Archive for July, 2014

Microwaves, Bluetooth and Health

Posted on July 31, 2014. Filed under: Health Studies, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Whoa!  Have I shown you my mutated

Electromagnetic radiation is a basic in the Universe’s structure and operation.  It is everywhere (probably).  The Great Learned of Earth have examined it, mulled it, and catalogued its various manifestations to their satisfaction.  The inventive among them have figured out how to capture that theoretical* stuff and make it work for humans.  Thus, we have devices that can employ, create, record, and interpret long waves, short waves, microwaves, radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays, and, I am sure there are a lot of other descriptive tags** for all that stuff…

some of which — in ANY concentration — ain’t good for nobody.***  Think of it as a Cosmic Candy & Pastry Bistro, with aisle after aisle of freshly prepared, aromatic come-ons everywhere.  As long as you sample very sparingly, the delight remains delightful, but, over-absorption leads to complications within your biomass…   and repeat trips to the clothing store, dietician’s office, medical specialists, and, that  once-in-a-lifetime dream trip to the mortician’s workshop.

For simplicity — and fewer words — let’s just call all that stuff microwaves.  It is omnipresent and useful to that naked ape tool-maker, homo sap us.  But, like all things human, we tend to overdo it.  You ride the wind, you go where it takes you.

Our bodies were developed amidst the wild, chaotic, and yet, orderly, workings of the Universe.  That ambient level of microwaves was calibrated into our genetic makeup.  But, those clever, industrious humans have learned to create and issue billions of new sources of microwaves (radar grids, cell phones, Bluetooth technology, GPS…) that traverse the whole of their environment; have they tipped the scale of neutral microwave effect beyond the normal and natural safe limit of absorption?  If so, to what effect?  If not, how will they ever know?

Hey, I am just one of trillions upon trillions of living entities.  Like all them others, I got lots of questions and almost no answers.  Trial-and-error and wait-and-see are the only strategies any of us have.  But, we humans have invented something else to pass the time between birth and death:  games — such as one-upmanship, he said-I said, unprovable hypothesizing, hot-button journalism…

In the realm of human-generated microwave transmissions, there is either too much or not enough data to determine the degree of impact on human organisms.  Until that is resolved, we will all keep playing our word games.

hmm!  What do you call that, anyway?






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Cell Phones and Brain Tumors

Posted on July 27, 2014. Filed under: Journalism, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There is an old  saw about preoccupation and tunnel vision.  I think it goes, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.”  For this article, I think I will use that in this manner:

  • You can’t see the microwave forest for the cell-phone tree.

Speaking of trees, once upon a time that was the only source of reliable heat.  Right off it was noted that the side effect — smoke — was bad to breathe.  The coughing, choking, burning eyes and such were the tip-off.  So, it was used outside until the overhead smoke draft was thought up to give indoor smoke a way to the outside.

It has been pretty much the same story with all of our other energy sources:

  • Fossil fuels had pretty much the same problem as wood — black soot and sulfur all over everything; black lung wasn’t a good selling point, either.
  • Nuclear energy seemed to be a clean, abundant alternative — except for the tissue-destroying radiation effect.
  • Electricity is clean enough, but you gotta use fossil or nuclear fuels to generate it.

Communication methods have had a lighter impact on the environment than energy extraction.  Sign language, body language, and talking had little impact on environment.  With the advent of smoke signals, parchment, paper, quills and ink,  trees and birds bore the brunt of any negative ecological impact.

The telegraph and telephone caused a lot of wire to be strung all over the place.  Other than being an eyesore, not much environmental impact.

