Friday, May 27, 2016

Today in things that will kill us all...

Cellphones! Yeah, cellphones, very much like the one that is probably in your pocket right now, slowly baking your nether regions with...uh, like rays or whatever.
Well yeah, I suppose it could give you super powers,
but I think the more likely scenario is, you know, tumors...
"Legitimate research, just for
the hell of it...can't it be both?"
-Some Scientist
A new and not entirely complete study says that-huh? Yeah, it's incomplete, but we'll come back to that. Anyway, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, in what I hope was a legitimate scientific experiment and not just for the hell of it, exposed rats to high doses of radio frequency radiation from before birth all the way through death. They found that a few of the rats, specifically some of the male rats, developed tumors in their hearts and brains suggesting a possible link between cellphone use and cancer. Is it time to panic?

Yes. Absolutely. There are lots of reasons that now is a great time to start panicking: the election, antibiotic-resistant super bacteria, the election, climate change, also there's an election coming up.
Oh and the election. I mentioned the election right?
Because seriously, I mean what the fuck...
Above: the grim future
of human interaction.
Yes, every day is an unrelenting nightmare fraught with uncertainty and peril but dying a slow death from iPhone poisoning is probably not something we need to freak out about. The incidences of rat cancer in the study was super-low, but since we're quickly becoming a society of constantly Tweeting, social media-obsessed cyborgs who can't seem to put our cellphones down for a goddamn minute, the scienceticians thought it prudent to release the preliminary findings early. 

"Sorry, can't talk, it turns out cell phones
might cause cancer. Can you believe it?"

-Some Idiot

Which, I don't know, was that really the best idea? To release an incomplete and preliminary study about something as freak-out-overable as a link between the RF radiation we are all of us soaking in all the time and cancer? To the public? Look, don't get me wrong, I think their intentions were good. I mean, they probably thought that by putting the information out there, people could make an informed decision about potential health risks of cell phone use, but then has putting scientific evidence into context and reacting in a measured, rational way ever been our forte?

I don't mean to suggest that we're a nation of knee-jerk lunatics who seize upon anything we read on the internet regardless of whether or not it comes from a reliable source and then make major life changes based on our limited understanding of its implications but-wait, where was I going with that?  
"My sister's husband's cousin shared an article on Facebook about a new study
that links gluten to bloating, colorblindness and plane crashes. So I stopped eating
food and now I feel, you know. Better? I'm not like a scientist, but it works for me."

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