Forget Cellphone Cancer -
Kindles, Nooks Can
Hurt Your Brain Power
Life Bluetube Headsets
Cell Phone Towers Health Effects
EM Field Meter
Cell Phone Sensitivity
By Dan Bloom
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned
gadgetheads worldwide that radiation levels emitted from
cellphones could put them in the same category with other
cancer-causing agents such as lead and chlorofoam --
otherwise known as carcinogens -- it could take years before
the long-term effects are known. By then, most of us will be
dead -- by natural causes.
To summarize the 20,000 screaming headlines that made their
way around the internet, WHO reported that "over the past
few years there has been mounting concern over the
possibillty of adverse health effects resulting from
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnietic fields (REF),
such as those emitted by wireless communication devices."
You remember, of course, power lawyer Johnnie Cochran of O.J.
Simpson fame, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 67 from
a brain tumor. His daughter in Atlanta is now telling
reporters that she wasn't surprised to hear about the
alleged WHO link between cellphones and cancer.
Noting that her father practically lived on his cellphone,
Tiffany Cochran recently told 11 Alive News in Georgia that
her father's neurosurgeon has always felt and still believes
that Cochran's cellphone use might have caused the tumor.
"[My father's doctor] has always believed it," she said.
"And he's always said it may be one of those things where
research needs to catch up to societal use of the cellphone."
There's another issue that society has so far not faced up
to, according to some neuroscientists who study the brain
differences between reading on paper surfaces -- think
newspapers, magazines, book! -- and reading off the glass
screens of Nooks, Kindles and iPads. What leading experts in
the field such as Anne Mangen in Norway and Maryanne Wolf at
Tufts University say is that the fundamental differences
between paper-reading and screen-reading might be so huge as
to light up different regions of the reading brain and that
these differences need to be studied more, especially with (f)MRi
and PET brain scan research.
It's my personal hunch, as a strictly amateur
neuroscientist, but based on a lifetime of reading on paper
and just a few years of reading off screens, that reading on
paper surfaces is vastly superior for three important
things: the brain's processing of the text being read, the
brain's memory of the information and critical analysis of
I'm not talking here about the existential joy or
materialiality of flipping pages, or the smell of smelly
book paper, or even the distractions of the screen's hot
links and AV videos -- or that movie you're watching on the
side window while reading TheWrap. No, I'm saying that I
believe, and that science might one day prove, that reading
on paper is superior, brain-wise, to reading in a pixelated
(or E Ink) world.
At the heart of all my argument here there is a luftmensch
trying not only to understand reading, but also figure out
the nuts and bolts that make up the human experience. Of
course, I need to find out the real neural differences in
brain chemistry regarding paper-reading and screen-reading.
I'm on it.
I find them, and I get the Nobel Prize. Fat chance.
But Gary Small at UCLA knows what I am talking about.
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