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Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the radiation-placebo dept.

Power 292

Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."

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"The case will continue...." (5, Funny)

DJ Particle (1442247) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782252)

The fact that the case still isn't dismissed apparently means the lobby of electrosensitives is rather strong there :(

Re:"The case will continue...." (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782294)

It also proves that America doesn't have a monopoly on legal stupidity and that we still export something ;)

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782366)

You're both correct.

Of course once it goes before a judge, and he reviews the evidence that the Tower was shutoff earlier, then the case will be dismissed because there's an obvious lack of causation.

The symptoms must be caused by something else.

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783014)

The symptoms must be caused by something else.

Yeah, hypochondria and/or fraud. The defendant should countersue for lawyers fees for such a frivolous suit.

Re:"The case will continue...." (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783218)

I doubt they'd get anything for frivolity, as hypochondria is real and people may have sincerely believed they were being affected by the tower. Frivolous lawsuit laws are to protect against malicious litigation, and I doubt that's the case here.

That said, they're still a bunch of nutheads. To not have said "oh... it was OFF for the last month? hummm maybe it's just ME". But no, to persist saying the tower is causing their problems, indicates they have "other unresolved issues" besides hypochondria.

Re:"The case will continue...." (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782406)

The fact that the case still isn't dismissed apparently means the lobby of electrosensitives is rather strong there :(

Well it was the lawyer who said that the case would continue "on different grounds", not the court.

What that tells me is that this lawyer is not being paid on a contingency basis. :)

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782706)

The fact that the case still isn't dismissed apparently means the lobby of electrosensitives is rather strong there :(

According to the article the lawsuit also alleges failure to follow certain environmental/legal procedures when building the tower. What does that have to do with "electrosensitives."

Re:"The case will continue...." (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782726)

Olivier added that anyone who thinks that their legal case is based only on health issues is sorely mistaken, adding that their case is not built on health concerns alone, but rather various other aspects related to the mast, including the public participation and environmental approval processes which they are confident are flawed.

They really really don't want this tower anywhere near them and now that the electrosensitivity excuse didn't work they're trying other approaches.

Re:"The case will continue...." (2, Funny)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782794)

iBurst Corp. should settle the case by offering to pay for a Colonic treatment for each defendant ... sounds like symptoms that "procedure" could "cure".

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782918)

iBurst Corp. should settle the case by offering to pay for a Colonic treatment for each defendant ... sounds like symptoms that "procedure" could "cure".

I didn't know a colonic could cure stupid.

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782988)

I didn't know a colonic could cure stupid.

You have to use a LOT of pressure...

Re:"The case will continue...." (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782926)

Exactly. Placebo effect wins another round?

Ha! FAIL! (1)

Nabeel_co (1045054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782276)

Man, this kind of horse shit pisses me off. Egg in your faces!

Re:Ha! FAIL! (5, Funny)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782414)

as it turns out, these dudes have egg allergies so being proved wrong is causing more symptoms.

Ha. (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782290)

What excuses will they come up with next?

Re:Ha. (5, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782448)

Wtiches. That's al these lunatics are, the modern day equivalent of people who think they're being cursed by witches.

Re:Ha. (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782544)

Accidentally, many places in Africa (so South Africa too, probably, especially with their number of immigrants from across the continent) still experience hunts for supposed witches .

Or "witchcraft" generally, for that matter.

Re:Ha. (4, Funny)

CuriHP (741480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782738)

Incidentally! Incidentally! Incidentally! Incidentally!

Re:Ha. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783082)

Sorry, EN is my 3rd language, and with this you sometimes get such linguistic atrocities...

Re:Ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782784)

Incidentally???

Re:Ha. (4, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782828)

No one expects the African Inquisition!

Re:Ha. (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783006)

A place where "putting on your robe and wizard hat" is probably not a good idea.

Re:Ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783162)

She turned me into a newt!

(i got better...)

Correlation != Causation (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782306)

There can well be something else that causes symptoms of area residents which is not related to microwave radiation. This may or may not be related to iBurst. For example, construction of the tower could have used toxic materials responsible for rashes, headaches and so on. The fact that symptoms appeared at the same time as the tower still bears investigation, but the world is full of coincidences.

Re:Correlation != Causation (5, Insightful)

CdBee (742846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782326)

The world is also full of hypochondriacs

Re:Correlation != Causation (5, Funny)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782700)

I used to be a hypochondriac AND a kleptomaniac. So I took something for it.

Re:Correlation != Causation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782960)

That's hilarious! Did you make that up, or did you hear it somewhere? If the latter, from where?

