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"Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the break-out-the-tinfoil dept.

Communications 627

The 13,000 sq mile U.S. Radio Quiet Zone is an area in West Virginia where all wireless transmissions are banned because of the large number of radio telescopes located there. (This official page shows a map of the Zone; an old Wired article is fascinating reading.) These high-tech telescopes have attracted unlikely neighbors, people who claim to have Wi-Fi allergies. In recent years, scores of people have moved to the area to escape the "damage" that electromagnetic fields can cause them. From the article: "Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication. 'It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,' she says. 'You become a technological leper because you can't be around people. It's not that you would be contagious to them — it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you.'"

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627 comments

Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37387964)

As if the hillbillies out in some of those valleys weren't batshit enough already, now they're inviting in a bunch of tinfoil-hatter paranoid schizos to stay. Expect a significant jump in alien abduction and anal probing reports (above even the current extremely high levels).

And before everyone gets all offended, I'm not saying EVERYONE is WVa is a hillbilly. But don't even THINK about pretending that *none* of them are. There are some fucking crazy dudes out in those hills, just ask the locals. Oh, not so much the doesn't-wear-shoes-and-makes/drinks-moonshine variety these days--more the has-a-shitload-of-guns-is-trigger-happy-and-makes/uses-crystal-meth types. Equally as violent/well-armed as their isolationist predecessors, but now they're tweaked up on meth and hallucinating too. Mixing those guys with a bunch of tinfoil-hatters who think radio waves are making them sick just cannot lead to happy-happy-joy-joy results. Though it is nice to cordon them off.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (5, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388020)

There are some fucking crazy dudes out in those hills, just ask the locals.

It's not nice to talk about the scientists at the radio telescope observatory that way. I would have thought a site dedicated to geek culture would be a bit more understanding ...

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388054)

Good point. I forgot the other variety of crazy already there.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388116)

Isn't West Virginia part of the Bible Belt? Them evil scientists with their "FACTS" and "LOGIC"... they're the anti-christ!

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388270)

Obviously an astronomer with mod points doesn't have a sense of humor. Hard to believe there's a humorless astronomer out there, but there you go.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

razorh (853659) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388086)

It's not nice to talk about the scientists at the radio telescope observatory that way.

Especially when they supply good shine!

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388092)

Too bad that the 'wireless quiet zone' only refers to a very narrow band of EM radiation.

Hopefully they've also banned TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, cars, police and fire transmitters and church PA systems.

(Actually would be a nice place if they could do that).

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388190)

Nice depends on the concept, considering that you would have zero emergency response when it matters as a result.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388208)

Actually, FTFA, they HAVE banned most of those things directly around the Radio Telescope. Still and all, the poor afflicted darlings have probably never heard of the inverse square law. Or inverses. Or squares.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388446)

Or the fucking sun, apparently. I trust they're all living several miles below ground.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388266)

Too bad that the 'wireless quiet zone' only refers to a very narrow band of EM radiation.

If it's enough to quell their psychosomatic symptoms while keeping them out of the way of the rest of us, I'd say it's a win.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388314)

Hopefully they've also banned TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, cars, police and fire transmitters and church PA systems.

According to that Wired article, *all* electronics are basically banned - power cables have to be shielded, no WiFi at all, etc. Now, police/fire/etc radios, as public safety do trump the EM quiet-zone, but even then a lot of work goes into making sure the antennas don't interfere with the telescopes. Apparently something like a WiFi card can generate a strong enough signal that blows the amplifiers of the telescopes.

Of course, what I'd like is a blind test of these people - even the old grandma stating "it was the TV making me sick - the remote controlled my pain" is not an example (psychosomatic response). Add in some fancy blinking lights that have nothing to do with the test would help as well.

(And yes, if they blame WiFi for it, why don't they blame their microwave oven? That thing produces more leakage and they're often closer to it when it's on...).

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388096)

It would be interesting to have these people participate in a blind test in the same way that audiologists do hearing tests. Give them a button to push when they "feel" the pain associated with the electromagnetic field while you turn on the and off the field during random intervals. Unless they're actually feeling something, they shouldn't be able to correctly push the button at the right time.

I'd be interested in hearing their response to that. (although I suppose there are some people with whom you simply can't have rational arguments)

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388174)

They are called "Republicans".

