Are Mobile Phones Harmful?

Today, many billions of us carry mobile (cellular) 'phones. Once the executive luxury of the businessman, the mobile phone has rapidly become a commodity item.

But the debate still rages on as to whether they are safe or not. Does the microwave energy they emit cause harm? Is it possible that they really could "cook" your brain, or cause other defects such as memory loss or tumours?

It seems as though the jury is still out. The manufacturers and network operators would have us believe (not surprisingly) that "there is no evidence they are harmful". This pompous statement sends me into palpitations. Recall, there was "no evidence" that BSE could harm human beings. But it didn't stop it from happening...

And on the other hand, Governments and scientific bodies are conducting research, to see if such evidence conclusively exists. And where are the results? Who knows, but you can bet your bottom dollar, if the news is bad, it's going to be difficult to come to terms with.

And so, finally - spurred by this information deficit - here is some independent research into the effects of microwave emissions from mobile phones. Is it good news??...

Well, that depends on your viewpoint, but either way, it would be wise to have a lager on standby.


The experiment - Experimental setup

Most experiments rely on some arbitrarily representative 'laboratory' setup, and a whole bunch of finicky electronic measuring equipment.

However, we felt that to take this approach was adding nothing new to the scientific knowledge base. In fact, for our experiment we wanted to test the real effects of the microwave emissions: i.e. as close to real life as possible.

To do this, we would have to expose organic tissue to real 'phone radiation. Naturally we could get in big trouble for clamping someone in the lab, and trying to do this on a live human being (or a dead one for that matter). And so the alternative was to use the next best thing:diced chicken.

Diced chicken has the remarkable property that it feels pretty squidgy, just like a human brain, and furthermore, in the diced state, both brain & chicken exhibit a similar IQ. This definitely made it a good choice.

The next consideration was how to apply radiation to the tissue. It was decided that the most representative option was to employ areal mobile phone in close proximity to the flesh.

The phone would be configured to have its aeriel a realistic distance (2cm) from the 'brain' (chicken), and we would then make a normal 'phone call. We would dial a local number, so as to use less power, and give the chicken a better chance.

The storyboard below shows the procedure.

1. The Fresh diced chicken is brought into the lab.

2. The protective wrapping is removed, thus eliminating the possibilty of false results due to cling film microwave absorbtion.

3. The 'phone is placed in position, as if wedged between imaginary shoulder & chin.

2. The protective wrapping is removed, thus eliminating the possibilty of false results due to cling film microwave absorbtion.

2. The protective wrapping is removed, thus eliminating the possibilty of false results due to cling film microwave absorbtion.

3. The 'phone is placed in position, as if wedged between imaginary shoulder & chin.

3. The 'phone is placed in position, as if wedged between imaginary shoulder & chin.

please note: the chicken was already dead, and therefore was not harmed during this experiment.

The live testing

Now that the subject was prepared, it was time to apply some telephone microwaves, and observe the result.

The phone was checked for maximum battery strength; a preselected number was carefully dialled; and then a timer started.

Everyone then stood back out of the way, in case we had gotten a wrong number.

The storyboard below shows how events unfolded...

3. The phone is dialled. 

Note, at this stage the chicken is in pristine condition, and the 'phone is performing well.

4.20 minutes have elapsed. Note that some tissue appears to be turning white.

We were surprised that this effect happened so quickly.

5. This shot after 25 minutes, clearly shows molecular changes to the meat. This baby is starting to barbeque!

3. The phone is dialled. 

3. The phone is dialled. 

4.20 minutes have elapsed. Note that some tissue appears to be turning white.

4.20 minutes have elapsed. Note that some tissue appears to be turning white.

5. This shot after 25 minutes, clearly shows molecular changes to the meat. This baby is starting to barbeque!

5. This shot after 25 minutes, clearly shows molecular changes to the meat. This baby is starting to barbeque!

Notice also the radiation pattern - not "straight out the top" as previously thought.

The observed heating effect

Everything was still going to plan, and at this stage of the experiment we were almost, quite literally, shmokin'!

