Friday, May 11, 2007

Apple Kills

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but not any more. Apple iPods can send heart patients to the ER or even kill. Their signal can interrupt the workings of heart pacemakers causing aberrant signals to the heart and has actually made one pacemaker to stop all together.

My father has a pacemaker implanted in his chest and recently had it replaced. Without it, he would die and that's not something our family wants. He and millions of others are alive because of the miraculous pacemaker that sends electricity to the heart muscle from a battery telling the heart to beat in rhythm. There are many dangers that confront heart patients who use pacemakers. Apple iPods shouldn't be one of them.

The potential danger posed by iPods was discovered by US high school student, Jay Thaker. His father is an electrophysiologist and mother is a rheumatologist. Young Mr. Thacker studied only the effects of the Apple iPod, but since other devices operate on the same technological principles and design, it could be assumed that other portable media devices could cause similar concerns.

Apple’s iPod interferes with the electromagnetic functioning of heart monitoring devices, according to a study carried out on 100 pacemaker wearers with the average age of 77.

The study, led by Jay Thaker, a US high school student, whose father is an electrophysiologist and mother is a rheumatologist, concluded that iPod interaction with pacemakers can lead to a misdiagnosis in heart function.

No other portable media devices apart from the iPod were used in this study, which was carried out at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State in the US.

Results found that 50pc of the time electrical interference was detected when the iPod was held two inches away from the pacemaker wearers chest for a period of five to ten seconds.

In a few cases the iPod was still causing interference when held up to 18 inches from the chest, and in one case the pacemaker stopped working completely.

Dr Krit Jongnarangsin, senior author of the study, said that this kind of test had never been carried out before because it was never really an issue, being that most pacemaker wearers tend not to have an iPod.

A study carried out in 1997 showed that mobile phones can cause temporary interference with a pacemaker and even cause irregular heart rhythm.

With advances in pacemaker technology users are generally told by mobile phone manufacturers that they are safe to use, only to avoid placing the handset in a shirt pocket where it could rest directly over the pacemaker.

Elderly iPod users skip a beat
By Marie Boran
Silicon Republic

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Somalia Bans Veil

Somalia is a Muslim country. Somalia has banned women from wearing the veil. They've gone so far as to unveil girls and women in public and burn the veils. Security authorities say the veil hides the identity of the person behind it and terrorists have killed too many security troops while disguised as women to be ignored any longer. Being able to correctly identify of people on the street, out in public areas, seems to be important to Muslim Somali security forces.

MOGADISHU, May 9 (Reuters) - Somali security forces are seizing and even burning Muslim women's veils to stop Islamist insurgents from disguising themselves for attacks, authorities and witnesses said on Wednesday.

The crackdown on veils is a highly symbolic turnaround for Mogadishu after Islamist leaders, who controlled the city in the second half of 2006, had instructed women to wear them.

"Every policeman and government soldier has orders to confiscate veils from veiled women," senior police officer Ali Nur told Reuters in Mogadishu, saying various recent attacks had been carried out by people in disguise.

"Some of the remnants of the Islamic Courts have been caught wearing veils. During the war, these remnants, pretending to be women, killed so many government troops."

Somalis are generally moderate Muslims, and most women traditionally cover their heads but not faces. Officials say some suicide attacks have been carried out by men disguised under full face-veils.

Backed by Ethiopia's military, Somali government forces kicked the Islamists out of Mogadishu over the New Year. They have been facing an insurgency since then that has killed at least 1,300 people since February.

Just days ago, the government declared it had beaten most of the insurgents, but it is still wary of guerrilla-style attacks.

Mogadishu residents said government troops and police had been forcibly removing veils and publicly destroying them.

"Yesterday, so many veils were burnt by the police," said taxi-driver Abdullahi Mohamed.

A Reuters witness saw some veiled women running away from police on Wednesday.

One girl, 17-year-old Iftin Hussein, said she had left her veil at home to avoid encounters with the police.

"Government troops are unveiling women. Yesterday, I was forced to run away to escape from being unveiled. This is wrong, but we cannot do anything, we are powerless," she said.

