment for the last 70 years.
Unfortunately, the inverse square law cannot be explained to stupid people. And then there was the person in Glastonbury (perhaps unsurprisingly) to whom I tried to explain it, who said that perhaps the very weak signals from the masts have more effect than the strong ones next to the ear because "the whole body is immersed in them".
My own solution? Confiscate technology from people too stupid to understand it. Roads less crowded, fewer mobile phones and computers, and an incentive for kids to get GCSE in STEM subjects.
You need to readjust your didactic methods. I find the following works well.
Take "student" outside at night. Take out small keychain flashlight, explaining it is about 1W. Shine it down the road at a distant streetlight. Explain that it the streetlight is 1000W or so and ask them if they see the spot from your little light on the lamppost. Whilst they are looking carefully, suddenly whip the flashlight round and shine it straight in their eye.
if you through them at someone hard enough.
Besides, Australia has a 'death by mobile' verdict these days, doesn't it? Okay, the device might not be the direct cause, but it can be the distraction to the idiot using it who then steps out into the path of a bus/lorry/passing UFO...
if everyone in the whole world use their mobiles to simultaneously dial the same phone number, it will break down the fabric of space-time and leak radiation into the Medusa Cascade allowing a dangerous alien interloper to follow the signal and kill us all TO DEATH. It's not a risk I'm willing to take.
Don't you know if you have two phones and call one from the other, then hold them on either side of an egg the resulting super-position of microwaves can COOK THE EGG!!!
(Just an example of how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, you get morons using terms like "super-position")
"Not only is there no evidence of illness, but there's no mechanism by which illness can be induced."
Just to pick apart this entire sentence :)
We have more than "no evidence of illness". Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and all that. What we have here is (more) evidence of no illness. Big difference.
And that evidence is enough. Science works by evidence alone; the idea you can shoot this down by saying there is no mechanism is wrong (because you actually mean there's no *known* mechanism; there could be an unknown mechanism, and if the evidence showed an effect you'd need to look for that unknown mechanism - that's how we discovered ... well, everything.)
I still believe that some people are affected, but most likely via the nocebo effect (the placebo effect's evil cousin). Basically, if you believe a mobile phone will give you headaches, it probably will.
I get headaches when using my mobile phone, but only with certain callers. And if they keep me talking for more than 90 minutes my ear and neck start to hurt, and I get restless and irritable. Did they test that? ;)
Place someone who "exhibits" physical symptoms inside a faraday cage, with a fake phone.
Make tell them its a real phone, and see their reaction.
Repeat and tell them its a fake phone, but flood the cage with radiation equivalent to a real phone.
Surely someone has tried this?
More or less. A public wifi was installed in Glastonbury, whereupon a number of the shopkeepers of the "Alternative" variety started to complain of headaches and other ill effects. Unfortunately, it hadn't been turned on.
Me, I suspect they were afraid that anybody who knew how to connect to wifi might also have views on healing crystals and chakras that they might express publicly, this contaminating the atmosphere.
"A public wifi was installed in Glastonbury, whereupon a number of the shopkeepers of the "Alternative" variety started to complain of headaches and other ill effects. Unfortunately, it hadn't been turned on"
Similar effects have been observed in the vicinity of newly erected cellular towers - sometimes before the antennas have even been installed.
A study was done a few years ago, they got a load of these hypersensitive types and whilst they sat in a fake waiting room that they were told was shielded from rf radiation, the researchers toggled a transmitter and noted the reactions of the subjects (absolutely nothing).
They then summoned each subject in to another room and toggled a fake transmitter that did nothing in full view of the person. When the fake was toggled the subjects reported headaches and nausea among other symptoms pretty much proving that the effect was placebo.
Have any of these people claiming to be hypersensitive to radio emissions been put through a double-blind test? Did any of them pass (i.e. prove that it's even possible for a human being to tell whether an alleged mobile phone in their proximity is or is not turned on, if it's sealed in an opaque plastic box that they can't touch or open, that's provided to them by a person who also doesn't know if the "phone" is on, off, or a root vegetable.
It's the same as with drugs. Some get better because they believe that inert tablets are useful medication (placebo effect), and some report unpleasant side effects even when the pills are inert dummies (which one might call drug hypersensitivity if it weren't a double-blind test).
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