I've seen similar without the hypochondriac part, but that's not quite as funny.

meta, dude. very meta (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783170)

I used to think I was a hypochondriac...

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782778)

The world is also full of hypochondriacs

And opportunists. Particularly of the unemployed kind, which I imagine most people claiming to be electrosensitive are.

Re:Correlation != Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782374)

naw its future microwave radiation coming back in time to get them!

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782474)

I would say water related illness or something in their house. It would be funny if there was a TV, Radio station or something near by.

Re:Correlation != Causation (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782542)

There can well be something else that causes symptoms of area residents which is not related to microwave radiation.

Sure, sure. The symptoms could be "real" (as in caused by a real external factor rather than hypochondria), and caused by something in the environment.

This is what the end result of the long-time theories that high tension transmission lines were causing cancer. The EM radiation was harmless as always, but the herbicides they used to clear the ground under the towers was not.

The question in my mind which TFA doesn't answer and could point out whether or not this is the case: When the company announced that they were turning off the tower, did the residents symptoms abate? If so, they're clearly mental in origin. If not, well, maybe they didn't believe the cell company, or maybe there's something in the environment that is actually harming them.

If their symptoms are real, an actual chemical being their cause makes so much more sense that it just boggles me that this isn't the first thing people choose to blame. But no, their insistence on it being due to EM actually gets in the way of the more straightforward investigation.

Re:Correlation != Causation (3, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782830)

If their symptoms are real, an actual chemical being their cause makes so much more sense that it just boggles me that this isn't the first thing people choose to blame. But no, their insistence on it being due to EM actually gets in the way of the more straightforward investigation.

I believe that the simple explanation for this is that the idea of chemicals around the tower didn't occur to them as being the cause; it was so much more obvioys for them to latch on to the idea of microwave "radiation" being the cause. After all, the first thing people generally think about in terms of these towers is the microwave transmission not little things like pesticides used to clear the land near the transmitter.

Re:Correlation != Causation (4, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782934)

caused by something in the environment.

They could also be caused by wanting to get money for nothing.

Re:Correlation != Causation (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782552)

I'm sorry, but why is this moderated troll? This sounds like a valid avenue of investigation.

Re:Correlation != Causation (3, Insightful)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782842)

Clearly someone disagreed with him.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783194)

Because "Troll" and "Flamebait" are completely ill-named moderation tags on Slashdot. They should just be combined into one, and renamed "Disagree". I don't know why Slashdot doesn't just do this; they always claim their stupid metamoderation system is supposed to prevent this sort of thing, but it never has.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782966)

I do not have much use for coincidence. On the other hand, I do not have much use for what passes as statistical reasoning. Given that the cell tower had been turned off for some time and the lawsuit is proceeding, I speculate that there is some evil involved on the part of the plaintiffs. I do like patterns. Here in the United States I would assume intentional and conscious anti-development ideology. This is almost a world-wide problem, but the particulars of a country still count for something

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783132)

Ad hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783174)

Or it could be, you know, a bunch of superstitious morons looking for a payday... Toxic materials are not generally used to build a communications tower, at least not at level that will contaminate the environment for a large radius. Maybe if they spray painted it with lead / asbestos paint...

Perhaps (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782316)

Perhaps this proves that "electrosensitivity" is more mental than tangible....

The issue that remains is if a company can be held responsible for the mental anguish that it indirectly caused. (I mention indirectly, because the act of constructing a tower isn't directly changing peoples mental condition, it's simply "turning on" something that may have been there)... Either way, it should be interesting to see how this pans out...

Re:Perhaps (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782916)

The issue that remains is if a company can be held responsible for the mental anguish that it indirectly caused.

In this legal climate, I'm sure at some point someone ill try to make them responsible for agitating someone's delusional phobias. Clearly they shouldn't be held responsible for "mental anguish" over "radiation" from a tower that WASN'T EVEN SWITCHED ON.

Re:Perhaps (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783112)

Can I sue you for putting a curse on me? I am firmly convinced that you are a witch.

Even if that is not actually the case, I mentally suffered while thinking so.

LOL, ROFLMAO, ha-ha, but... (1)

badzilla (50355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782348)

It's hard to imagine the whole community would get behind this for just no reason at all. What is their concern exactly? Maybe they think it's an eyesore or maybe they really are getting sick for some other reason wrongly attributed to Evil Tower Rays. Doesn't sound as though the issue can just be forgotten about.