Then along came Jones…   Marconi…   Guglielmo Marconi and his invisible radio waves — and wireless transmission (except for the power cord to fire up the transmitter) strutted onto the human scene.  Homo smart sapiens followed that with microwave transmission and cell phones.  Result:  the everyday person now has the world at its fingertips, conveniently tucked into a belt, pocket, purse or inside its ear.  Clean, portable, efficient…   except that

Some years ago, this guy got himself a brain tumor.  He must have had a cell phone and kept it glued to the side of his head where the tumor showed up  ’cause he screamed, “THE CELL PHONE CAUSED IT!”  Cause and effect, or coincidence?  We know that microwaves can be harmful (check with that lump of charcoal in you microwave oven that just went in to become a warm biscuit), but I lean toward “coincidence” because:

  • Brain tumors have been around a lot longer than cell phones, and, heretofore, have not required that input.
  • Throughout the general population, over a span of time, there will be numerous incidents of brain tumors.  It is historical.
  • The cell phone has a broad appeal to the general public, some of whom will undoubtedly experience brain tumors in their lifetimes (and kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, Parkinson’s…   you get the picture).  Owning the latest version of the iPhone or Oprah Winfrey’s recent entry in the magazine business will not change that inevitability.
  • Other than one unfortunate victim of tumor-ism, there was nothing to suggest that tumors appeared concurrently with the advent of cell-phone-ism.

But the media picked up on the allegation and gave it press time.  “Researchers” looked into it, manufacturers installed microwave blocks on cell phones, and the government established a “safe maximum microwave output” for cell phones.  The public and the media went back to their routines (involving the constant use of cell-phones?) quietly satisfied.

I saw this video on the Yahoo! home page a couple of weeks ago in which the narrator listed the top 5 cell phones that come closest to the government-established safe limit for microwave radiation.  And I got a good laugh.

Since all of the phones listed were within the established safe limits, the story accomplished only 3 things:

  1. Smirched the reputations of manufacturers and their products that were in compliance with established standards.
  2. Gave a video “journalist” a hot button to entice site visitors who would be exposed to embedded advertising.
  3. Allowed the aforementioned “journalist” to prove once again that The Big Pee* will miss the THE BIG STORY because they are focused on hot-button-sensitive audiences…   to make a buck.

The BIG story our videographer missed:

  • The Universe is naturally full of microwave radiation.  We are immersed in it constantly.
  • Cell phones spend most of their time in pockets, purses, and on belts.  At home and office, they are often on a desk.
  • It is that cool-looking blue-tooth device plugged into the ear emitting microwaves that is right up against that brain.
  • Microwave transmission towers that comprise the cell-grid making the cell phone possible emit much stronger impulses than that puny little cell phone.  Everyone in the cell coverage area spends all of their time in range of two or more of these mega-emitters.
  • Inside your home, which is bathed liberally in microwave tower emissions, you have added wireless broadband, wireless printers, wireless television, and maybe even a wireless security system.  (For the slow-minded among us, wireless transmission means microwave transmission.)  All of that together is a lot more than the government-mandated limit for your little cell phone emissions.

And don’t forget that when you are a member of a large gathering of people, 95% of everyone there has a cell phone.  Are they keeping their tumor-causing emissions to themselves, or are they sharing with you?

The cell phone is just one tree in the microwave forest, but, the Media, perpetual complainers, and obliging bureaucrats just can’t see the forest that surrounds it.

And if litigators can ever get something to latch onto, they will count on the “tunnel vision**” of the jury panels to line their pockets with filthy lucre…   that would be “ill-gotten gains“…   by suing the hapless manufacturers of an insignificant source of microwaves.


* As in “press” with a capital “P”

** Ignorance is another good word

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The Three Faces of Ho

Posted on July 16, 2014. Filed under: English, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is a meaningless exercise in free association, so don’t expect too much.

Looks like another dry spell in my campaign to improve the attitudes and perceptions of you, the general public.  WAIT A SECOND!  What is that down here in the bottom of my trash can?  Let me un-wad this paper and see what we got.  O-kay…   there!

…it’s the word “ho.”

That’s all — just one word like a single drop of water in an empty desert.  It was part of a thought train a few months ago that passed its station without stopping to take on passengers.  Hmm!  Maybe it has fermented a little, and I can get some squeezing’s from it.  Let’s give it a shot.

