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Garlic Farmer Wards Off High-Speed Internet

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the attack-of-the-killer-garlic dept.

The Internet 475

DocVM writes "A Nova Scotia farmer is opposing the construction of a microwave tower for fear it will eventually mutate his organic garlic crop. Lenny Levine, who has been planting and harvesting garlic by hand on his Annapolis Valley land since the 1970s, is afraid his organic crop could be irradiated if EastLink builds a microwave tower for wireless high-speed internet access a few hundred meters from his farm."

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Woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454581)

More hyper-paranoid ridiculousness. "Shakes up the molecules" indeed.

Idiots (5, Informative)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454583)

His crop is already being irradiated...BY THE SUN. Idiots. Sheesh.

Re:Idiots (4, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454661)

Indeed!

On top of it, the radiation is 60,000 times less than the the allowed limit for organic farms. (Wasn't even aware there was such a thing.)

Until the farmer loses, that town is stuck on dial-up. Now, that's a travesty.

Re:Idiots (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455579)

I was going to say someone in town should solve the problem by fertilizing his crops with radiation, and then going in with a geiger counter to show that his garlic is already too radioactive to be "organic" so the tower wouldn't be so bad.

Then I realized 1: that would probably be somewhat irresponsible and illegal and more importantly 2: Anyone sufficiently motivated would face ordering the radioactive stuff... ON DIALUP.

Re:Idiots (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454825)

His crop is already being irradiated...BY THE SUN. Idiots. Sheesh.

Yeah, and that radiation makes his crops grow to many times their original size! Exactly as 60s sci-fi predicts! So now who's the idiot, huh?

Re:Idiots (2, Funny)

ddusza (775603) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454991)

I for one welcome our overgrown garlicky overlords.

Re:Idiots (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455627)

Tasty, garlicky overlords. I welcome them roasted and spread with a bit of olive oil on a baguette.

-jcr

Re:Idiots (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455081)

Yeah, and that radiation makes his crops grow to many times their original size! Exactly as 60s sci-fi predicts! So now who's the idiot, huh?

The farmer featured in this article is, for saying he doesn't want the sun or any lights near his crops.

Re:Idiots (1)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455309)

Well, yeah, but 60's sci-fi never predicted radioactive mutant things would eat Victoria Harbour. We need to study this unexpected change in the preferred tastes of mutated organisms for Canadian over Japanese flavors.

Re:Idiots (4, Insightful)

Apollo_11 (1306045) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454955)

Just taking the wacky green agenda to its extreme boundary. If anything vegatables and milk should be intentionally irradated as is commonly done in Europe to: A > Reduce food borne illness B > Save enormous amounts of money on chilling food at the grocery store Planet saved and less medical costs, illnesses, don't tell Washington DC they are now expendable !

Re:Idiots (0, Troll)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455063)

Two things: the irradiation you are talking about is done after harvest, right? (Not that this farmer isn't being silly, the amount of radiation will be mostly harmless, and since the main reproductive and sustenance parts of garlic are under ground, his crop will have some shielding).

And DC being expendable? Usually you use the term "expendable" for a valuable resource that can be lost permanently for a short term advantage. That statement makes the assumption that we get some kind of value out of the folks in DC...

Re:Idiots (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455117)

By the sun, by the galaxy, by radioactive decay underground. What a fucking retard.

Re:Idiots (4, Insightful)

joebok (457904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455321)

He didn't say he didn't want any radiation of any kind - he just didn't want any MORE radiation that the tower would surely bring. I don't think that is idiotic.

Where I question his judgment is looking at the amount of radiation that the tower would introduce - the article says 60,000 x lower than the legal limit for organic food. Seems he is a bit more careful that I am. But I'm not sure that makes him an idiot.

Re:Idiots (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455425)

No, he's an idiot. Microwaves don't alter DNA, and the amount of all radiation hitting his plants is only going to be increased an infinitesimal amount. He's a fucking moron who knows nothing about various kinds of radiation, their effects on organic matter, but either because he wants to get on the news or because he truly is so fucking stupid, he's likely causing his neighbors to find more expensive means of high speed Internet.