Re:LOL, ROFLMAO, ha-ha, but... (2, Interesting)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782470)

Salem Witch trials. Not that hard to imagine at all really. These people are the modern day equivalent of those who think they're persecuted by witches.

Re:LOL, ROFLMAO, ha-ha, but... (2, Funny)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783210)

Except now it's pedophiles and radio towers.

It's gonna be a fun decade for child care workers and HAM radio operators.

Re:LOL, ROFLMAO, ha-ha, but... (5, Informative)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782530)

It's more likely just a kind of group psychology phenomenon (I'm sure someone with more knowledge of the terms involved will chime in eventually). A group of people convinced themselves that this was happening, and with more and more talking about it and believing it even more people believe they're sick from evil towers as well.

Hell, there were stories a few months back about men in other parts of Africa killing supposed witches, blaming them for shrinking genitals. These men actually believed they had the shrunk junk and killed for it. Not trying to pick on Africa in particular here, just the first story I recalled.

Come to think of it, I've heard of this exact same scenario played out somewhere in the US--A community complained of these symptoms only to find that the tower in question wasn't even finished and had never been turned on.

Re:LOL, ROFLMAO, ha-ha, but... (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782662)

This is Africa. There is a lot of folk religion and superstition there, and they don't really understand how technology works. I remember watching a documentary recently about China's economic development in Angola, and they interviewed an Angolan man about a skyscraper the Chinese were building there, and he said he thought that the glass and steel didn't look safe. All he knew was a world of buildings made of bricks at best, and so regardless of the structural improvements represented by steel, he could only see new/different = suspicious/dangerous. African culture in broad terms is still essentially pre-industrial.

Faraday Cage (4, Interesting)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782354)

I had a physics professor who's wife was concerned about the EMF coming off the power lines that ran near the plot of land upon which they were contemplating building (through a common area behind their back yard). His solution? During the construction of his house he installed wire mesh in all his walls, ceiling, doors and floors. While he left his windows as standard windows, he said that he got no cell phone, radio, or TV over the air reception in the house.

The worst part was that he freely admitted that his wife was a loon.

Re:Faraday Cage (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782444)

I'm not sure if this is brilliant or crazy. On the one hand, the resale value of his house just dropped 30% if that little fact is revealed before closing. OTOH, a house with no outside signals getting in sounds amazingly peaceful.

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782614)

too bad a lot of modern cell phones receive email and texts via wifi

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782696)

And you think that wireless networks are somehow immune to the effects of Faraday cages?

Re:Faraday Cage (2, Insightful)

TERdON (862570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782856)

No, but usually you'd put your WiFi router inside your house. Hence, the house would work as a Faraday cage around the rest of the world, keeping all WiFi signals within the house (might be a good idea for tinfoil-hat wearers, btw)

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782880)

And you think that wireless networks are somehow immune to the effects of Faraday cages?

No, but if you setup the source of the WiFi signal within the cage, then anywhere within said cage can get that signal.
At least he wouldn't have to worry about neighbours sniffing/stealing his internet.

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783106)

If they are inside the cage, then yes.

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782906)

" a house with no outside signals getting in sounds amazingly peaceful."

You must have big ears!

Re:Faraday Cage (0)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783016)

My house is very similar to this. I only get TV or radio signals next to windows.

Fortunately I have satellite.

As far as EMF, I knew a family that had their house FILLED with ridiculous amounts of electronic Christmas decorations. Everywhere you looked there was something. Your skin crawled just being in there because there was a magnetic field everywhere.

First, the older daughter died of cancer at 16. The mother had had it as well. Then, the younger daughter got cancer. Also, I've known people that lived under the massive power lines where I grew up. Again, the rate of cancer was much higher than elsewhere in the city. I'm not convinced that it's completely unrelated.

Also, as a food allergy sufferer, I've been told that I can't be allergic to MSG, aspertame/Nutrasweet, soybean oil, etc., but unlike these people, I can reliably tell when I have had any of the 3 in a blind test. Later in life, I found out that the Nutrasweet trials were faked by putting the common cross-allergen MSG in the "placebo", giving "similar effect as placebo". I also found out that while, in theory, soybean oil cannot be allergenic, in actuality people crush the beans because it is cheaper and there is a lot of soy protein in the oil. Only the non-allergenic baby food has the "pure" soybean oil. But it does get frustrating when people are telling you that you could not possibly be suffering when you have a migraine.

If people are having problems, there is most likely something to it, even if it's not the towers. I think the pesticide angle is worth investigating...