Well, mathematically speaking, there is 1(ho), 2(ho), 3(ho), ho+x, x+ho.  X would be a variable like in an algebra formula.*  Ho, by itself, actually has several uses:

  • An attention getter as in “land ho!”
  • Something you throw, as in “heave ho.”
  • A socially derogatory term used either literally or euphemistically for somewhat indiscriminate social behavior, and can be applied to either gender.
  • The symbol for the metallic element holmium (Ho) which has an atomic weight of 67 if your are interested.

Sometimes, a single ho will act…   well…   like a ho…   and consort with unsavory types.  Such as the disrespecting hum:

  • ho-hum (ho+x) = “Oh, really?” or “Am I supposed to believe that?” or “Groan.  That is so boring.”

And those x + ho’s:

  • gung-ho, a trait of insufferable zealot-ism.
  • yo-ho = pirate talk, as in “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.”  After a bottle of rum, I would wager that makes perfect sense.
  • heigh ho = a word with identity issues.  Miriam Webster says it is “used to express boredom, weariness or sadness,” while says it is “used to call attention to or give encouragement.”  So, exactly what were those seven dwarfs** trying to convey?

Twin ho’s — 2(ho) — come in a variety pack:

  • ho ho = identical twins; happy ones, too.
  • oh ho = mirror twins.  They mean:  “What th…?”*** or “Caught you, didn’t I?”
  • Ho Ho = a really sweet couple (it’s a brand name)
  • ho…   ho! = estranged twins;  “Was that supposed to be funny?”

Ho times 3 has only one use:

  • Santa’s standard answer to the seasonal question, “What are you doing in my bedroom?”***


I think my station is coming up, so I’m getting off this train.



* I could have said algorithm, but, that sounds — erroneously — like I am invoking the Great Father of the internet, Al Gore, whose famous Al Gore ithm, “I created the internet,” was the joke of the 20th century.

** Of Snow White/Walt Disney fame

*** That would be “WTF?!” to those ubiquitous Children of the Thumbs (the texting generation)



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Posted on July 15, 2014. Filed under: Nature |

I tried to leave a comment, Lalo, but I couldn’t read the instructions.  They are not in Texan.  So I thought I would just re-blog this jim-dandy bird picture since it illustrates my point in my previous post (Me, Myself, and I) which you left a “like” on.  Do birds talk among themselves about the strange behaviors of family members?


Zie je wat ik zag
Nee jij zag niet
Wat ik voel
En ook ik niet
Wat ik bedoel
Ik zie en zag
En voel en lach
Voel je wat ik zie
Nee jij kijkt
Wat erop lijkt

La Brujitaaa


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Me, Myself, and I

Posted on July 14, 2014. Filed under: Animals, Nature, Self-awareness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

LIARS* from the elite and restricted club of The Great Learned** have decreed that, if a living entity cannot recognize the reflection in a mirror as itself, it cannot be self-aware.  Such evaluations ignore that…

  • Humans are born not knowing squat about anything except screaming and kicking.
  • Human babies, like all mammals, learn by mimicking what others around them are doing.
  • Human babies finally see the grooming utility of mirrors after much coaching from older persons.  More importantly, they are taught the satisfaction of admiring the fine creature-form looking back at them.  (Oooh!  From this angle I have a Roman god-like profile.  And check those pec definitions…   uh, sorry!  Having flashbacks.)
  • Most life forms, including non-human mammals, depend on other senses than sight to describe the world and their particular placements in that world.
  • A wide variety of life forms have survived on this planet for millions upon millions of years.  Had they not been able to delineate the boundary between SELF and the surrounding environment, they would not have survived for one single day.
  • Being alive is about being SELF-ish.  Didn’t anybody read anything in that book The Selfish Gene?***

But, the Great Learned maintain that if an entity does not perceive the world as the Great Learned perceive it, then that entity must be simply a robot-like biomass bound to instinctive action and programmed reaction.  So, I repeat my question from a previous post:

  • If a blind homo smart sapiens cannot recognize its reflection from a reflective surface, is that h. smart sap. NOT self-aware?