By now it was necessary to engage the extractor fan.

We were amazed to see that the chicken really was beginning to get hot and start to cook from the inside, out.. And moreover, the rate of change was increasing. Sure-fire evidence that this mobile phone is nothing short of a portable barbie!

By now, we could start to smell cooking chicken, so much so, that we nearly succumbed to a KFC mega-bucket!

The storyboard below shows the remarkable developments.

7.27 minutes into the experiment and the close up shows undoubtable heating near the antenna.

8.29 minutes, and the heating effect begins to spread in a more even pattern.

Remember, you're looking at a simulation of your brain.

9. Now at 42 minutes, and this close up shows clearly that the major portion of meat has become heated to the core. We decide to allow the experiment to continue to see just how far the chicken will cook!

7.27 minutes into the experiment and the close up shows undoubtable heating near the antenna.

7.27 minutes into the experiment and the close up shows undoubtable heating near the antenna.

8.29 minutes, and the heating effect begins to spread in a more even pattern.

8.29 minutes, and the heating effect begins to spread in a more even pattern.

9. Now at 42 minutes, and this close up shows clearly that themajor portion of meat has become heated to the core.

9. Now at 42 minutes, and this close up shows clearly that themajor portion of meat has become heated to the core.


Final Experimental Results

We allowed the experiment to run for a further12 minutes before drawing it to a conclusion.

We believe that the findings are remarkable, and clearly highlight the need for much more research of this style in this area.

The most important discovery appears to be that the chicken-under-test became so damaged by exposure to the phone radiation, that it actually turned into a jalfrezi.

This astonishing result has not yet been repeated, but attempts are underway with other makes of mobile phone, especially WAP. One theory suggests that the newer GPRS phones, with their higher bandwidth capability, might have sufficient strength to create a vindaloo complete with rice!

As for the outlook for the human brain; clearly accurate results will be hard to obtain without clamping someone down in the lab.

Have we proved what effect mobile 'phones have on the human brain? Is not entirely clear, but our experimental results are surely food for thought?

The final storyboard shows the wind^H^H^H^Hgroundbreaking outcome.

10. Close of up the chicken jalfrezi, clearly shows near-perfect moistness.

11. The experimental evidence is prepared and packaged for later digestion.... errr.. inspection..

10. Close of up the chicken jalfrezi, clearly shows near-perfect moistness.

10. Close of up the chicken jalfrezi, clearly shows near-perfect moistness.

11. The experimental evidence is prepared and packaged for later digestion.... errr.. inspection..

11. The experimental evidence is prepared and packaged for later digestion.... errr.. inspection..

An Encounter with Lizzie (sister of the Loch Ness Monster)

I was pretty hesitant about the idea of writing this post, as I suspected It might lead me to become the target of ridicule and disrespect. But then I remembered that being the target of riducule and disrespect was "just another ordinary day at the office", so I went ahead, and here it is (complete with photographic evidence.)

Strictly speaking this page isn't about the Loch Ness Monster (scientific name: Nessietarius-rhombocterix. sensible name: Nessie), but her cousin Lizzie, who supposedly lives in Loch Lochy, which is next door to Loch Ness. It stems from an experience my family had in the mid '70's.

An Encounter with Lizzie

I was four years old and we were driving from Fort William to Inverness in our little blue three-wheeler van (which, incidentally, is more embarrassing than the rest of the story). We were alongside Loch Lochy when my parents suddenly pulled over in a right commotion. Next thing I know, my Mum has dived outof  the van with her camera and my dad is staring agog into the water. I don't remember his exact words, but they would've been something along the lines of "my goodness graciuous me, that appears to be the darned Loch Ness Monster".

Yes indeed: he was staring at a large unidentified grey mass cutting through the water at a fair rate of knots. There were no windows in the back of the van, so by this time I'd unbuckled my seat and pulled myself towards the passenger window. I looked in astonishment as I saw what appeared to be a large trunk-like tail protruding from water. As any four-year would, I yelled "Daddy, It's the Loch Ness Monster!" - making exactly the same geographical mistake as my father had done moments earlier. At this moment, the 'beast', apparently reacting to my shouts, subsided below the surface. (I've been kicking myself ever since. So have my parents.)

