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In the past 10 years or so, I’ve become more and more of a skeptic. Especially in the last 5 or so years, the American public has become increasingly susceptible to scaremongering and inflated fears about health issues, doomsday nonsense, and other junk science that has no basis in reality. The myth about cell phone radiation causing brain cancer is one example of this. The flat truth is that there had been no proven link between cell phone use and brain cancer. In fact, according to Christopher Wanjek’s column on LiveScience there has been no significant increase in brain cancer that correlates in any way with the increase of cell phone usage. We all know how much cell phone usage has risen in the last 2 decades… if they cause brain cancer, why the hell hasn’t there been a corresponding increase in the disease? Because there’s no connection. That being said, this article on NewScientist is one of many covering research into the effects of cell phone radiation on the brain, and in fact it does affect brain tissue, and there have been some hints that extremely prolonged exposure could cause some degree of tissue damage, but tissue damage is not the same thing as brain cancer. Furthermore, another recent study actually showed that cell phone radiation reversed the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice! (And if you look at the bottom of that article, you’ll see that the study wasn’t funded by any cell phone companies…) We might even soon be seeing cell phone radiation used as a treatment for the disease. So, the jury may still be out on whether it causes tissue damage or has therapeutic effects on memory, but with as many studies as have been done on the link between the radiation and brain cancer, it’s pretty obvious that cell phones don’t cause brain cancer. Unfortunately some companies have tried to capitalize on the scaremongering by marketing products that are supposed to “protect” you brain from the radiation. These don’t work, and several have been shut down by the FTC.

Now that I’m off my skeptic soapbox, something actually interesting:

Biologists have discovered a species of sea slug that is the first know organism to be able to produce chlorophyll. This creature actually has aspects of both plants and animals, and thus sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. But it’s real. Scientists have determined that it somehow “borrowed” the plant genes that allow chlorophyll production from the algae that it consumes. Exactly how it did that in it’s evolutionary path is still a mystery. It still can’t produce the actual chloroplasts (the cells that are responsible for the conversion of sunlight into energy) without consuming algae, but it apparently can produce chlorophyll entirely on its own.

And just for kicks: How the main LOST characters would each make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. (Via Yewknee’d)

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The oldest known living creature has been found at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. It’s a coral species with a skeletal structure dated to be 4,265 years old. That’s beyond amazing… that’s beyond words. This thing was living even before the time of Moses! I assume by “creature” they mean non-plant… Because the oldest living organism is a Bristlecone Pine tree in California known as Methuselah, which is about 4,840 years old.

On somewhat related not, Oddee has a list of several natural wonders that you may not know about. Although I’m pretty sure everyone’s at least seen photos of the famous Antelope Slot Canyon in Arizona.

I’ll be out and about this weekend, though I’m still not positive as to what I’m covering for the Scene, which will dictate my whereabouts for the most part. Here are some cool shows going on:

If you’re in Murfreesboro tonight, you might want to check out a solo show by Glossary’s Joey Kneiser, who’s playing at Liquid Smoke. Word on the street is that he’s working on a solo album featuring a plethora of other Murfreesboro musicians.

In Nashville tonight is Ghostland Observatory’s return to the Cannery Ballroom, and I’ve heard they’ve brought an even bigger laser light show than last time. This will be followed by a Happy Valley afterparty upstairs at Mercy Lounge.

Chairlift is playing at Exit/In on Saturday, and in Murfreesboro YEAH (the umbrella non-profit org over the Southern Girls Rock n Roll Camp) is having a benefit rock n roll dance party at Tomato Tomato. It will feature DJ sets from members of Glossary, Those Darlins, Protomen, JEFF, and more. All PBR and Bucket City Brew sales will go to YEAH.

I’ve touched on the topic of creationism vs. science (reality) on this blog before, and I’m going to do it again. One of the reasons I follow the Bad Astronomy blog is because he covers this very issue, especially how it relates to public school systems’ science curricula. Today he posted a great video, created by a moderate Christian, that I had to repost on here. Please take the time to watch this, and please do what you can to keep creationism out of public school systems. It is not science, it is not supported by any evidence, and it is simply WRONG.

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