From Radition to Explosion

Yesterday in "Yediot Ahronot" newspaper was a classic example of the double-sword media reporting on cellular phones, in the article "From Radition to Explosion".

On the one hand: it details how 15 chinese people were hurt by a lightning that hit one of them while he was talking on the cellular phone. It wasn't the first time in China. A woman was injured a month ago when she was talking on the phone in a bad weather.

The article calls the fact that the meteorological service in China starts a "wise system" for wheather forecast that will send SMS to users before coming storms- "the destiny's laughter". Well, maybe the "cellular companies laughter" is a better definition.

The 15 chinese were strolling on the Chinese wall, and the journalism language uses it for dramatization: although the wall is "one of the strongest defence means that have been created in the human history, yesterday a small cellular device from the new age succeeded in breaking it."

The sub-title asks "Is the device more dangerous than we think?"

On the other hand: cooling its lagnuage, "the danger is certainly rare", continues the article, and brings the expert opinion, Dr. Orit Altratz from the Planetaric sciences and geophyisics in Tel Aviv University, who says that the lightning is attracted to objects that send charged particles, "these objects can be sharp, but also human hair or cellular phones. The science has no clear answer today why the lightnings are attracted to certain objects and not to others."

So the human hair receives here the same degree like cellular phones. Maybe going bald is the way to protect ourselves from the lightning? For this expert opinion leaves us with the feeling that 'cellular phones or hair- what's the difference anyway'.

On the one hand what about the sperm study? No mainstream journalist is going to leave this study alone without hitting it under the belt. The sperms study is mentioned but then....

On the other hand "The study, that was published on the first pages and won sparkling headlines, was not intended to be published at all. In the conference of the European Organization for Human Fertility, it was defined in one word: rubbish". The journalist complains that the study on the 221 men didn't take their nationality into consideration, occupation, smoking, the men fertility "and other things" (you name it).

"By the way" it sneaks us even one more secret: the men in Finland, where Nokia was born, "especially laughed when the survery [so the study becomes a survey] was published, because extensive studies had already determined that the finnish man is one of the most fertile men in the world" ! (So what's a tiny cellular phone to change this solid "irrefutable" fact?...)

On the one hand "warning: a fuel station". The fuel station "rumors" became a fact, admits the article, but

On the other hand it reminds us, that "it's important to note, that sparks in a fuel station are not special to the cellular, actually every spark in the fuel station can cause a flame, also a spark that's created by rubbing nylon socks." (well that's a good comparison, when have we heard of such an incidence lately?)

On the one hand privecy is lost with the ability to follow everybody
On the other hand until today there are zero cases of taking advantage of this ability, and the companies keep our privacy. But this claim is not true, because a journalist in Israel was a victim to such a follow up of his private conversations, after he had exposed some against-the-law stuff about our prime minister, Sharon.

On the one hand the journalist reminds us that the real thing, the real danger is the radiation.
On the other hand sure we get our daily dose of: "Despite the many studies on the subject, until now there is no conclusive conclusion about the connection cellular phone-cancer. Some studies suggest a clear connection, others reach totally different conclusions", say the journalist.

It finishes with the opinion of "most researchers" that think that more years have to pass before we will succeed in examining the devices effects- "really". (ss if until today everything was false), and that's because the cell phones use started only several years ago. Meanwhile the experts recommend on minimal use. "It certainly won't hurt".

No wonder one woman asked me yesterday, "what can I understand from this article?"

("From Radiation to Explosion", Roy Shlomi, Yediot Ahronot 27/7/2004)

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Juli 2004

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