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)

So the new Camera Obscura album came out yesterday. You can stream My Maudlin Career in its entirety here. I arrived at Grimey’s eager to purchase it on vinyl last night, but alas, the vinyl isn’t out yet. C.O. is definitely one of those bands that needs to be listened to on vinyl. I refuse to own it on CD. They’d better include a digital download with the vinyl. That’s really the ONLY way to do vinyl these days. It’s absolutely absurd not to include a free download with a vinyl purchase. Yes the sound of vinyl is superior to an mp3, but still, people want to be able to listen to music in their cars, etc… and have it be portable on whatever digital media player they happen to own. It’s ESSENTIAL that labels realize this and I will be extremely pissed if 4AD doesn’t include a digital download with their vinyl offerings. It remains to be seen… I’m told the vinyl should arrive next week. I’m resisting the urge to just order it online because I feel guilty for not buying anything from Grimey’s in a while. Support your local record stores people!

Ok, off the soapbox….

Not exactly sure how this video was done… but Matt & Kim went streaking through Times Square in their latest video. I guess it’s no big deal to block off Times Square for a video shoot so it’s technically not a crime for them to be running around naked. Or maybe they were wearing skin-colored skivvies underneath the black skivvies they removed… you can’t really tell since it’s pixel-blurred.

Last night was the first ever Rock Circus at Mercy Lounge. I was invited to attend but could not. My body did not want me to do anything last night. I should have posted about it yesterday but it honestly slipped my mind. Team Illuminati, Vermicious K’nids and Rae Herring played, and there were also magicians, jugglers, and virtuoso pianists. It’s a whole new concept that’s the brainchild of Team Illuminati, and this one was promoted by Scenario Entertainment. They plan to do more of these shows in the future, including one on April 29th (a week from today) (update: the show on the 29th is a normal rock show being promoted by Scenario Entertainment, not a circus show) with the Telecommunicators– the side project of Matt Hungate from De Novo Dahl. (Though Telecommunicators started before he joined DND…) I hope to take some pics at one of these in the near future as it sounds like a lot of fun.

When we think of natural distasters we usually think of things here on earth, but there’s something else out there that poses an unlikely but high-consequence danger…  the sun. This huge star that is responsible for our existence also has the ability to wipe us off the face of the planet. That’s VERY unlikely in the next billion years or so, but if it decides to get angry and have an especially violent Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), it could knock out power grids and wreak havoc on satellite communications, which are VERY sensitive to these types of things. ABC.com has a great story with more info if you’re interested.

Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell is a proponent of the government UFO cover-up conspiracy theory. It’s kind of sad that an astronaut is spouting about this, but it’s true. This CNN.com article reports on his recent appearance and UFO enthusiast convention. I happen to agree with his claim that there is life out there, somewhere. I fully believe that we will eventually find evidence of life on other planets, probably within my lifetime. But the probabilities of that life being SO advanced as to be able to travel much faster than light to get here and then crash into our deserts… I just have a hard time with that. And there’s still no hard evidence to prove otherwise. All we have are witness accounts and blurry, unreliable photos and video. Some of these sightings honestly don’t have a good explanation, but it’s too much of a stretch to say that just because we can’t explain them, they must aliens buzzing around in highly advanced spacecraft. Sure there are lots of things that the government keeps secret from the public, and I’m sure that they’re covering up something about what happened in Roswell in 1947, and in Kecksburg in 1965, and in all the other less publicized cases. I’d say it’s much more likely that it was some sort of top secret plane or technology that they didn’t want anyone to know about.

Today I leave you with this… yummmmm…..

Via Clusterflock