Quite frankly, if I was his neighbor, I'd sue the moron.

Speaking of idiots... (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455181)

His crop is already being irradiated...BY THE SUN. Idiots. Sheesh.

You know, I wish people using that argument (or variants thereof) actually knew what they're talking about. No offense.

The Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere are only really transparent to a very narrow band of frequencies. As you go up in the UV range or lower into IR, actually less and less of it gets to ground level.

And let's put it this way: If enough microwave radiation from the Sun got to the Earth to be comparable to a cell phone tower, you couldn't actually use a cell phone. Because the white noise from the sun would not only give the tower a crap signal-to-noise ratio, but would be hundreds of decibels stronger than the milliwatts emitted by the phone itself or received by it in some places.

So no, it's not. Not in the same frequencies and/or not as much.

Yes, the "OMG, the crops will mutate" scare is incredibly stupid anyway. But countering it with the equally bogus "OMG, the sun already does the same", doesn't really debunk it.

Re:Speaking of idiots... (1)

Hawke666 (260367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455463)

Yes it does. From the article: "...is afraid his organic crop could be irradiated..." That's not the same as "is afraid microwave radiation will be increased above acceptable levels". The statement suggests that he is worried about radiation in general (not this specific kind of radiation). And obviously most of the radiation from the sun which actually gets to the plants is beneficial. So he's an idiot for being afraid of "radiation"

Re:Speaking of idiots... (3, Interesting)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455609)

From the article: "...is afraid his organic crop could be irradiated..." That's not the same as "is afraid microwave radiation will be increased above acceptable levels". The statement suggests that he is worried about radiation in general (not this specific kind of radiation).

The statement you quoted was made by the writer of the article, not by the farmer. The only direct quotes from him are: "I think over a period of time it will change the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules" and "I view it with dread, fear and panic. I don't want to grow food under those conditions", neither of which indicate he's afraid of radiation in general.

You trust the press to get his argument right? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455539)

First off, for anyone that has been interviewed by the press or had first hand experience with a situation they know covered by the press, I highly doubt the farmer's objections to the microwave tower are being quoted or carried correctly by the covering reporters.

Second, have any of you actually visited the site of a microwave tower in a wilderness area? I go hiking in the mountains and desert around Los Angeles a lot, and it is always remarkable around microwave towers for the large numbers of dead insects, grasshoppers, bees, beetles and odd bird or two that can be found in the immediate area of a tower.

I'm just guessing here, if an organic farmer were told one of these was going to be put on or near their land, and they visited the site of an existing and operational tower, the would most likely come away thinking something was seriously wrong with the ambient radiation emitting from the thing and would want nothing to do with it.

What would you do if someone told you they were going to put an object near your living space, and all around the already installed such objects you found many dead bugs and some dead birds?

Re:Speaking of idiots... (5, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455557)

Well, actually, the microwave internet system is a Line-of-sight point to point beam, so the amount getting to his crops in the ground is actually a number approaching zero. The microwave in his KITCHEN probaly puts more energy into his field than that tower would, not to mention the dozens of sattelites beaming down microwave radiation as well.

Also, if the atmosphere was THAT good at shielding that radiation, then why would Microwave solar orbital power even be a consideration? If the atmosphere only blocks 30% of visible light, but far more microwave was blocked, then how would that system be a net gain?

Of course, Microwave radiation is not ionizing radiation anyway, so the argument is completely moot... Mutation from microwave exposure would require rediculous doses of concentrated radiation, far, far more than it would take to cook the garlic outright.

Re:Idiots (2, Funny)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455357)

No, no, no, you're doing it wrong. "His crops are being irradiated by an unshielded fusion reactor! And he's putting dihydrogen monoxide on his crops!"

He should be so lucky (3, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454587)

Scientists and corporations around the world would buy his crop at many times market value, in order to both prove and disprove that the mutations were a result of the tower. What a disappointment it will be for him when the tower is built and his crop turns out just fine.