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388454)

Wow, that was original and witty. Not tired and lame in the least.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388226)

They've done exactly that and the results are exactly what you would expect.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388316)

I was thinking the same thing; although TFA does allude to a (apparently disputed) positive result from a double blind study, it doesn't provide a link to a published article, or even a name to look up.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388332)

TFA says some scientists have done such an experiment and it appeared to indicate the subject actually could detect radio waves. There was no link to more info unfortunately.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388148)

Expect a significant jump in alien abduction and anal probing reports

This is no joking matter. Have you ever had your ass probed by an alien? I suspect not, or you would temper your remarks.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (1, Offtopic)

KendyForTheState (686496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388244)

Some of them use their soft, squishy tentacles or other appendages, which is not so bad. But the insectoid aliens with their exoskeletons and hard scratchy carapaces are the ones you have to look out for!

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388342)

Those ovipositors are definitely not ribbed for your pleasure, that's for sure. Evolution is a bitch.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388276)

This is no joking matter. Have you ever had your ass probed by an alien? I suspect not, or you would temper your remarks.

Well, I once had my butt chewed off by a supervisor who was pretty damned odd by any measure. Does that count?

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388284)

Have you ever had your ass probed by an alien?

By an alien? No.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388426)

does an illegal Mexican count ?

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (0)

Gunkerty Jeb (1950964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388192)

Slashdot is hardly the place for criticisms of tin-foil hat wearers. Talk about a pot calling the kettle black.
p.s. West Virginia's slogan is 'Wild and Wonderful' if anyone is curious, and it is as fine a state as any.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (3, Informative)

hrieke (126185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388288)

Actually, having grown up there in West by god Virginia, I can tell you that the Greenbank radio observatory area is very lovely and populated with very smart people doing very good work.

The Hillbillies that you are talking about are more from Bluefield.

Re:Just what WVa needs, a new variety of crazy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388406)

I'm not saying EVERYONE is WVa is a hillbilly.

A reporter went way up into the hills of West Virginia to write an article
about the area. He met an old man in a small town and asked him about any
memorable events in his life.

The old man said, "Well, one time my favorite sheep got lost, so me and my
neighbors got some moonshine and went looking for it. We looked and looked
and finally found the sheep. Then, we drank the moonshine and, one by one,
started screwing the sheep. It was a lot of fun!"

The reporter figured he can't write an article about that, so he asked the
old man to tell him another story.

The old man said, "Well, one time my neighbor's wife got lost, so me and
all the village men got some moonshine and went out looking for her. We
looked and looked and finally we found her. Then, we drank the moonshine
and, one by one, screwed the neighbor's wife. Now, THAT was a lot of fun!"

The reporter, feeling frustrated, told the old man that he couldn't write
articles about those stories and asked him if he had any sad or dramatic
memories that he could talk about.

The old man paused a little and with a sad expression on his face said,
"Well, one time I was lost ..."

Literal meaning to "The circus is back in town"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37387998)

Talk about having the circus back in town. These people are hypochondriacs of the nth degree!

At least they are in a concentrated space, so it will be easy to round them up...

aaaachooooooo!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388008)

Those microwatts of power sure can make a man sneeze.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388042)

Now when the aliens drop by to see where that signal came from, they'll be greeted by jabbering hypochondriacs with faraday cages on their heads.

there's hypochondria (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388052)

then there's these people

It's contagious, all right (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388058)

Sorry, Diane, but you are contagious. Just as you learned of this invented disease from someone else, you've undoubtedly passed it along to another hypochondriac. Just because it's not transmitted by biological vectors doesn't mean that it can't spread from person to person.

Re:It's contagious, all right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388110)

Case in point, when I was a kid nobody was allergic to peanuts. Now it's two in every three people and I can't eat peanuts on the plane in case tiny particles get into the air cycler (I'm not saying there are NO people with this allergy, as it is a demonstrable allergy, but it's almost certainly one or two orders of magnitude less than people claim).

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388212)

I'm sorry, I didn't get to the end of you post because I have ADHD. I also have mild spectrum autism, bipolar disorder, and a variety of hip new allergies. But, no worries, the good people at Pfizer have me on a variety of drugs to make me all better (and also conformist and quiet, the way Mommy and the school like).

Re:It's contagious, all right (0)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388224)

Case in point, when I was a kid nobody was allergic to peanuts. Now it's two in every three people and I can't eat peanuts on the plane in case tiny particles get into the air cycler (I'm not saying there are NO people with this allergy, as it is a demonstrable allergy, but it's almost certainly one or two orders of magnitude less than people claim).

