by Philip Larkin
Child in the womb,
Or saint on a tomb —
Which way shall I lie
To fall asleep?
The keen moon stares
From the back of the sky,
The clouds are all home
Like driven sheep.
Bright drops of time,
One and two chime,
I turn and lie straight
With folded hands;
Dara and I are starting a virtual book club! (See below!) I wanted to add that when I was 10 or 11, prompted by boredom, I spent several peak-summer days barricaded in the basement marathon-watching my mom’s VHS collection of The Pallisers. It was an intense experience. I basically mainlined a ’70s costume drama. And, as in a drug binge, I remember little of it. What sticks with me: a strangely riveting, satirical plot-line involving monetary policy, and Susan Hampshire’s ski-slope nose (equally riveting). Anyway, I’ve been wanting to read Trollope ever since, so am pumped to start with Barchester Towers. Stay tuned a month from now for our g-chat/email exchange/Skype transcript.
People of the Internet: Maggie Murray (Edible Derangements) and Dara Weinberg (Style Over Substance), in their desire to read more books and discuss them, have decided to read one book by a dead author each month, discuss it, and post their discussion to their blogs. Only the dead need apply. For August, the book is Anthony Trollope’s BARCHESTER TOWERS. If you want to read along with us, you have until Sept. 1st to achieve maximum Trollope. Hashtag: #wereaddeadpeople.
- Okay, humans, I have killer news. Remember all those many, many updates about writing my novel? I’m very excited to announce that Melville House has picked it up and they plan to publish it in Spring 2015. I’m dying of excitement and so pleased I finally get to share the news with all you pleasant internet people.
I think I have maybe three followers on tumblr, but ALL THREE should know how proud I am of Katie and share in this exciting news!!
Cell phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF), and emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR). They share this feature with all modern electronics that run on alternating current (AC) power (from the power grid and the outlets in your walls) or that utilize wireless communication. Different devices radiate different levels of EMF, with different characteristics. …
The many potential negative health effects from EMF exposure (including many cancers and Alzheimer’s disease) can take decades to develop. So we won’t know the results of this experiment for many years—possibly decades. But by then, it may be too late for billions of people. …the entire power grid is an EMF-generation network that reaches almost every individual in America and 75% of the global population. Today, early in the 21st century, we find ourselves fully immersed in a soup of electromagnetic radiation on a nearly continuous basis. …
While cancer is one of the primary classes of negative health effects studied by researchers, EMF exposure has been shown to increase risk for many other types of negative health outcomes. In fact, levels of EMF thousands of times lower than current safety standards have been shown to significantly increase risk for neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease) and male infertility associated with damaged sperm cells. In one study, those who lived within 50 meters of a high voltage power line were significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when compared to those living 600 meters or more away. The increased risk was 24% after one year, 50% after 5 years, and 100% after 10 years. Other research demonstrates that using a cell phone between two and four hours a day leads to 40% lower sperm counts than found in men who do not use cell phones, and the surviving sperm cells demonstrate lower levels of motility and viability.
EMF exposure (as with many environmental pollutants) not only affects people, but all of nature. In fact, negative effects have been demonstrated across a wide variety of plant and animal life. EMF, even at very low levels, can interrupt the ability of birds and bees to navigate. Numerous studies link this effect with the phenomena of avian tower fatalities (in which birds die from collisions with power line and communications towers). These same navigational effects have been linked to colony collapse disorder (CCD), which is devastating the global population of honey bees (in one study, placement of a single active cell phone in front of a hive led to the rapid and complete demise of the entire colony). And a mystery illness affecting trees around Europe has been linked to WiFi radiation in the environment. …
[M]odern technology (the source of the humanmade electromagnetic fields discussed here) has fueled a remarkable degree of innovation, productivity, and improvement in the quality of life. If tomorrow the power grid went down, all cell phone networks would cease operation, millions of computers around the world wouldn’t turn on, and the night would be illuminated only by candlelight and the moon—we’d have a lot less EMF exposure, but at the cost of the complete collapse of modern society.
EMF isn’t just a by-product of modern society. EMF, and our ability to harness it for technological purposes, is the cornerstone of modern society. Sanitation, food production and storage, health care—these are just some of the essential social systems that rely on power and wireless communication. We have evolved a society that is fundamentally reliant upon a set of technologies that generate forms and levels of electromagnetic radiation not seen on this planet prior to the 19th century.
As a result of the central role these devices play in modern life, individuals are understandably predisposed to resist information that may challenge the safety of activities that result in EMF exposures. People simply cannot bear the thought of restricting their time with— much less giving up—these beloved gadgets. This gives industry a huge advantage because there is a large segment of the public that would rather not know."
Wait, so if I respond to something on tumblr, does it automatically get posted on my tumblr page (or whatever it’s called) for all followers to see? I’m so confused. Sorry for having the competence of a baby boomer re: tumblr technology…
“When we crossed the Nevada border some men made us stop. We couldn’t take our melons into California. … We didn’t have a knife or anything. We split the melons open, smashing them on the legs of the sign that said ‘WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA’ and we stood on the concrete platform eating them, the juice spilling down our arms.”
—Mona Simpson, from “You Leave Them.”
This is also an excerpt (or adapted excerpt, or something) from her novel Anywhere But Here, which is fantastic. Read it!