Re:He should be so lucky (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454803)

except for people like thi, it won't be ok. He will perceive it's a problem and any normal crop behavior that is negative in nature will get blamed on the towers waves.

Re:He should be so lucky (5, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455375)

Reminds me of http://german-bash.org/101161 [german-bash.org] .

Short and translated version: the Telekom had built a cell phone mast in a village, and a lot of villagers started to complain about sleep problems and whatnot because of it. The comment of the Telekom was, "how bad must it get, when we actually turn it on" :p

Mutating Radiation (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454589)

Because we don't get any naturally from the Sun, Cosmic rays, or spontaneous decay of elements naturally occuring on earth.

I, for one,... (1)

Condor80 (686041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454591)

...would definitely buy garlic from this guy.

Money... that's what its all about! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454595)

He pissed off that the tower site wasn't built on his land so he could collect rent money.

Where's the proof? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454597)

"'I think over a period of time it will change the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules,' he said Tuesday."

He THINKS? I'd like to KNOW, and know WHY.

Re:Where's the proof? (3, Interesting)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454809)

oh they dont need to know how and why. when my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer she decided to look into radical natural diet and exercise changes to try and avoid chemo and a mastectomy. growth halted in the tumors for well over a year, she lost weight, felt better than ever before.

good for her. she also got rid of her microwave oven. while she wont come right out and say it to most of the family, she believe the radiation can mutate food in the microwave and cause her body harm. wow.

Re:Where's the proof? (5, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454843)

It's not possible. Only ionizing radiation can alter DNA.

Microwaves are not ionizing radiation. Not even remotely close, they're on the complete opposite side of the visible portion of the spectrum in fact.

From visible, you go to IR and then to RF (including microwaves)
To get to the wavelengths capable of altering DNA, you need to go the other way, through violet to UV (DNA damage), X-rays (more DNA damage!) and gamma (lots of DNA damage).

There's only one way I can describe this guy - fucking ignorant dumbass. The most likely thing to do DNA damage to his crops is the very sunlight his crops depend on to grow.

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

WEqR0lDRR6I (1452367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455255)

Could intense, penetrating(AKA not from this cell phone towers at his distance :b) non-ionizing radiation hypothetically interfere with mitosis and cause mutations that way?

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455365)

Yes, by depositing so much energy in something that it heats up enough to cause damage. This is how a microwave oven works.

Re:Where's the proof? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455371)

Also these type of microwave towers are very directional - so very little radiation would be directed anywhere but the intended direction.

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455489)

It's not possible. Only ionizing radiation can alter DNA.

That's not strictly true. If you get DNA hot enough it can denature, but the most likely effect is that it'll simply stop working. It's barely, theoretically, possible to bombard DNA with non-ionizing radiation, cool it again careful-like, and end up with a mutation. But of course that ain't gonna happen because of a nearby microwave tower. For that matter, it ain't gonna happen even if you try to do it, unless you try an awful lot and get very lucky.

If this guy thinks it's a reasonable concern, I'm surprised he hasn't sold his garlic farm and spent all the cash on used lottery tickets.

So, who grows INorganic garlic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454601)

Ain't nothing healthier than all-natural.

Such as getting eaten by a shark. Or stung to death by bees. Or hit by lightning.

You think that's bad? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455263)

So, who grows INorganic garlic?

If you think "organic garlic" sounds stupid, I humbly submit the following anecdote which actually topped it for me: so I buy a tube of calcium tablets, and on the tube it says "Made from natural minerals!" Made me wonder if anyone synthetises their calcium in a nuclear reactor or something.

Wrong kind of radiation (5, Informative)

fishnuts (414425) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454619)

He should stick to farming and leave the radio vs radiation science up to the smart people.

Someone go point him to the definitions of "Microwave Radiation" and "Ionizing Radiation"

No rationality required? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454621)

"I think over a period of time it will change the DNA of the garlic because it shakes up the molecules."

I wonder why he's concerned about the garlic DNA, but not his own? In other news, I objected to a wind farm cos I was worried about the flying saucers crashing into it...