And why are we sheltering these people? It's a genetic defect, let natural selection take it's course. We shouldn't be allowing them to breed and create more people allergic to peanuts.

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388338)

Damn straight - any signs of genetic anomolies in previous generations should also be taken into account. Perhaps we could have tests - those who score above a certain grade and are able to get at least a 10th place finish in an Olympic sport are allowed to breed - this would allow us to create a superior master race.

I hope to hell I was whooshed but if not your a bloody idiot.

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388228)

I used to work in schools. There was one kid who supposedly had one of those look-at-a-peanut-and-die severity of allergies.
The school was made peanut free. One "bully" who was apparently ticked off about no longer being able to eat PB&J at lunch decided to take it out on allergy-kid... but mashing a bunch of peanut in his face.

Was there instant peanut-induced choking and death? Not at all. Allergy-kid simply had to clean the peanut off his face... no reaction.

There are people with severe allergies, but a lot of the peanut scare is a farce.

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388262)

agreed - the school where my wife teaches - there is a single child with a severe peanut allergy, they sent a notice to all students requesting that they not bring anything to school containing peanuts or peanut by products.

this was a tone down because the child's parents wanted the school to ban it out right.

Re:It's contagious, all right (4, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388282)

You are pretty close. I have environmental allergies (dust, pollen, ect). So I get allergy shots which builds up my tolerance. It works great. The same thing with peanuts. My kid had allergies and we had him tested for everything and he was allergic to peanuts. When he ate peanut butter he would get red in the face and complain about an itchy throat. They don't do shots for food. So we started building his tolerance by giving him smaller doses that he could handle an slowly built up. It is working just like the shots.

So what you said is correct. If parents keep shielding their kids from things they are allergic to they will never build up immunity to them.

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388348)

Actually you are wrong, the case of actual, give a kid a peanut and they die due to anaphylaxis, nut allergy has increased massively in recent times (and there are several theories as to why, from industrial pollutants to kids having hypersensitive immune systems due to lack of germs). People who are "peanut intolerant" etc are normally whackos, but nut allergy is increasing and can be shown in double blind conditions. Unlike "electromagnetic sensitivity".

Re:It's contagious, all right (4, Funny)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388196)

No use telling her... she won't be able to read this comment...

Re:It's contagious, all right (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388324)

you've undoubtedly passed it along to another hypochondriac.

But with a national whack-job preserve like this, its not likely the contagion will be passed on. I mean, what's this person going to do? Blog about it?

Re:It's contagious, all right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388448)

OMG PROOF that stupidity is contagious!!!

Wow (2)

Gedvondur (40666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388062)

It's like a crazy-enclave. I think the easiest way to make these people realize that they are suffering from mental illness or delusional thoughts is to explain to them how many waves and what type pass through them every day, even in a radio-free enclave.

I just don't get this kind of irrational behavior. I think it has to be an illness similar to germaphobia.

Re:Wow (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388166)

I liked the lady who thought she needed to live in a faraday cage made of wood and chicken wire. I bet you could get cell recption in there, and it only blocked a couple of frequencies at most.

Or lady the lady who got sick sitting in front of her TV. She was old enough that i would bet the elctron gun was damaged and outputting higher than normal.

She should get an LCD tv and see if she feels the same.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388246)

Some people are in fact able to see really low refresh rates, and can get kinda carsick.

I had a coworker who complained about flourescent bulbs.

But, yeah, an LCD would almost certainly fix that.

Re:Wow (2)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388326)

i have an old CRT TV - and i get sick sitting in-front of it, that is if i'm watching any current media.. turn it off or watch a good old movie and the sickness goes away.

From Wikipedia... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388076)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_hypersensitivity :

The majority of provocation trials to date have found that self-described sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to distinguish between exposure to real and fake electromagnetic fields,[2][3] and it is not recognized as a medical condition by the medical or scientific communities.[4]

[2] Rubin, James; J Das Munshi J, Simon Wessely (March–April 2005). "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a systematic review of provocation studies". Psychosomatic Medicine 67 (2): 224–32. doi:10.1097/01.psy.0000155664.13300.64. PMID 15784787.
[3] Röösli M (June 2008). "Radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure and non-specific symptoms of ill health: a systematic review". Environ. Res. 107 (2): 277–87. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.02.003. PMID 18359015.
[4] http://www.cdc.gov/search.do?q=%22Electromagnetic+hypersensitivity%22+&btnG.x=20&btnG.y=5&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&ud=1&site=default_collection

Re:From Wikipedia... (0)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388186)

Honestly it just makes me want to find somebody with this mental problem and fuck with them.

