Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Romans had lead pipes, we have cell phones

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The studies about how much lead in water pipes might have helped the Roman Empire collapse are mixed at best. Some scholars point to the fact that winemakers boiled wine in lead urns as part of the wine-making process.

And every high school student knows that lead melts easily. Not as low as 212 degrees Farenheit, but still.

That's history, of course, and is debated mostly by historians working with very sketchy evidence, though modern chemical companies keep up on such debates as they face lawsuits over the effects of their wares. No records of citizen lawsuits in Rome against water companies survived the ages.

  • Lead in more than pencils

  • At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, scientists are more and more worried about a non-chemical problem that might be as potent as any cup of wine slugged by a Roman Senator: cell phones.

    Personally, I hate the damn things, even though like most people, I would never leave home without mine, in Mexico or the U.S.

    But the studies about electromagnetic waves on the brain are chilling.

  • We are all lab rats, it seems

  • LatestCellPhone
    New, tiny cell phone

    For years, as university politics got more and more ugly and nonsensical, I joked that there had to something bad lurking in the university's water fountains (and departmental coffee urns) that was driving faculty and staff (and students) to the brink of madness.

    Perhaps it's was not the water after all. It might have been accumulated use of cell phones, Blackberrys, ITouchs and God-knows-what-else doing the trick.

    It could explain how Arnold Schwarzenegger got elected governor of California. And maybe the popularity of Glenn Beck (and Sarah Palin)

    OK. And Barbara Boxer...

    Glenn Beck Cites NewsBusters to Bash TV's
ClimateGate Boycott
    Glenn Beck

    Damn, I have to run and end this now. Sorry.

    Yup, the Siren of the cell phone is calling me and I can't resist.

    Siren of the cell phone