Re:No rationality required? (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454993)

In other news, I objected to a wind farm cos I was worried about the flying saucers crashing into it...

Oh geeze, not this FUD again... Look, yes, flying saucer crashes were a problem with some older, ill-conceived wind farms. But with a little planning, and modern designs, this is essentially a non-issue for the wind farms of today. The most important thing is not to put cattle, sheep, or drunken hillbillies underneath the windfarms so the aliens aren't attracted to them. Next is the design itself. The old scaffolding ones didn't look like anything important to the aliens. The new single-pole ones were designed to look like an alien arm raised up. And a raised arm with all three digits spinning in a circle is a very rude gesture and it's traditional to ignore the offender. So the problem solves itself.

Scientific ignorance (4, Insightful)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454625)

Scientific ignorance from the organic produce industry? Really? That's just so shocking.

Re:Scientific ignorance (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454759)

Scientific ignorance from the organic produce industry? Really? That's just so shocking.

Personally I prefer the inorganic produce - you know, the stuff that's that's made from rocks and minerals.

Crunchy and filling, but a bit hard on the teeth.

Re:Scientific ignorance (3, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454865)

You've hit on one of my pet peeves man. Hell, DIAMONDS are oraganic, and so is pencil lead. They way these people use the term incorrectly drives me nuts.

Seriously.

I have a steering wheel attached to my belt now because of it.

Re:Scientific ignorance (4, Funny)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455145)

A conversation I had at an organic food shop:

Me: Do you have any pure mint extract?
Employee: Yeah man, we've got some right over here.
Me: This is the cosmetics aisle. It says "Not for human consumption." right on the bottle.
Employee: Oh. But its organic man, its okay.
Me: So are rhubarb leaves.
Employee: Oh. Man. I dunno man.

Re:Scientific ignorance (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455179)

You've hit on one of my pet peeves man. Hell, DIAMONDS are oraganic, and so is pencil lead. They way these people use the term incorrectly drives me nuts.

Strictly speaking, there are very significant variations of what "organic" means [dict.org] , even among various scientific contexts. For example, "organic" generally means something significantly different in the context of biology than in the context of chemistry.

So, while on one hand I agree that it feel as if the "organic" food label misleadingly seems to imply that other food is somehow "inorganic", on the other hand I realize that from the USDA's perspective, "organic" certification reflects the adherence to a fairly well defined set of food production, handling, and processing practices [usda.gov] .

Re:Scientific ignorance (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455293)

Can't words have multiple definitions?

Lets see, we have the chemical definition of "organic," on which a diamond is, of course, not organic (because it has to have C and H). We have the usage of "arising organically" which is supposed to mean something like "coming together in a way that resembles natural processes". And then we have what is apparently your favored definition, something like "arising on earth without human intervention" (or something, I'm not totally sure what). And then we have the food-industry word, which is really a legal word defined by the USDA [usda.gov] to denote certain standards of food production.

So, which of these definitions would you like to call "correct" and which are "incorrect"?

Re:Scientific ignorance (4, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455329)

You've hit on one of my pet peeves man. Hell, DIAMONDS are oraganic, and so is pencil lead. They way these people use the term incorrectly drives me nuts.

Seriously.

I have a steering wheel attached to my belt now because of it.

Right on! And the people who use "pencil lead" instead of "graphite." I mean, lead was never used in pencils. It's just that those idiots who discovered graphite thought it really was lead. The audacity...

Re:Scientific ignorance (0)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455139)

Scientific ignorance from the organic produce industry? Really? That's just so shocking.

Yeah, I know. But sometimes the taste is so much better than the "inorganic" food. I don't know what it is but organic fruit actually tastes like it should. Do a blind taste comparison between organic strawberries and the regular kind, or cantaloupe, or blueberries, or .... Apples! Organic apples taste like apples did when I was a kid. The crap that is passed for Red Delicious in the regular grocery stores have no taste - but they're bigger and last longer!.

Re:Scientific ignorance (1)

The Mysterious Dr. X (1502541) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455235)

I agree. My older sister thought she might be lactose intolerant, but when she switched to organic milk, she was fine. I don't know if the absence of artificial growth hormones or antibiotic residues could make such a difference, but there's anecdotal evidence for you.