"Ok, I have just turned on this megawatt radio tranmitter, how are you feeling?"

"Arglbargl!"

"Ha ha, I lied, I don't have a megawatt transmitter."

Seems like it would be hilarious. And nutjobs like that deserve it if they're not getting mental health treatment.

Re:From Wikipedia... (2)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388278)

Majority can't tell = a minority CAN. I rather doubt most of these people, but I don't doubt it's possible.

Is it my imagination... (5, Interesting)

jbarr (2233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388100)

I'm 45, and while the likes of the Internet and mass-media obviously provide significantly more information than we ever had in the past, I just don't remember so many people having food allergies, aversions, ADD, "sensitivities", or other maladies that are so abundant today. Is it because we are less ignorant and more informed of what were otherwise "hidden" issues, or have we physically evolved into people weaker constitutions?

Re:Is it my imagination... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388126)

You could use that there internet and find out.

Re:Is it my imagination... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388222)

People don't die of their allergies as babies or small children anymore. People have always had food sensitivities, they just eventually turn into "I don't like this food." Also, we put so much crap into processed foods now; previously, when it was just the ingredients you put in, a soy allergy would never have been a problem.

Nobody cared if your kid had ADD before. The kid would just misbehave, or would leave school early to work on the farm, or whatever. It's only now that we keep them in school and sedentary until they're adults that it really matters.

In short, it's the "less ignorant" option, not the "weaker constitutions".

Sadly I don't think it's just your imagination.... (3, Interesting)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388280)

Perhaps its precisely due to the internet that we have so many people acting on their neurotic tendencies. With 24/7 access to the 'net and the ability to look up any information desired, we can self-diagnose ourselves like never before. We're now so afraid of disease that we sterilize our homes (and ourselves) to such an extent that our own bodies immune system turns on us. We believe in conspiracy theories, listen to Internet bloggers, form social circles and 'friend' celebrity actors who promote ideologies based on nothing more than being critical of the status-quo (or for it). Critical through is thrown out the window in favor of demagoguery. Oh well, at least this set of self-diagnosed, technologically persecuted individuals can find peace among the dense Virginia forests, safe from harming wider society.

Re:Is it my imagination... (2)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388320)

There's some of both. Partly it's better diagnosis and information about these different sensitivities: People are more likely to find out exactly what they are sensitive to, and be able to communicate it better to others. We are also making an effort to make public areas more open to people with these sensitivities, so someone who 20 years ago would just not eat out, now can go and find something on the menu tailored to them in many restaurants.

But there's also the fact that people who grow up in near-sterile environments tend to have hair-trigger immune systems, and therefore are more likely to develop allergies in the first place. When your parents were raising you, they probably didn't sterilize every surface you touched with antibacterial cleaners. They kept it clean, but it wasn't hospital-clean. Many people your age have raised kids in environments that are hospital-clean, or nearly so. A foreign substance is an unusual event for their bodies, and it tends to react with a full-scale alarm. Even when that substance is just a new food, or some pollen.

Re:Is it my imagination... (2)

brusk (135896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388340)

Don't forget that there used to be other illnesses such as female hysteria and neurasthenia (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Historical_and_obsolete_mental_and_behavioural_disorders [wikipedia.org] ) that are no longer diagnosed. Conversely, behavior that was once within a normal spectrum might now be considered pathological (e.g., ADHD). So some change in apparent rates of disease have to do with shifting medical practices. That doesn't mean, for example, that some allergies have become more common.

Re:Is it my imagination... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388346)

I think you're just hearing more about it because of ubiquitous access to information, and when we talk about peanut allergies, for example, the really bad cases 20 or 30 years ago may not ever have even made it to school age.

As for some of the other problems, I do think a lot of it bunk, but I also think that humans have stopped becoming a stronger species and are, in fact, getting weaker. Survival of the fittest doesn't apply to us any more.

