Potential risks of cellular and mobile phones

This is going to be a tricky post to write, because there’s an enormous amount of confusion, doubt, uncertainty, partisan bickering and plain old obfuscation in the field. I’m no expert, but there’s enough smoke out there to make me seriously concerned about the possibility of a real fire beneath it all. We’ve read of the potential radiation hazard from cellular telephones. There’s no authoritative ruling that it’s dangerous, but some scientists make a persuasive case that it is. (Their conclusions, needless to say, are denied by the manufacturers and vendors of such devices.) Even regulatory authorities are noncommittal about

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Wondering what to do with those old matches?

You could always ask this gentleman . . . Yes, that car is made out of matches. Nine hundred and fifty-six thousand of them, to be precise (well, give or take a few here and there!). According to the Daily Mail, Michael Arndt used 1,686 tubes of glue, spent about $9,000 and took six and a half years to complete it. No word on whether or not Mr. Arndt has a girlfriend. If not, then in order to get one I daresay he’ll have to exercise matchless ingenuity! Peter

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Specially for dog-lovers

I may be late with this story, but I’ve only just read about it. Last Christmas the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Auckland, New Zealand, had a fund-raising brainwave. Yes, they recorded a song that only dogs can hear! It was a great success, so much so that they’re thinking of releasing it in the UK and USA this year. In a BBC report a spokesman described the reactions of their canine listeners: “The most violent one was a dog that physically attacked the radio when it was played and went quite beserk and totally destroyed

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Fun With Miniatures

In the European market Samsung launched an advertising campaign for their ultra-slim cellphones using the catch-phrase “Millimeters Matter”. This inspired some rocket scientist types to create their own expression of that reality. Peter

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Bruce Schneier hits a home run

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Bruce Schneier’s Web site. He’s an authority on security, cryptography and related areas. In a recent article in his Crypto-gram newsletter he considers the competing demands of security versus privacy – and makes some very interesting points. We’ve been told we have to trade off security and privacy so often — in debates on security versus privacy, writing contests, polls, reasoned essays and political rhetoric — that most of us don’t even question the fundamental dichotomy. But it’s a false one. Security and privacy are not opposite ends of a seesaw; you

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Weekend Wings #7: Aerotoxic Syndrome?

The reality of so-called “aerotoxic syndrome” has been debated for years. The airline industry, aircraft manufacturers and regulatory authorities appear to have avoided the issue, uttered pious platitudes or flat-out denied its existence for many years. However, the weight of evidence has grown so strong that it’s now a major issue. I’d like to devote this “Weekend Wings” to the issue. If you or your loved ones spend much time aboard jet airliners, this is a critically important subject that you should be following. Until the 1960’s most airliners took their cabin air directly from the outside atmosphere, compressed it,

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Anyone for a swim?

In Newfoundland? In sub-zero temperatures? Temperatures so cold that when waves break on the shore, they do this? Y’know, I’d heard about how cold it gets up there in winter, but I’d never have believed this without video evidence! I’m getting cold just watching it . . . and as for that idiot in shorts and a T-shirt (4.03 and 4.20), what the heck is he trying to prove? Brrr! Peter EDITED TO ADD: It seems that the user account of the person who posted that video on YouTube has been suspended or withdrawn for some reason, so the video

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Stockbrokers And Superstition Redux

A couple of days ago I blogged about the problems of belief in witchcraft, witch-doctors and the madness that sometimes accompanies such credulity. In response, a friend (thanks, Dave!) sent me a link to a recent BBC report about Indian stockbrokers. Indian brokers at the Bombay Stock Exchange are calling on the authorities to bring in religious experts to change the direction of a bronze bull statue. They say the posterior of the bull, placed at the footsteps of the exchange building, points towards the traders which makes it inauspicious. . . . They want the religious experts to consult

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Saturday humor

Be warned. This might just render you helpless with laughter. (How do I know this? Trust me. I know this.) (Note: Use your mouse to raise the volume on the video – the control’s in the bottom right-hand corner. It’s rather quiet.) Peter

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The sweet goodness of golden syrup

Living here in the USA I’ve been introduced to many things to put on pancakes: maple syrup, molasses, preserves, and so on. However, it seems that few, if any, in this wonderful country have been exposed to the delights of Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I grew up with the stuff in South Africa. I still drool as I recall the rich, sweet goodness of it drizzled onto hot pancakes or stirred into thick porridge. Yummy indeed! The reason I mention it is that this year marks the 125th anniversary of its introduction. The Daily Mail has an excellent article

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