Re:Scientific ignorance (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455253)

It's true. The "organic" thing is DEFINITELY a fad, it's hyped, and there are plenty of frauds and misinformed people.

The same goes for drugs though. Just because it can be a fad and it's hyped and there are stupid people saying stupid things about it doesn't mean the entire idea is stupid.

There have been plenty of conclusive studies about pesticides and the like, as well. And organic food definitely does taste different... way different. Even organic milk tastes different from "normal" milk. And, as far as anecdotal evidence goes, my wife has stated multiple times that with some (non-organic) cheeses, she feels like she never has eaten enough and just wants to keep eating it (read: it's not "satisfying"). With organic, or raw milk, etc., cheese, it tastes better and it's satisfying. I taste a strange almost metallic taste in, for example, normal Costco monterey jack cheese that I don't taste in raw-milk cheese...

There's plenty of support, even scientific, for many organic-related issues. Unfortunately, the fad/trendy/hype people give it a very bad name. As do the ridiculously over priced stores that cater to it.

Re:Scientific ignorance (2, Interesting)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455275)

That's mostly due to the large volume farming, not the nature of the chemicals/additives applied. Depending on price I will do the same thing, buy organic because it tastes better. But at home the gardens get a liberal coating of very non-organic insecticides (mixed with stuff from my father's stash of things you can't buy anymore :-) and plant food of varying types (Mostly miracle grow, but also things like copper sulfate for melons, etc.). And the home garden stuff tastes the best of all.

Re:Scientific ignorance (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455381)

Hmmm. The last 'blind taste test' I saw involving the taste of organic vs non-organic food about 80% of the people chose the non-organic foods over the organic.

Everything about organic food is horse shit... It's been turned into a religion.

The Dangers of Wi-Fi (5, Funny)

moj0e (812361) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454631)

I totally agree with the farmer! From my research, it even has dangerous effects
on humans!

Here are some of the symptoms that it causes:

1. Carpal tunnel
2. Distaste for light
3. A tendency to shout out: "First Post"
4. Loss/Gain of gold pieces
5. Disturbing images of cats
6. Lots of accidents that subsequently end up online.
7. Bad writing.

Can anyone think of other symptoms?

Re:The Dangers of Wi-Fi (5, Funny)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455009)

8. Sarcastic lists! :D

My guess is... (2, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454641)

He probably decided to farm garlic to ward off the vampires. Can't say I blame him.

Re:My guess is... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455279)

Wouldn't irradiated garlic be even more effective in warding off vampires? In fact it could mutate into a form of garlic that seeks out and attacks vampires on its own...

Re:My guess is... (5, Funny)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455379)

But if they put a wi-fi tower next to him, the vampires are going to congregate there to check their MySpace pages and the next thing you know they'll develop an immunity to garlic. This dangerous cycle must be stopped!

Moron (-1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454701)

RADIATION! Fear! Fire! Foes! Awake, Awake! In other news... everything is radioactive. Please hide under your desks. :\

Seriously, the biggest risk to his crop is from localized heating effect. It won't mutate, it'll just dry out. Same as the microwave he has in his kitchen. And at a couple hundred meters... It won't even register a fraction of a degree at peak output. The sun delivers more thermal energy.

Re:Moron (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455659)

Please hide under your desks. :\

Likely the desk has some measurable activity as well. And the floor under the desk.

Directional Antenna (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454711)

Aren't microwave antennas unidirectional and pointed to the horizon? I'm sure the signal won't reach the floor.

That guy is complaining with the incorrect argument... He doesn't want an antenna near and that's all.

Re:Directional Antenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454911)

If they're trying to provide wireless internet access, then no, they're not really "unidirectional", and definitely not aimed straight to the horizon (that would be long-range point-to-point links, which might also be involved for backhaul).

Probably sector antennas, or possibly omnis, but definitely with some sort of low-angle radiation pattern; people on the ground nearby will have a damn hard time getting internet access if it "won't reach the floor".