Re:Is it my imagination... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388364)

I'm 45, and while the likes of the Internet and mass-media obviously provide significantly more information than we ever had in the past, I just don't remember so many people having food allergies, aversions, ADD, "sensitivities", or other maladies that are so abundant today. Is it because we are less ignorant and more informed of what were otherwise "hidden" issues, or have we physically evolved into people weaker constitutions?

Read up on the old medical literature (on the Internet of course). 'Hysteria', 'the vapours' and a host of other obviously psychosomatic maladies have been around for quite a long time. The current fad of blaming said problems on the environment (the 'sensitivities') is fairly recent. Previously the scapegoat was God, the Devil, Witches or similar malign influence. It's not surprising since we know that some of the many chemicals / radiations we're exposed to ARE really dangerous (pleased to step away from that tub of acetone if you don't mind). Just keep going along those lines and anything can be dangerous.

Seriously though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388106)

If they find relief from being sensitive to radio waves then good for them.

It's nice that they can live there freely without comment or ridicule, oh wait.

Sure, maybe these guys are crazy... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388112)

but, how come nobody ever points out that when we started pumping out radio waves we had no idea what they might do to the body. I can't imagine that they DON'T have some effect on us. If magnets set on one side of the brain or the other cause us to lie or tell the truth? (is that really a real study? cause THAT one I have a hard time with lol)

I'm pretty sure we have no idea what wifi, cellphones, etc. are doing to us. It's like how mercury was first treated... we all just think it's fine and laugh at anyone who says otherwise because we don't experience the problem or haven't seen it with our own eyes. But, we really have no idea.

Re:Sure, maybe these guys are crazy... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388384)

If magnets set on one side of the brain or the other cause us to lie or tell the truth?

Sure, but the magnetic field strength for TMS [wikipedia.org] is about the same as for an MRI, held about 5 inches from the brain. Do you regularly stand 5 inches from an AM/FM broadcast antenna? There's no "maybe", these guys are crazy.

Re:Sure, maybe these guys are crazy... (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388388)

Right. We have no idea. Because NO ONE in the history of commercial radio has ever studied this issue. You are LITERALLY the first person to ever consider the possibility that EMF could affect living things. Stooge.

Logical treatment. (5, Insightful)

UncHellMatt (790153) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388132)

Really the best remedy would be homeopathy. What better way to treat an imagined allergy than an imagined cure?

Re:Logical treatment. (0)

KendyForTheState (686496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388292)

Jim Jones had the cure... too bad they missed that boat!

Re:Logical treatment. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388374)

Proposing homeopathy as a cute - even ad a placebo - legitimises it and risks bolstering its perception as medicine.

This in turn may cause people to seek it out in place of real medicine, causing harm to them. The notion that a member of the medical community would propose homeopathy for any reasin is disgusting.

Re:Logical treatment. (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388398)

I'm glad you're so smart and have studied the issue so well that you can determine that it's simply not possible that a human being, whose nervous system runs on electrical impulses, couldn't possibly be affected by electromagnetic fields.

I'm not really defending these people - I make no claims to be affected, and I'm sure most of them are hypochondriacs, but isn't it possible that, out of over 300 million people in the U.S., some of them might actually be more sensitive to the effects of electromagnetic fields than you?

I prescribe a daily dose of (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388420)

sugar pills. Twice a day with distilled water.

Check the validity (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388140)

I'm not sure if its practically possible, but if it is then, without the knowledge of these people, temporarily shut down the telescopes and blast the town with WiFi frequencies for a few days.

You'll find out if there's any truth in their statements

Re:Check the validity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388450)

Problem is, it would require a scientific mind, which you won't find here. This whole thread of batshit insane prejudice presents itself as evidence.

Even my mother complains about wifi/3g frequencies. Now you'd like to trash her too, just to justify your own limited world-perception.

Weak. You are the doctors telling Semmelweiss he's doing wrong in washing his hands after digging through corpses, before delivering babies.

Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (2)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388144)

I personally have no problems with electronics...I work in front of a computer all day.

That said, it's been shown that cell phone radiation can cause brain activity. Is it such a stretch to imagine that under some circumstances some people could experience that brain activity in a negative way?

I can't find a reference, but I seem to remember my psychology class covering people that could get skin burns because they were touched with a piece of metal that they *thought* was hot, but really wasn't. If the mind can do that, it seems plausible it could cause other symptoms.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388328)

I can't find a reference, but I seem to remember my psychology class covering people that could get skin burns because they were touched with a piece of metal that they *thought* was hot, but really wasn't. If the mind can do that, it seems plausible it could cause other symptoms.