The world in which non-humans live is fast-moving and dangerous.  Lethal even.  Quite often.  The only creatures goofy enough to kill time staring at their reflections are those who are not constantly on the lookout for predators and have the leisure time and safety to amuse themselves…   with themselves.  The ability to even see that reflection in the first place is a biggie, too.

All living entities know about Numero Uno.  The only ones in the dark on this have been converted to Numero Dos.  All others not SELF (the perceiving Numero Uno) are accorded different degrees of trust in keeping with their genetic and social distance from SELF.  These are my classifications of sentient entities:

  • self = me, myself, and I; numero uno; an entity’s awareness that it is separate from other stuff
  • near-self = siblings and other kin and relations bonded to SELF during the growing years.  Accorded the highest degree of trust
  • other-self = distant relatives and casual members of the self, near-self group.  Accepted, but regarded cautiously
  • far self = others that sort of look like me and my group, but, I don’t know them and I don’t trust them;  unrelated others of my species

Through the years, I have been out and about at all hours of the day and night.  Taking public transportation some years ago put me out on the streets around dawn and dusk when certain birds (grackles) flocked from sleep mode and, later, flocked in from their far feeding ranges.  At first, the view was just a noisy din of chatter and fluttering feathers amid a chaotic and frantic in rush of bird bodies.  Over repeated inclusions in these social interactions, a pattern began to resolve itself:

  • MORNING.  Great rushes of feathered bodies rose from the various night lodgings (trees to you hardcore city dwellers) and began chattering and swooping, then briefly settling on electric power lines.  There, you could see strings of bird-beads arrayed in varying proximity to each other.  These “beads,” bit by bit, eventually took flight and joined a selected group of passing flyers as they left the area to begin the day’s business.
  • EVENING.  This was almost an exact reversal of the morning start-up.  One by one, flocks of varying sizes returned to the same area swirling, diving, coasting a-wing as though in play.  On the power lines, a few birds began perching, typically with a large separation between them.  Early arrivals settled on a spot that was equidistant from bird-left and bird-right.  As more birds settled in, I began to see little groups separated by gaps.  Groups of birds would take off as one, join a passing group of flyers and wing off to sleeping quarters.

But there is more to this ordered disorder than meets the  eye.  After more and more flocks arrive, the beads are closer packed on the power line, with two, three and four or more parked side by side.  An arrival might fly up to one bead excitedly and the two might carry the flitting above the rest spot, then both settle down side by side.  New arrivals seem to do a fly by of all the parked beads then either move on to another area or settle in with or near previous arrivals.  But, the process is not always peaceful.  Sometimes a new arrival drops in close to a bead only to have the original arrival jump him and run him off.  Toward night fall, pretty much all the flyers have settled in — peaceably — on the power lines and are pretty much packed shoulder to shoulder with a gap in the string here and there.  Then, segments of the string take off as one and move on to the various bedrooms.  In the morning, from bedroom to assembly area, this same process is repeated with departure to foraging areas the goal.

Within this observed process, I see the SELF, NEAR-SELF awareness playing out.  The variable spacing between the beads is directly related to the relationship of one bead to another:  the shorter the distance, the closer the relationship.  This explains the ejection of an arrival by a sitting bead.  The assault says:

  • I don’t know you that well.  GET LOST!
  • I’m sorry, but that seat is taken.  GET LOST!

The swirling, chattering fly bys are a sorting out process.  I surmise that the sleeping group has a different composition than the foraging group.  In the morning, the sleeping group hits the assembly area and looks for those it prefers to hang with during the day.  In the evening, the various foraging groups meet at the assembly area and begin locating the members of their  sleeping group.  My guess is that the sleeping group is close kin to each other.  Like humans, there is a domestic life and a separate work life.

And all that chatter is excited TALKING, not just generalized, instinctive noise.



*LIARS = Learned Individual Ascribing Refinement to Self

**The Great Learned = that association of self-proclaimed experts, as in “See my sheepskin from the University of Great Humans?”  (UGH for short)

***Author Richard Dawkins.  And, all I have read of the book is the title.


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