And I love the way he says "I view it with dread, fear and panic." He's not rational concerned over some threat he's heard (mis)information about, he's panicked, and proud of it.

Mutant Garlic... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454715)

...is a great name for a rock band. With respect to Dave Barry.

Re:Mutant Garlic... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454953)

Is there a band named "With Respect to Dave Barry"?

Nothing obvious on Google.

Re:Mutant Garlic... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455415)

Teenage Mutant Garlic Ninja Turtles?

On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (4, Funny)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454717)

Please regard this man as a non-representative sample.

Re:On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454845)

Unfortunately, as someone with a good many friends amoung the hippies of the Valley & the North Mountain, I can tell you that the garlic farmer is all too representative of the folks there. Sigh.

But, other than being totally paranoid about modern technology, they're really quite nice people.

Re:On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455191)

But if he moved to California, he'd fit right in.

Re:On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455203)

Please regard this man as a non-representative sample.

They can regard him as that, but it isn't true. I'm sorry, but if he were a non-representative sample, I would still be living in Nova Scotia.

Re:On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455525)

Yeah, but he's from the Valley. He's probably the product of South Mountain...

Thinking about it, he may be on to something. I live just down the street from Eastlink HQ here in Halifax. I'm going to buy a sack of garlic on my way home from work, place it in the doorway of their office building and observe the results.

Re:On behalf of myself and other Nova Scotians (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455545)

Please regard this man as a non-representative sample. Does that mean he is much dimmer than the average Nova Scotian, or much brighter than the average Nova Scotian? Let me say this in his defense: at least he's not a Newfie!

Side note (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454765)

I remember reading somewhere on BBC that a recent study found that there is no nutritional difference between organic and normal grown plants. I have no idea then how they would prove or disprove that the cell tower is a danger to or has effected the crop.

Re:Side note (4, Informative)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454819)

Found it. Thought some people might be interested

Organic Food [bbc.co.uk]

whoops (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455271)

Trigger finger modded this offtopic; posting to cancel.

Re:Side note (2, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455017)

That's because "non-organic" food is *drumroll* completely organic. Oh my god. Seriously, it kills me that these assholes get away with calling their food "organic" (implying other food is not organic) and there are actually regulations on what you can call "organic" (even though it is all, in fact, organic).

I wouldn't mind if they called it pesticide free, or un-modified, or naturally grown (with a description of what exactly they mean by that), etc. But "organic"? WTF? Even the most unnatural, mutated, inedible freak of a plant is organic, because it is made of friggin carbon. That's the definition of organic. There are even organic rocks. Fucking GASOLINE is organic! Diamonds and graphite pencil lead are organic. For heaven's sake, this really pisses me off when I get thinking about it too much.

And people wonder why Americans are getting dumber and dumber, well shit like this certainly doesn't help the problem.

Re:Side note (1)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455369)

That's because "non-organic" food is *drumroll* completely organic. Oh my god. Seriously, it kills me that these assholes get away with calling their food "organic" (implying other food is not organic) and there are actually regulations on what you can call "organic" (even though it is all, in fact, organic).

Newsflash: The same word can have more than one meaning [reference.com] and it can adopt new meanings over time. The intended meaning is usually clear from the context. Meaning arises from consensus among a broad population of speakers. Complaints about how others use language almost always fail to influence behavior.

What you are really saying is: "I am smart because I know the particular definition of a word used by chemists. I am also insecure. I will berate those I perceive to be less intelligent than me and hope that others adore me for being brilliant."

To be fair, I'm doing exactly the same thing...

Re:Side note (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455563)

This isn't an American problem exclusively. Related to this is the scare about "zomg genetically modified organisms!", which is much worse in Europe.

I helped gather data for a study, incidentally, comparing GM and ordinary cotton. The GM cotton had a gene expressing the BT toxin in it, a protein that fucks up caterpillars who eat it rather royally but is harmless to pretty much everything else. The farmers were told to not do anything special with their fields, to use pesticides as normal, etc. (This meant more use of pesticide on the non-GM cotton, obviously.)