Isn't this more of a perceived sensation of pain as opposed to an actual burn? Tricking your brain into thinking you got hurt I can buy... tricking your brain into destroying skin cells seems a little bit more farfetched.

In this same way, I could see taking a sinister looking device with a red LED on the front that lights up and hums when you press a button, and saying it's a radio gun that can zap her with waves... it could actually cause her pain if she truly believed it would. However, it's not going to burn her skin or set her on fire. (Unless you actually *were* blasting her with high powered microwaves...)

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388330)

Isn't it more likely that those people were allergic to the metal?

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388344)

Are you sure that's not just an X-files plot?

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388352)

Yes, it's a stretch. These people claim that they can feel the radiomagnetic waves, which is trivial to test and was tested under double blind studies. It's BS.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388362)

That said, it's been shown that cell phone radiation can cause brain activity. Is it such a stretch to imagine that under some circumstances some people could experience that brain activity in a negative way?

Inverse square law.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (3, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388376)

Totally impossible? No. That's why we have scientific tests and double-blind studies; until I see a paper published in a respected journal indicating a positive result (the case study alluded to by TFA is seriously short on details, and apparently disputed), however, I'm happy to write this off as a psychological issue.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (3, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388408)

I can't find a reference, but I seem to remember my psychology class covering people that could get skin burns because they were touched with a piece of metal that they *thought* was hot, but really wasn't. If the mind can do that, it seems plausible it could cause other symptoms.

Yes, the brain of someone convinced of a fallacy regarding their health is capable of making them feel all kinds of symptoms. But it wasn't the piece of metal that caused the skin burns.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (1)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388440)

That said, it's been shown that cell phone radiation can cause brain activity.

Considering some of the folks I see on cell phones, I suspect the radiation stops brain activity.

Re:Doesn't need to be ionizing to have an effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388452)

That said, it's been shown that cell phone radiation can cause brain activity. Is it such a stretch to imagine that under some circumstances some people could experience that brain activity in a negative way?

It has been my observation that cell phones tend to cause brain inactivity, and that much of the brain activity applied to using cell phones is being applied in a negative way.

sex with a sh0it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388150)

I am glad ... (1)

reasterling (1942300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388158)

... that they finally found a place were they can live their lives in peace. It may be an invented illness but it is obviously affecting their lives. Living in this place may just be a 'locational placebo', but if they are happy and can live their lives then so be it.

Ah, good memories... (1)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388162)

I used to live in Green Bank (the area noted) as my father worked there at the observatory in the 70's. A wonderful place with intelligent scientists and friendly people.

Too bad this weirdo makes it sound like a freak show.

Oh dear. (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388180)

They do need help but EM is not their problem. These people are really sick but it is not EMR causing it.
Nobody tell her but she is getting hit by much higher levels of EMR from those lamps and the sun than Wifi would ever exposer her too. What is worse is she is getting hit with a lot more ionzing radiation there in WV with all that Granite around her.
At some point it is just so sad for these poor people.

I ought to invent a drug for this! (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388194)

I could make a killing! An imaginary drug to treat an imaginary illness. It'd be like taking candy from a baby!

fake em out (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388200)

Good Lord. Has anybody taken a wifi base station walked up to these people, claimed it was on just to watch them scream in agony only to show them they had not ACTUALLY turned it on?

I would LOVE to see that.

Of course...You can't rationally argue a person out of a position they did not rationally get themselves into (quote by somebody...can't remember who) so I'd guess they would deny that it was actually off when they screamed in pain.

Wear a hat! (1)

KendyForTheState (686496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388202)

So what... she couldn't find any tinfoil?

FFS RTF Links - Radio is not banned there (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388230)

The first link in TFA is all about an additional approval process required for transmitters in the region so that they do not adversely affect the Radio Telescopes. The second link says basically the same thing.

Come back Taco .. we miss you.

Need better shielding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388232)

Someone needs to tell them that the only true protection from radio waves is at the bottom of the ocean - maybe the Mariana Trench just to be safe.

In other news... (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388238)

In other tech news, crazy (technophobes,technophiles) found a way to (avoid,misuse) technology found in (your favorite tech here), conducting activities that resulted in (isolating them,harming people) in a surprisingly (ignorant,creepy) fashion.