Mum had run a good half-mile back down the loch-side so we set off up the road to turn round and collect her. My dad raced to the nearest layby and swung the van round viciously. In the layby was a woman eating sandwiches in her car. As my dad pulled up, he yelled, "We've seen the monster! We've seen the Loch Ness monster!". Not sure what to make of a lunatic in a blue three-wheeled van ranting about other-worldy beings, she rapidly wound up her window, and drove off at speed in the opposite direction.

We drove back and collected Mum, who by this time was somewhat flustered, and indeed traumatized - she had felt distinctly eerie as she stood alongside this strange beast. So... what about the contents of that camera?!

Ahhh... I can see the camera now - it was as much a monster as the object in the water. It was all dials and knobs and buttons, and not a hint of the word automatic. [Oh Kodak disposable or Cybershot Phone - where were you when we needed you?] Amazingly my Mum had kept her wits about her, and instead of firing off shots at random, she'd actually tried to set the picture up with the correct focus and exposure, as you had to do in those days. And this was whilst running along the road. Consequently she was delayed in taking the crucial photo, and my shouting had been badly timed, it transpired.

The photo was taken just as the grey object dipped below the surface, leaving just a huge wake in the water as evidence of its presence. Here is the photo:

Clearly we were disappointed that the picture didn't show the 'monster'. It was such a rare opportunity, to see something at such close quarters, and (quite by chance) to have a camera with us. If it was to happen again today, there is no doubt that with modern equipment we would have a series of photographs, possibly a video, that would have proved quite a talking (or even tweeting) point.

We still feel the photo is strong evidence for the presence of something in the water, as yet, unexplained. The wake is equivalent to something a mid-size power boat would make: not the trace of an otter or seal. It is clearly not a log or a rock - for where did it disappear to? The photo was submitted for analysis by several experts, none of whom have been able to provide a definite explanation. It is documented in a number of books, and we still treat it with an open and intrigued mind.

The tale (tail) still brings a shiver to my spine as I recall it. Although I was four, the image is as vivid as it was the day I saw it. And although it might be tempting to think the story is an elaborate fabrication on the part of my parents, how on earth could they convince a four year old to go along with the story??


The Way to a Man's Heart is through his Food Storage Device

It feels like someone is stamping on my chest. This music is ear-bleedingly loud! Opposite sits my ‘mate’. I mouth various indeterminable phrases at him, and in response he leans over and splurts a foul cocktail of spittle and warm beer in my ear. I’m distracted. Across the swarming bar I’m drawn by the bright smile and prominent cheek bones of a young lady. She’s surrounded by a menagerie of gorilla-looking blokes. One of them, presumably her ‘significant other’, presses his forearm high against the wall in a cliched ‘cinema seat’ pose, trying vainly to make his attempts to wrap his arm round her appear completely innocent.

Our eyes meet again fleetingly. I want to know her, but any more and I’ll give the game away. I may even earn a knuckle sandwich from gorilla-boy.

This is so superficial, I feel my best, perhaps only, chance lies in asking her back to see my fridge. Setting aside the implausibility, it strikes me a refrigerator says far more about a person than any well-worn chat-up line.

Of the 100 ill-placed letters on my own fridge door, prominent phrases include “big hugs here” and “mad moo”. The faint pulse of my street cred is kept alive with “Helena wants to stay, x x x”. Though I’ve never yet explained Helena is my 6-month-old cousin. And if you look hard, you can probably construct “chocolate rules” (with a ‘zed’).

Back in reality street, and my mate waves his empty at me. The bar is heaving with pheromones, most of them condensing on the outside of my glass. But all this sexual charge is having an unpredictable effect on me. For here I am thinking to myself, “how am I going to get into.. her kitchen?”