The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the "I suspected as much" category...

I just came across this article [link]about cell phone usage and it played right into my paranoia. Here's the opening paragraph:

In a culture where people cradle their cellphones next to their heads with the same constancy and affection that toddlers hold their security blankets, it was unsettling last month when a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that doing so could alter brain activity.

What? You think those who walk about with a cell phone glued to their hands and ears already show signs of weird brain activity? Perhaps. Science doesn't yet know what the changes in brain activity will do, or are doing. The change is subtle, it seems, just "an increase in glucose metabolism after using the phone for less than an hour." What would that be? Brain sugar? That term sounds like a hip way of saying "flattery."

In any case, even though science has no idea whether there is (or will be) any harm from this, many people are, according to the article, "what they can do to protect themselves" from this effect. Well, short of giving up the cell phone, that is. I guess word got around pretty fast since the report was published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Recommendations range from the extreme... giving up one's cell phone... to just using a speakerphone feature, keep it away from your head. Since it is obvious that telling people not to use a cell phone these days would be nervously laughed at, the speakerphone option is the only serious advice.

Some studies show a link between cell phone use and "cancer, lower bone density and infertility in men" while plenty more find no link. We just have no idea, do we?

Mine is not threatening my brain activity at all (as minor as that activity may be) since my cell phone spends most of its time shut off and sitting on my dresser. I am not a big fan of these things. On the other hand, I am retired so have less need for communication. Even when I was working, I had no need for a cell phone. All it could do was to make me available to management. And I had no desire to be more accessible.

And, forgive me for saying so, I think using these things in restaurants, on the golf course, and so on is just rude to those around you. Let's face it, folks, the largest percentage of cell phone calls are unimportant. I saw a man the other day, riding a bicycle with a cell phone pressed against his ear. He was dressed like he was just out for some light exercise. He appeared to be in his 60's and probably retired (most residents here seem to be) so what was so important? Even if he worked, can't he be out of touch with his workplace for 30 minutes while he exercises? Don't we need a break from that stress? Isn't that part of what getting some exercise is about?

Just turn the thing off! They'll leave voice mail if it's important. Even if it's not important.

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