Then I wander through the fields and sample the insect population by species. The conventional cotton was something of a wasteland -- here's a lonely little spider, looking for dinner; there are a few ants; here are a shitload of aphids, which are resistant to insecticide.

The GM cotton had a whole pile of bugs, all running around happily eating each other.

GM crops can be *better* for the environment. After all, the BT gene is just a way of putting a pesticide only harmful to a narrow range of insects *into* the crop, so only pests that actually eat it will die. This is a whole lot more targeted than crop-dusting the field with something that'll kill anything that moves with more than four legs. Monsanto's abuse of the patent system is another matter altogether, of course.

Correction (1)

xfedaykinx (1325175) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454813)

"A Nova Scotia farmer is opposing the construction of a microwave tower for lots of publicity and fears it will eventually mutate his organic garlic crop."

Fixed that for you.

Re:Correction (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455387)

Oh nice, I hadn't even considered how much local plus national coverage he's getting for this.

it's non-ionizing radiation (3, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454857)

If you're looking for something that will mutate cells, then try the UV rays from the Sun. Perhaps he should grow mushrooms if he is so paranoid about exposing vegetables to radiation?

Marcio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454879)

A fried garlic is not too bad. That line can be used with the farmer.

This happens all the time (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454907)

This kind of stuff happens all of the time. Anyone remember "Attack of the killer tomatos", "them", "Godzilla", ...
Everyone should know of this great menace before we are attacked by giant mutant killer zombie garlic. We don't want to be replaced by a more intelligent invasive species like this!

Meanwhile a farmer in Gilroy California (4, Funny)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455019)

Somewhere in Gilroy a Garlic farmer is dialing Sprint to beg for a tower so he can make monster garlic.

Re:Meanwhile a farmer in Gilroy California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455389)

"Yeah. So we drive up to Tower 346A and sure enough, the signal was wavering. Checked in the shack; everything's good. Then we noticed bundles on the tower..."

"Bundles?"

"Yeah. Like big burlap sacks. Turns out - the damn locals were hanging garlic up there. Again."

1 word (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455053)

1 word to sum up this fruit-loop: nutjob.

Re:1 word (1)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455099)

slashdot should buy him a tinfoil hat...

Smelly... (1)

jeffshoaf (611794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455067)

Well, that just stinks!

Yum (1)

tweekie (1637593) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455083)

Mmmm elephant garlic. It's free radiaton, and radiation (like butter) makes everything taste better. He should shut his mouth.

My name is EmagGeek for a reason... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455159)

There is no threat to his garlic from the microwave tower, unless perhaps the construction personnel find his garlic patch a convenient place to relieve themselves during the erection of the tower.

Re:My name is EmagGeek for a reason... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455303)

Two words: "Organic Fertilizer"

'nuff said.

Oh no (5, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455165)

There are times when I wonder what the world might have been like if we hadn't pushed high speed microwave-based internet access in Nova Scotia. It's not like there weren't other solutions -- satellite, possibly. Cabling if they could have found someone to foot the bill. But there was a rush to make it happen, as usual with big business looking for their next tax haven. Who would have thought the entire world would pay for that bit of greed? Who would have thought we'd never dare look at the sun again.

The end can't be too far away. There aren't many of us left, down here in the caves. All the moss has been eaten. The water may last awhile longer, but without food....No one who's left the caves to search for food, no matter how desperate or self-assured, has ever come back. Perhaps our greatest fear, moreso than even starvation, is that the Garlics will be able to trace one of those people back to our hideout. We've taken precautions, of course, by choosing a tunnel system with a downdraft. At least that way, we can smell them coming.

Re:Oh no (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455333)

I, for one, welcome our new Garlic Overlords.

(sorry, obligatory slashdot meme reference)
  (sorry sorry, obligatory acknowledgment of use of obligatory slashdot meme reference)
    (infinite loop encountered, terminating...