Guled Mohamed

Why can Somalia do what is so incredibly obvious and we can't? Somalis are unveiling women not for anti-Muslim reasons, not because of any male perversion, but for security. Security. Veils have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with security. ID'ing the bad guys is important enough for Somalia to burn veils, it should be important enough for us to dispense with political correctness to prevent any potential threat here.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How Tax Money is Used -or- How Sausage is Made

John Campbell is my Congressman. He is not only my C-man, John is also a blogger. His blog, Greeneyeshade, is a reference to the fact that he is an Accountant by trade, so when C-man Campbell talks about budgets, I listen.

Despite record deficits we will be paying off for the next bazillion years, the House of Representatives passed a budget a few days ago that enables the government to operate at a deficit for the next four years or longer. It also includes the largest tax increase in American history and continues to pilfer Social Security for funds that our kids and grand kids will be paying off for the next gazillion years.

The C-man asks, and rightly so, what are we spending our tax dollars on that we must continue stealing from Paul, Peter, Mary, Ruth, and anyone else who pays taxes?

Phayre's Leaf Monkeys: You probably have never heard of a Phayre's leaf monkey. Neither had I, until last week, when the House voted on the reauthorization of the spending for the National Science Foundation. Never mind that the bill increased spending in excess of 25% over 3 years. I found 7 specific items of spending that were in the bill to be of particular interest. They were:

1. Study the social relationships and reproductive strategies of Phayre's leaf monkeys

2. Study of the sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal

3. Study of the cognitive model of superstitious belief

4. Research the archives of Andean knotted-string records

5. Study the accuracy in the cross-cultural understanding of other's emotions

6. Research of bison hunting on the late prehistoric great plains

7. Study of team vs. individual play

Now, I will give the academics the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps all of these studies have some value to academicians and maybe the results are interesting to those who study these areas. That is not the question. The question is whether or not they rise to the level of public need that commands the use of taxpayer funds. We have a deficit. We are annually raiding the Social Security Trust Fund. The Democrats have proposed the largest tax increase in American history. Should we increase the deficit in order to better understand the sex practices of Phayre's leaf monkeys? Is it okay to take your Social Security money in order to have archives of Andean knotted-string records? Are you willing to increase your taxes for a report on the sexual politics of waste in Senegal ? I'm not.

So, I proposed an amendment to strip these 7 projects and only these 7 projects out of the bill. It would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money. It failed by a vote of 195-222 on the floor of the House. If we cannot get a majority in this Congress to stop funding things like this, what will they vote to reduce? That's why I'm so adamant about not increasing taxes on anyone. We have to starve the beast of government because it will not go on a diet by itself.

You can click here to find out more about the monkey whose flirtations your tax dollars will likely now fund. Also, there is a link at the bottom of the page to the floor debate I conducted on this amendment. The debate is about 40 minutes long, however.

Oh, and one more thing. Two of the 7 studies are scheduled to take place at the University of California at Berkeley and one at Harvard University . Figures.

Until tomorrow, I remain respectfully,

Congressman John Campbell

Watch video

If you have the time (and the stomach to see how sausage is made), please watch the video of the floor debate. In it you will see first-hand how the Democrats reframe the Amendment, rephrase the question, and rewrite the issue. The Amendment is narrowly defined to the 7 items listed above. The Dems proceed to equate tax money for the study of "the social relationships and reproductive strategies of Phayre's leaf monkeys" with the tax money the Wright Bro's received for the invention of the airplane; the tax funding of the invention of the electric light by Thomas Edison with the tax monies proposed for the "Research of bison hunting on the late prehistoric great plains". You will also see how the Democrats are totally unfazed when a Republican points out that neither the Wright Bro's, nor Edison received any tax monies for their work. You will see that the Democrats had absolutely no idea what the question was or what was written into the Amendment; they were totally oblivious. And why? It's not their money.

I believe it to be of earth shattering importance to know what the hell exactly is meant by the "sexual politics of waste in Dakar, Senegal". That just stumps me. On the other hand, "research related to the cognitive model of superstitious belief" is simple - "Why do people believe stupid stuff?" Stupid stuff like, why Congresspersons believe it's necessary to spend federal tax funds on idiotic research topics as those listed in the Amendment that failed to pass, 195-222.

P.S. Please note that C-man Campbell signed with his full name, first and last.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.