Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Service of a fly swatter

I used to wake up at 04:00 AM in the morning for practicing karate in the local Dojo. Dojo is a japanese term signifying an assembling place for learning martial arts. We as youngsters spent many an early morning there breaking tiles with a chop of the hand or bricks with a punch of the fist.  Those were the good old days when we trained regularly and strenuously to remain at the peak of our fitness. We sparred actively in mock bouts and my reflexes were considered razor sharp.  After the return from the dojo on a rainy morning while I was enjoying a hot cup of tea with my favourite dosas - up came a lowly fly who tried to have a tasty bite of my eats. Both the sight of that fly and its intentions iritated me no end and therefore armed with a rolled up newspaper doubling as a fly swatter, I used my so called razor sharp reflexes to swat it.  To my shock n surprise, that lowly fly successfully evaded all my attempts and i let it have its fill of dosa in resignation.  On many subsequent occassions too, i hardly used to have a success rate of 10%.  I tried approaching the flies from different angles from the rear, right, left, top and front with little variation in my success rate. Occassionally, it may have marginally improved to 15% but that was about all.   After months of struggle, I gave up accepting that the fly's reflexes are better than mine.  Cut to the present, I am in my middle age, my reflexes are no where near best but I recently swatted a fly at first attempt.  I was thrilled when i could replicate my success ratio over the next few hits also. I was overjoyed and commended myself that i have become an expert fly swatter.  Only when my sucess rate grew alarmingly high, then I realised that its not my reflexes which have become better with age but its the flies that have 'slowed down'. That's a ridiculous presumption, its just You who got better told my ego but neverthless i decided to dig this issue a little further.


That set me off to search the web and various books to gain more info on the topic. To my surprise, I learnt that RF radiation (which is emitted by all cell towers, cell phones and all Wi-Fi devices) is also used as a means to kill insects.  I immediately remembered a scene from the movie 'Terminator Salvation' where a high frequncy device is used to tame a mechanical beast.  RF or Electro magnetic (EM) radiation has two components i.e an electric and a magnetic field. its the strength of the electric field that derives the strength of the radiation and therefore its harmful effects.  Though the strength of the electric field required to kill an insect may be in kilovolts (A cell phone normally emits in millivolts and 1 Kilovolt=1000000 millivolts), prolonged exposure to to even these milli volts of radiation over the years may cause considerable damage.  This is particularly true for people staying closer to the Towers as monitoring all the towers continuosly for the radiation levels emitted, in a country like our's is very difficult.  The lure of easy money offered to apartment high rises and vacant areas for erecting a cell tower is adding to the problem.

as a result there are several questions that need to be answered with the chief among them being:-

1.  How seriously are we studying this issue

2.  With so many learned minds in our country, the harmful effects of radiation might already be known. so how are we planning to control these emissions to have a healthy balance between human health and economic considerations?

3.  Do we need to educate people to stop using unneccessary Wi-Fi devices (for example: wireless hometheatre speakers which envelope them in a maze of Rf energy)

4.  Lastly, an introspective question, if the cell phones and the associated towers are really harming us - Are we ready to dump that cell phone OR be prepared to live with the risks?

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