Notice people in Africa are not complaining about other people's TVs, cell phones or cars being in close proximity to them, even though they have as little understanding of these items as they have of the towers.

Re:Faraday Cage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783230)

Have you considered psychotherapy?

Re:Faraday Cage (3, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782546)

Of course grounded wire mesh wouldn't do much to reduce the very low frequency magnetic fields coming from power lines. I bet he knew that. I also bet he didn't tell his wife that.

Re:Faraday Cage (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782766)

He probably also didn't tell his wife that, in many cases, when a cellphone is in an area of very weak or nonexistent coverage its response is to kick its transmitter into full "Scotty, we need more power!" mode in an attempt to remain in contact.

This isn't good for battery life; but it also doesn't do much to reduce your EM exposure.

If he doesn't mind the risk of spending a month of nights on the couch, he should tell her to use a bluetooth headset so that she can keep her dangerous cellphone's danger rays away from her brain. Hilarious, until she finds out that you've advised shoving an RF transceiver in your ear canal in order to reduce RF exposure, then things get ugly...

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782886)

Of course grounded wire mesh wouldn't do much to reduce the very low frequency magnetic fields coming from power lines. I bet he knew that. I also bet he didn't tell his wife that.

It should work quite well on external low frequency signals (depending on how grounded it really is). Internal 60 Hz is a different story though. The stuff that gets through the best would have a smaller wavelength the mesh spacing.

Re:Faraday Cage (3, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782928)

The worst part was that he freely admitted that his wife was a loon.

It's not the worst part - to be honest that is just how it is - if it made her happy and comfortable living there then he did what he needed to.

the worst part is - he isn't alone - the rest of us poor suckers would do it too.

Re:Faraday Cage (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783008)

the rest of us poor suckers would do it too.

Install a wire cage in exchange for getting my leg over?

Yeah, I'd do it.

Re:Faraday Cage (2, Insightful)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783108)

The worst part was that he freely admitted that his wife was a loon.

Don't most people freely admit that there wife is a loon?

it's peanut allergy waves (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782408)

see my gorgeous little child was at a restaurant and a heartless cruel waitress walked by with a thai peanut sauce dish and well my child got a good whiff of it. and now as a result every day for the last 3 months his intellectual development and emotional focus has been totally off. the swine flu shots have only made it worse, i swear he is borderline autistic now

i've gone to the principle of his school and insisted that all children's bags be searched and sniffer dogs bought in for the sake of peanuts destroying our children, but he babbled something about correlation and causation- completely uncaring and unsupportive!

to make matters worse afterwards i went to mcdonalds and ordered a big mac and felt nauseous a few weeks later. i didn't know what it was until a friend of mine told me there is a bad case of celiac disease going around. environment destroying corporations just don't care that they give people celiac disease and warm the atmosphere with cell phone waves. now i have to be on a gluten free diet for the rest of my life!

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782612)

unfortunately this is so close to reality that I don't know whether to laugh or put my head in the oven.

oh, put your head in the oven (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782674)

spray a giant amount of oven cleaner in the oven, and, most importantly, because this is what makes it work: put the magnetic bands on your wrists immediately. stick your head in the oven and take a few deep centering breaths while chanting the sacred mantras. i find myself going on deeply spiritual vision quests for a few minutes. i wake up on the floor and i can feel the magnetic bands vibrating in the negative chi energy dimension aligning with the crystals

Re:oh, put your head in the oven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783038)

Also, spray some of the oven cleaner in your foil hat before you put it on.

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (1)

lastgoodnickname (1438821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782754)

Do both. The echoes in an oven are cool.

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782744)

Bahaha! As I was reading this, I was thinking to myself "where's the gluten.... i hope there's gluten..."

So imagine my joy when I saw celiac. Thanks for not letting me down!

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782752)

I just met a woman like that yesterday. I asked her a couple questions about, "How do you know peanuts are at fault for your illness?" hoping she'd provide some evidence to back-up her claims, butshe refused to answer. She just saying she "knows" it's the peanuts, and I some stop asking annoying quesions.

She had no reasoning ability whatsoever.

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (2, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783068)

As an allergy sufferer, I can tell you that she is tired of armchair doctors telling her she is wrong when she has done 100 times as much research on the subject as you ever will.

If you just met her, I almost guarantee that's the case. I only discuss my allergies with people that care about me and actually want to have an honest conversation (see, Slashdot, I love you). Arguing with you about it is a massive waste of time that she has been through dozens of times already only to be told she's a loon job for not being like everyone else, so why bother?