Re:Oh no (2)

lordharsha (1101875) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455359)

Bravo! It's not often that I see posts this clever. (!sarcasm)

To be fair... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455185)

This guy was against using chemical pesticides back in the 70's when everyone else was using them. I'm originally from the area this guy is from and a lot of farmers went the chemical route because they were told there was nothing wrong with pesticides. This guy stuck to his guns and is one of the few farmers now that doesn't have chemical soil contamination from decades of spraying crops...

On the other hand, he's pretty freaking nuts. Almost as crazy as another farmer [novanewsnow.com] in the area that was neglecting his cattle and claimed a national defense helicopter contaminated his land causing him to loose his organic farming status.

Re:To be fair... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455449)

In other words, he's against the introduction of something he sees as a threat. 20 years from now, if it turns out that WiFi signals are detrimental to the growth of plants, will he still be freaking nuts?

The guy was a rebel years ago, and was proven right against the best the current science had to offer. Maybe he's wrong again, but how long have we been irradiating crops with sustained 2.4GHz frequency, day in and day out, year in and year out? How many rigorous studies have been done on the long-term effects of gigahertz band exposure?

There's a very good chance he's wrong, sure. But, seen from the perspective of the 70's, there was a very good chance he was wrong then, too. Except, 30 years later, turns out he wasn't.

It's time (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455273)

Ok, Lenny, the nice white ambulance is here to take you to Happy Town.

Let me read between the lines (1)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455289)

Levine has convinced Kings County Council that his unique business is at risk if the tower goes ahead as planned.

Anyone care to bet that the reality is that, "Levine has convinced Kings County Council that he will be a huge pain in their collective necks if the tower goes ahead as planned." Sounds like everyone already knows that the carrier is going to appeal and the county will not oppose the appeal. Can't say as I fault their approach.

RF power does not cause mutations!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455315)

RF is non-ionizing and does not cause mutations. Period. The most that RF can do is deposit energy (ie., heat) biological tissue. This is how microwave ovens work. (Microwaves are also RF). With the garlic bulbs being underground, it is unlikely that the RF would penetrate through the ground. In any case, the emiited power is way too low to heat anything except, perhaps, if you put your head next to the transmitter.

Our company routinely test workplaces for RF exposures. Our clients have included ambulance services and major airlines, where multiple RF devices are routinely in use.

To change topic, the last two days I was over 600 metres deep in the world's largest uranium mine, where the uranium ore averages over 30% purity (and peaks at 80%). Uranium is economical to mine at purities over just 1%. The radiation dose that I received was so low that I was not even required to wear a dosimeter. Our company provides dosimetry services for the mine, and I have final approval authority for the monthly reports on each miner.

I think the whole garlic thing is utter nonsense. ... certified Radiation Safety Officer, PhD (physics), Member of IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (TC-95)

Good for Him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29455413)

I support the man's efforts to free his garlic fields of microwaves and you should too!

Although one thing he might consider is placing organite "tower busters" near the microwave towers. These devices seem to reduce the harmful effects the microwave towers have on humans and the sky.

To the sensors I say "Fuck You! for making slashdot a non-free speech zone".

- -Joe
I would have signed this with PGP, but Slashdot gives me the "Filter error: That's an awful long string of letters there."

technically... (1)

mick1983 (1451069) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455455)

It is actually possible for microwaves to cause DNA damage. Because DNA is marginally thermally stable, intense heat produced by high intensity microwave radiation could reasonably cause DNA damage. Then again, the flame from a candle could also cause some DNA damage, so we better outlaw those too.

Cellphone (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455633)

Is he also one of the enlightened who do not use a cell phone because they cause cancer?

Way to go. (1)

Sojourner1337 (960656) | more than 5 years ago | (#29455639)

Way to be crazy farmer, put our little corner of Canada on the map as a laughing stock. MICROWAVES? THAT MUST BE BAD! IT HAS THE SAME NAME BUT IS NOT REALLY THE SAME THING AS A KITCHEN APPLIANCE! Wait until he finds out there is cell phone service in the area which has been giving him brain cancer. Unless it turns out he is right, the tower is built and the crops mutate. Then I for one welcome our stupid overused catchphrase overlords.
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