The world responded with (shock,anger,compassion) for (1,2,5,30) minutes and then returned to their (pathetic lives,regularly scheduled programming).

Radios are not banned there (2)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388254)

Radio transmitters are not banned there. Licensed ham stations have minimal limitations: for example, the main amateur radio restriction is that it's not allowed without permission to establish a "beacon" (transmit-only) station, and those themselves are already limited to 28 MHz and up anywhere in the US.

...she once lived in a shielded cage... (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388260)

Someone should tell her about tinfoil. She could venture out and see the world then and not be stuck in her faraday cage all day.

Someone isn't thinking things through... (1)

c (8461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388264)

Irony: In order to escape wireless emissions, people move to a place where a bunch of massive radio telescopes stand next door as proof that wireless emissions are everywhere.

Correlation isn't causality: moving from a populated area to the middle of nowhere and having your symptoms "disappear" proves that wireless emissions were the root of the problem.

Sometimes I think I feel this (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388296)

Whenever I am maxing out my cheapo WiFi router, sometimes I can hear a very slight humming from the router

Similarly, if its very quiet, under certain conditions I can hear slight noises from my laptop (not the Fan or HDD, seems to come from the CPU), and sometimes from CRT TV's

I wonder if their issue is something like this

Re:Sometimes I think I feel this (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388396)

What you are hearing is subharmonic oscillation in a buck converter that is exceeding 50% duty cycle during a current spike.

Re:Sometimes I think I feel this (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388422)

Humming in what ought to be solid-state hardware is often improperly potted high frequency magnetic passives. Inductors, transformers, and suchlike widgetry. Get a bunch of fluctuating magnetic fields in close proximity, in wires that aren't properly potted, and you'll get some vibration.

CRTs could be doing the same thing(flyback transformer and friends), or could be electrostatic crackling(40Kv has a way of making itself heard sometimes...)

An alternate solution for the afflicted: (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388304)

Dollar-store aluminum foil for headwear construction. Problem solved!

Worth a visit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388308)

I visited the NRAO facility at Greenbank on their 50th Anniversary a few years ago. It was well worth the visit. The Byrd telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world and it's an impressive instrument. We couldn't use our digital cameras, or electronic film cameras, near the telescope, so they gave us souvenir disposable film cameras to use for pictures. All of that high tech equipment in the middle of nowhere gave me the impression that I'd wandered into a James Bond villain's lair. This was in the Fall and the drive out there with all of the foliage in bright colors was beautiful.

The radio quiet zone isn't just for Astronomers. It's also used by intelligence agencies, although it wasn't clear to me if it was for operational activities or just for R & D.

not so fast with the name calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388354)

before i say what i'm about to say; i work in QA with STB's. i work in an environment of many many electronic devices. my desk alone requires 8-12 power sockets to function. what i'm saying is a spend 8hrs, 5 days a week VOLUNTARILY exposed to a lot of EM emmissions...

that said i do think it's possibly insulting to write these guys off as loons. i certainly can "feel" when i'm around electronics, in the main it's not unpleasant but it's certainly there.

i'm of the age when being a teenager with mobile was a new thing, my friend had a nokia that i could predict was about to ring with about 80% accurancy when standing within a couple of meters of him when i happened. it was localised event, it was mildly painful (i'd say a short ping of pain in the center of my head) though brief.

that no one else could feel it didn't change that i could and that i don't suffer as badly as these people claim shouldn't mean they're crackpots.

i understand the difficulty for, what appears to be, the majority to even consider this possible, but from my experience it certainly is....

now whether these people are feeling anything more intense then i have and just being OTT about it all is another matter...

Can you hear the radio in their head.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37388416)

If you can't, thank a crazy person. It wasn't long ago people thought others were crazy because they said they could hear the radio in their head. It wasn't long before people figured out that it was caused by mercury amalgam fillings and so dentists learned how to shape them different so that this would not happen.

There are all sorts of people in this world -- most are not "just like us" and it would be wise to see if there is something in their makeup that is acting like an antenna or otherwise making them susceptible to radio frequency radiation. Who knows, we might just learn something.

I know the feeling (1)

kbdd (823155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37388424)

I know the feeling perfectly well. I am myself allergic to idiots. Unfortunately, there is no "idiot silence" zone anywhere that I have heard of :( Anywhere I go, there is always an idiot willing to open his mouth...
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