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Norm,

Why would the University of Pittsburgh issue a warning about cell phones? Well, being a safety officer in a university is really boring work and it is likely to be a not very well paid position as well. The very poorest graduates from one of the departments that isn't really science are likely to take the job. (Health Science for example. You know the old saying, any department in a university with the name science in it - isn't. These are the kind of people who insist on material data safety sheets for CaCO3 and MgCO3 - even after they've been assured that these substances are basically no different from the chalk used to write on the blackboards.) Such people are promoted to the position of Head Safety Officer - from which they issue memos.

The article on "Bad Science - Bad Science - Blame everyone but yourselves" was a fascinating way of looking at the case.

Years back when I was in need of work I took a job as an assitant producer for a series of documentaries by the self-proclaimed nutritionalist and self-help guru Gary Null. He claims to have natural cures for cancer, autism and many other illnesses. One of the things I found interesting is that a lot of his work was actually good in that he got people to eat much healthier and live healthier while also did some great work investigating the cozy friendship of the FDA and corporations. But it seemed his ego had gotten the best of him to the point where he had a serious messiah complex and thought he could cure everything. That was the problem, people looked at him like a religious leader in many ways. His advice was infallible to his many followers just as quacks like Dr. Phil and the lady in your article. It's a serious danger and one whose blame rests in numerous hands.

Personally, I quit the job after a few months, but still have very mixed feelings about the work being done there.

I'm always amused by the reductionist's answer to anything arising from ordinary common sense, like a doctor saying it might not be a good idea to wear a microwave-emitting device all day: if I don't agree with it, it's quackery. Until then, wait for the holy gods of Olympian science to tell you if it's bad to wear one of these things 24/7. In the face of science, common sense counts for nothing.

Guess what kids? In real life, parents like me tell their children not to keep the phone on when it shouldn't be, and to keep it in a bag when they're not using it. I use a microwave oven about every day but wouldn't keep one hooked to my belt all day. Maybe the doc from PA was just saying, "let's use a little common sense."

But I guess we're all a bunch of superstitious quack-parents -- totally unworthy of science's attention except as subjects of either experiments or ridicule that is openly labeled "insolence."

You know the old saying, any department in a university with the name science in it - isn't.

Cognitive science ain't science? (Serious question. I read a lot of the literature in some areas--although I'm in a philosophy department--and I wonder sometimes. From the perspective of a chemist, you may have a point. From the perspective of an English dept., there's math in those studies, and it hurts the head, a lot, to read that stuff.

But generally, I don't think whether something is a "science" is an all or nothing affair. Economics, for example. ain't quite Cultural Studies and it ain't quite physics.

(Of course, your joke is still funny, nonetheless).

Oh, and since I'm here, on the NPR link, all of links on that page are great. But I highly recommend the one on France (see here and here) to see how programs that combine government support with free market insurance do, compared to "socialized" medicine in Britain (see here).

You know the old saying, any department in a university with the name science in it - isn't.

Cognitive science ain't science? (Serious question. I read a lot of the literature in some areas--although I'm in a philosophy department--and I wonder sometimes. From the perspective of a chemist, you may have a point. From the perspective of an English dept., there's math in those studies, and it hurts the head, a lot, to read that stuff.

But generally, I don't think whether something is a "science" is an all or nothing affair. Economics, for example. ain't quite Cultural Studies and it ain't quite physics.

(Of course, your joke is still funny, nonetheless).

Oh, and since I'm here, on the NPR link, all of links on that page are great. But I highly recommend the one on France (see here and here) to see how programs that combine government support with free market insurance do, compared to "socialized" medicine in Britain (see here).

I'm more worried about how many other people my cell phone ends up killing.

Off the topic a little, but regarding the recent increase in multiple postings due to movable type "error" messages--it seems that when movable type says there's an error there invariably isn't.

And then I began to think that perhaps Norm or one of his friends is using this data as a study of ego and paranoia among bloggers... those who will post the same message not once or twice but 4 or 5 times for fear that their missive won't reach the masses.

If it's that important, type your manuscript into a basic text editor (for safe keeping), copy paste and post, and if you see an error message, relax for a while, check the blog again, and then (if it truly hasn't posted) and only then hit send again.

--it seems that when movable type says there's an error there invariably isn't.

And then I began to think that perhaps Norm or one of his friends is using this data as a study of ego and paranoia among bloggers... those who will post the same message not once or twice but 4 or 5 times for fear that their missive won't reach the masses.

What if you don't even get an error message, but a blank screen, open a new browser page to check if it was posted anyway, see that it wasn't, and then be content with retrying with an error message?

Cognitive science ain't science?

I don't know - like I said its and old saying, guy.

Sorry, Adam--I wasn't trying to single out any individual behavior, it's just that seeing your double post prompted me to write my message. While sarcastic, I wasn't really meaning to attack anybody personally, or even account for all possible variations on the dreaded "error message-->oops, all my posts made it through!" scenario. I guess the gist of my message was, just wait a while. Give it time. No message is so brilliant, so important, that I want to scroll through it 3 times. It can wait... it can wait...

And I can't figure out why the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center released this warning about cell phones

Early Cell phones did lead to some cases of cancer. People with tumors that started behind their ears and wrapped around they jaws.

That said, 20 years of exposure to modern cells seems to not cause cancer according to all studies. we will see what 30 and 40 years of exposure do to people.

Perhaps Pittsburgh is working off old Data.

Six little words

Say union yes

A busy server and movabletype's inefficient code sometimes leads to the comment error problem. As mentioned, the comment usually makes it through before the error. The good news is the next version of the software, any day now, is said to be twice as fast. Perhaps it will be the solution to the problem of duplicate comments. I just count the additional comments as exclamation marks, an indication of the author's state of mind.

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