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783114)

I've done a few tests on some people with "food sensitivity" before.

A friend of mine had a 100 point list of foods he was "sensitive" to and I used to slip them in his food now and then and then ask him how he's feeling.

If I told him right after that there was cabbage or Onions in the food, he would complain bitterly for days about low energy and headaches.

But when I put the same food in and didn't tell him, he was fine. Said he felt great.

I documented this over about 6 months and then showed him the results.

He was shocked and has since realized that his "sensitivity" was something he probably got from his hypochondriac mother and simply worried himself into sickness each time he realized he accidentally ate those things.

Of course, there are "real" allergies. I've had to shoot someone with epinephrine after eating nuts and falling to the floor unable to breathe like a fish out of water, so I know that is damn well true, but many of the "sensitivities" out there are purely mental, I'm quite sure.

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782940)

Are you ever going to finish that movie? Lol.

Nice rant, btw. Hits entirely too close to home for me. :-/

Re:it's peanut allergy waves (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783020)

I am sorry but I have very little sympathy for you. I would strongly recommend you go live in a cave somewhere so you can avoid things that might upset you. I hear Hati is nice this time of year. No, wait - those people have REAL problems. They don't need someone like you.

Seriously, cell phone waves warming the air?

You are just another paranoid going on about things that don't make sense and are unprovable. You give a bad name to people who have arguments that are scientific, proveable but are not what the public considers 'normal'.

My advice to you is to go see a therapist and get some help before you emotionally damage your kid any further. Get some help.

please mod parent up! (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783046)

hilarious dead on troll or hilarious WHOOOSH! over the head, either way its funny

Why is this in Idle? (4, Insightful)

boojum.cat (150829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782432)

Why is this in Idle? It's a real issue, not because the electrosensitives are right, but because they cause real trouble. Good evidence against them is valuable.

There is only ONE explanation... (3, Funny)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782436)

Placebo waves.

Well.. (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782500)

Perhaps they've been coached into doing this? Like a conspiracy of some kind? Perhaps by lawyers?

Re:Well.. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782820)

I suspect that at least some of them are fully sincere. Hysterical and incorrect; but sincere. It wouldn't totally surprise me, though, if there is also a set of people who just think that the tower is an eyesore, or that some part of the planning process wasn't correctly followed, or otherwise just want the tower scrapped, who are happy to tell the first group "Oh gosh, yes. The terrible headaches, you should sue..." and use them as the useful idiots.

Withdrawal (5, Funny)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782536)

Clearly they are suffering not from the effects of radiomagnetic radiation, but from withdrawal! Quick, turn it back on!

This is why Africa can't have nice things. (5, Informative)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782576)

Either it's placebo from seeing the tower (like a hypochondriac) or they're out for a quick buck. I Vote quick buck.

Real problem in the US (3, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782598)

This limits the construction of any EMF emitting source including things like cell phone towers and power lines. There is enough belief in the idea that EMF causes medical problems that companies are pretty much unable to push construction projects ahead in the face of opposition.

The result of this is that building a new transmission line in a new area is pretty much off limits unless it winds around to avoid existing structures by miles and miles. If someone can see it, they can use this as an argument to prevent (or at least delay) construction. I have seen this happen in Illinois.

Anyone thinking that we are going to get all sorts of new "green" superconducting transmission lines for wind and solar power needs to understand the seriously wacked out nature of these protesters. Until these issues are really put to rest, they will prevent progress on many fronts.

Think the cell phone brain cancer rumors are over? This is the same people, and it keeps coming up every few years.

Re:Real problem in the US (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782990)

Unless you're somewhere where earthquakes are a common occurrence just bury the damn power lines. Out of sight, out of mind, and a tornado can no longer get to them.

You mean they can be embarrassed? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782606)

Hold it a second, are they implying it is possible to embarrass someone who thinks they are "electrosensitive" and is wiling to say so publicly?

Re:You mean they can be embarrassed? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30783220)

People claim to be Democrats all the time... what's the difference?

ham operators (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782640)

When ham radio operators erect a new mast in their backyard, they often leave it unconnected for a month or two. When the inevitable complaints of baby monitors malfunctioning, televisions going crazy, and other non-sense crap from their neighbors blamed on the mast gets reported to the FCC or the police,
the ham radio operator calmly leads them outside and shows them the disconnected cable that goes nowhere and does nothing.

Perhaps commercial entities should take note of this, given our remarkable slide into the cesspool of stupidity where we believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories, vaccinations causing brains to turn into jello and yellow smoke to pour out, and how we're being poisoned by EM waves, and a particle accelerator's going to cause the world to end.

