Richard Nelson

Stay away from that kettle! (Or is it all in your head?)

In Uncategorized on 2006 May 15 Monday at 16:59:00

Ben Goldacre’s more or less weekly column on Bad Science in The Guardian is always an amusing read, but sometimes (like a lot of other professional or semi-professional skeptics) he picks the low-hanging fruits.

Saturday’s column is different, a sensitive and insightful look at how real but mysterious symptoms might be associated with, for instance, the electric kettle in your kitchen.

Update, May 16: In a related bit of pseudoscience, my city’s Board of Health has asked the Medical Officer of Health to review the health effects of the city power utility’s plan to build a wide-arew Wi-Fi network.

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  1. I have long felt that if electric power transmission lines produced a measureable effect from 100 metres away, it would be swamped by the electric blankets, hair dryers, and other devices that we use close to us, or even the power lines in our walls.

    And if those had a small deleterious effect, I doubt that anyone would be willing to give up electricity in their home.

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