Archive for the 'Musings' Category

WoD – Screaming WiFi

This is both fascinating, and highly disturbing at the same time.  (But then it wouldn’t be a WoD if it wasn’t, right?)

I have wondered often about this issue.  Every time I see a cabbie or a silly, showy salesperson with a bluetooth wedged in their ears ALL DAY LONG (yes, bluetooth is a radio, emitting radi-ation right next to one’s brain), it makes me think of the potential radiation damage.  I am glad to finally see I am not the only one.  What’s amazing is, it took 9th grade girls to show it so starkly (just look at the two pictures below).

So, as you sit with your super-powered cellphones in your pockets (egads!), tablets on next to our beds, with laptops on laps, 2 routers in the house, and with probably about 12 devices all zipping data to and from, all day long, now think of this below.  I’m feeling a bit more shriveled and cancer-prone just writing this…

 

Student science experiment finds plants won’t grow near Wi-Fi router

Ninth-graders design science experiment to test the effect of cellphone radiation on plants. The results may surprise you.

Cress Collage-1Five ninth-grade young women from Denmark recently created a science experiment that is causing a stir in the scientific community.

It started with an observation and a question. The girls noticed that if they slept with their mobile phones near their heads at night, they often had difficulty concentrating at school the next day. They wanted to test the effect of a cellphone’s radiation on humans, but their school, Hjallerup School in Denmark, did not have the equipment to handle such an experiment. So the girls designed an experiment that would test the effect of cellphone radiation on a plant instead.

The students placed six trays filled with Lepidium sativum, a type of garden cress, into a room without radiation, and six trays of the seeds into another room next to two routers that according to the girls’ calculations, emitted about the same type of radiation as an ordinary cellphone.

Over the next 12 days, the girls observed, measured, weighed and photographed their results. By the end of the experiment the results were blatantly obvious — the cress seeds placed near the router had not grown. Many of them were completely dead. Meanwhile, the cress seeds planted in the other room, away from the routers, thrived.

The experiment earned the girls (pictured below) top honors in a regional science competition and the interest of scientists around the world.

According to Kim Horsevad, a teacher at Hjallerup Skole in Denmark where the cress experiment took place, a neuroscience professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, is interested in repeating the experiment in a controlled professional scientific environment.

 

Tuesday:

NEFESH (NAYfihsh)

Coward, weakling

That nefesh never stands up for himself.

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WoD – Evil Genius

So, by now most of you know that I pretty much think we will end the human race either through some horrific tinkering with viruses (i.e. Viruses Gone Wild), or due to genetic tinkering of our food supply or other some such transgenic activity from big companies like Monsanto.  This one is brilliant though.

There is a growing preponderance of people who will not eat products made with GMO (genetically modified organism), in particular milk/dairy products.  Here’s one reason why:

Dairy products – It has been discovered that 22 percent of cows in the U.S. were injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH). This Monsanto created hormone artificially forces cows to increase their milk production by 15 percent. Milk from cows treated with this milk inducing hormone contains increased levels of IGF-1 (insulin growth factors-1). Humans also have IGF-1 in their system. Scientists have expressed concerns that increased levels of IGF-1 in humans have been associated with colon and breast cancer.

This group are looking for organic products only, made with soy as a substitute to GMO-altered dairy.  “Boo Monsanto!  We hate Monsanto!  Let’s eat organic only!”  Etc.

So, these folks are all switching to organic soy.  Which of course, is a boon to the soy farmers.  And of course, to the soy seed companies.  (Can you guess what’s coming next…?)   Yes, the largest soy seed manufacturer in the world is… Monsanto.

Pure genius…

 

Wednesday

NESHOMELE (nehSHOHmehleh)

Little soul (term of endearment)

“Come now, my little Neshomele, eat your genetically-altered soy-based insect-resistant hormone-laden faux yogurt.  It’s good for you…”

WoD – The Pope, Twitter, and Purgatory

Hi all.  Yeah, it has been a while, I know.  (It’s not for lack of ideas, just time to type ’em up.)

Anyway, what better way to dive back in than something that involves the Pope, Twitter, and Purgatory.  You just can’t make this stuff up…

There are so many things I could comment on here.  So so many.  But this just struck me — is Purgatory a strictly Catholic or Christian notion?  I can’t actually even say ‘notion,’ since in the faith it is a real thing and place.  So if a place, do Catholics believe that non-Catholics go there, too?  I genuinely don’t know the answer to this.

So what I am then wondering is, what if I follow the Pope on Twitter.  If I am not going to Purgatory because I am not Catholic, then I don’t have to follow the Pope.  But if I do get included in Purgatory, then as a non-Catholic do I still qualify for “indulgences,” or are these reserved for purgatory-bound Catholics only?  Is being bound for Purgatory even a good thing?  It is a hot, nasty place ruled by a three-headed man with a very hot multi-pronged poker, who eats people.  See here.

 Purgatory

But I think the path to heaven is through Purgatory?  Or something like this.  Anyway, I just want to know if I need to follow the Pope on Twitter so that I don’t have to get sodomized by Satan for thousands of years.  Because that seems like a fair trade.