Seriously... There should be an idiot tax on court filings.

Re:ham operators (-1, Offtopic)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783180)

@girlintraining

Don't lump 911 conspiracy in there with the rest of that quack stuff. Lump 911 conspiracy deniers like yourself in with the quacks, unless you can explain how fuel oil can cause a giant pool of molten steel to remain red hot for months. Or how some burning filing cabinets can cause a 47 story building to uniformly collapse. Or why they got rid of all the evidence with no investigation. Why don't you go into the demolitions business, now that you're an expert on demolishing steel buildings with fire? You don't have to spend all those months wiring the place up with explosives like the other guys... you'll make a killing.

Re:ham operators (1)

thephydes (727739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783222)

My ham radio installation did cause interference to one channel on our TV on 30m. I found the reason - resonant frequency of the cabling for the TV, and have cured it. Maybe they problem is the resonant frequency of the pea brains inside their heads. .

crank it (1)

cifey (583942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782660)

perhaps if they cranked it up or put a few more towers it would kill the nerve cells that are bothering every one.

Flu vaccine (3, Funny)

EsJay (879629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782678)

Clearly the culprit is mercury from flu vaccines

Counter suit? (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782712)

My question is... will the company be able to sue the people in the community for economic damages?

This sort of stupidity would be much less of a problem if people were held accountable for the nonsense they disseminate.

At the very least, people like this should be put on a pedestal for other people to point and laugh at.

The same goes for people who still believe that the earth is flat, and people who say that Y2K was a fraud because 'nothing happened'.

Hey, the placebo effect is very real! (2, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782732)

It doesn't matter that the actual tower is completely inert. What people believe about it absolutely can cause headaches, nausea and sleeplessness. You can replicate this effect very easily by giving people sugar pills and telling them that they will lower their blood pressure, but have side effects like headaches, nausea and sleeplessness. The people who eat those inert pills really will sleep less and have more real headaches. It's not because they're somehow crazy. All humans, including the readers of slashdot, are susceptible to placebo effects.

Re:Hey, the placebo effect is very real! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30782900)

I'm not!

Re:Hey, the placebo effect is very real! (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30782932)

The placebo effect is mitigated by information. The only way to "treat" the hypochondriacs was to tell them after the fact that their symptoms had been caused by a completely inert tower.

Embarrassed? Doubt it. (2, Insightful)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783086)

I don't think people who go around complaining all day about their electric field allergies are the type who care about their image in the community. Chronic victims crave attention, positive or negative - these people will no doubt end up on the local news talking about how stupid they are because of the way society has abused them over the years.

The Fringe Tower...... (2, Funny)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783186)

Reminds of the Radio tower in Fringe last night that was being used to mess with people's senses to make ugly mutants look normal. Maybe the answer lies in Mutating the residents so they HAVE to live under it otherwise they will be shunned as weird looking mutants......

A couple of answers.. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783196)

Some answers to be had in Ring TFA.

Olivier added that anyone who thinks that their legal case is based only on health issues is sorely mistaken, adding that their case is not built on health concerns alone, but rather various other aspects related to the mast, including the public participation and environmental approval processes which they are confident are flawed.

So "other issues" are in fact environmental...

According to Olivier residents are now looking at a solution through the Department of Environmental Affairs, and if that fails they will fight the matter in court.

So the residents certainly don't seem to be after money, as it seems they're just trying to get the tower gone.

Another resident, Dave McGregor, is also quoted in The Star as saying that his wife and nine-year-old son suffer bouts of nausea and retching, and have developed skin rashes since the erection of the tower. “We’ve told our son that the tower is only switched on one day a week, so it’s not psychosomatic,” McGregor told The Star.

Now this is interesting, assuming it's true. One answer might be that the son saw his mom still exhibiting symptoms, and did so in response to that. Another answer - one that seems more likely - is that there is something else added to the environment when the tower was installed, which is having a more direct impact.

Just coz they're crazy doesn't mean... (3, Interesting)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783254)

Look, these residents may be complete fucking loons but...

According to TFA, iBurst furnished technical reports proving the tower was turned off in early October.

In other news, British American Tobacco furnished reports showing that cigarettes have no negative health effects.
In other news, Exxon furnished reports showing that increases in CO2 are likely to transform the world into a tropical paradise.
In other news, CIA medical officers report that water-boarding releases calming endorphins in detainees.

I'm just saying...

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