Thursday:

SHUND  (SHOOND)

Literary trash

Before you go thinking the headline below is shund, read on.  It’s legit!

http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/7/17/4531048/follow-pope-twitter-indulgence-purgatory

Follow the Pope on Twitter and spend less time in Purgatory, says Vatican

The Vatican has taken another step in its efforts to embrace social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ (@Pontifex) Twitter account. Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that the church will reduce the time Catholics have to spend in purgatory if they follow official Vatican events on TV, radio, and through social media.

One such event is the Catholic World Youth Day, commencing in Rio de Janeiro on July 22nd. The Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican tribunal responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins, will award the privilege to the faithful that follow the event using different forms of media. Pope Francis’ followers are not immediately granted an indulgence for tracking the event, with the penitentiary noting that it would hinge on the user having previously confessed and being “truly penitent and contrite.” Indulgences are given out when a Catholic performs an action recommended by the church. They’re meant to encourage Catholics to lead a pious life, devoting themselves to charity and generally treating others with a Christian spirit.

“”Producing authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone.””

“What really counts is that the tweets the Pope sends from Brazil or the photos of the Catholic World Youth Day that go up on Pinterest produce authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone,” said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication. Alongside its papal Twitter account, the Vatican offers an online news website (and app), a Facebook page, and is currently planning to engage with users on Pinterest.

WoD – Red Berries

I had a bowl of cereal the other day.  It was Special K with Red Berries.  Hmm, I thought.  Curious name for a cereal, isn’t it?  I mean, why not just use the word “straw”berry?  Or even “rasp” berry?  Why just “red” berries?  

I know!  Let’s play find the strawberry!  Here is a picture of the ingredients of the cereal.  Umm, wait a sec.  Not here.  

Perhaps even more intriguing – what’s with elderberries?  Why do they keep popping up on strawberry-like things?  Why don’t we just call the cereal “Special K with Elderberries”?  

In fact, now that I think of it, if Kellogg’s was a smart marketing company, they’d make all kinds of crap up about the good properties of elderberries.  How they absorb free radicals and are an anti-oxident with newly discovered healthy properties (ooh! anti-aging.  yeah go with that one).  Kellogg’s would solve their red berry problem AND get us to love the idea of eating elderberries, all in one fell swoop!  Genius.  

OR, here’s another novel idea – they could actually just put strawberries in the strawberry cereal…

 

Monday:

PATSHKE (PAHTCHkeh)

To fuss with, to bother with

Kellogg’s can’t even patshke with their product enough to put in real fruit in the fruity cereal.  (Ok that’s not really a good sentence for the word, but you get the idea…)  

 Red Berries

WoD – Art and Portfolio Theory

How much of your net worth would you feel comfortable spending on art?  What if you loved a piece, and knew it would hold its value?  Whether driven by emotion or cool calculus or portfolio theory, there is some percentage of your net worth you’d be willing or able to tie up in art.  And it goes to reason an even smaller % for just one piece of art, right?

Ok, so think of that percentage.  Since I don’t value art all that much myself, my % is very small, probably in the <1% range.  Many of you may well be similar.  And if I loved art, maybe I’d allow myself a couple of % to be invested in it.

Now read this about Steven Cohen:  “Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, is paying $155 million for Picasso’s “Le Rêve,” a report said.”

$155 million for one piece of art.  Now divide this figure by the % you have in your head.  Holy crap, right?!  I mean, sure, he is a hedge fund guy, I get it.  But he’s not Sam Walton or Carlos Slim – guys that actually MADE something.

Reminds me of the infamous words of Bud Fox in Wall Street, “how many yachts can you waterski behind?”

Wednesday:

KALIKE (KUHlihkeh)

A cripple, a sickly person

I played a few sets of tennis this weekend, and I’ve been so sore that I felt like a kalike.

WoD – Eyes in the Back of Our Heads

I want one.  An eye in the back of my head.  Why don’t we have one, really?  If we believe in evolution, wouldn’t it have been better to have an eye in the back of our head to protect from charging sabertooth tigers, flying frying pans hurled by Neanderthal wives, and bad guys looking to sneak attack from behind.

It would take a lot of memory and processing for our brains.  As it is now, our brain really just has to process, or compensate for, parallax.  A third eye in the back with a whole new set of images would be a lot to take in.  It’s a bit like the iPhone 5… you know at the bottom of iTunes how you only have a certain amount of memory and you can see what is taking up all the memory on the device, all nicely color-coded?  And sometimes you have to delete songs or photos just to fit something new on there?  Well, perhaps a third eye would have been kind like that.  But I’d certainly bump off of my brain memory some old Billy Joel lyrics and the phone numbers to all my friends in 5th grade if I could download a third eye in the back of my head App.

Evolution is totally great, right?  But if so, why did we not evolve to have a third eye in the back of our heads?

  

Thursday:

FRISH, GEZUNT, IN MESHUGE (frihsh gehZOONT oon muhSHOOgeh)

Fresh, healthy, and crazy

To do the risky things he does, you really have to be frish, gezunt, un meshuge.  

WoD – The Mobile Election

Saw this the other day.  How can the choice of your smartphone operating system be political!  Crazy.  But charts don’t lie, I guess…  (I particularly like the musical splits by party, too…)

Monday:

ZETS (ZEHTZ)

A punch, a strong blow, a setback

Looks like the two candidates are throwing zetses at each other in the debate.  [I can’t wait for this election to be over.  Sigh…]



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