Skepchick Quickies 1.29


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. The reason that you don’t know about the effects of low frequency noise is because you are looking at NEW research. Of course new advances are going to show that this is ridiculous. If you dredge up decades old, unfounded speculation, you can find plenty of information.

    Silly, Amanda, preferring new and better over old and unfounded!

  2. Wind Turbine Syndrome? Sounds to me like a scientific-sounding way to keep people from building wind turbines.

    Note that in the article, the person is writing a book and has a website, but that “her conclusions are not supported by the scientific community.” I.e. She has no evidence that will pass peer review, but wants to publish to the public. Then it’s not science; it’s opinion.

  3. Re wind turbine: there’s an *old* commentary at the JREF about someone seen a ghost. The effect was pinned on infrasound (under 20Hz), and referred, if I remember well, to certain unidentified NASA research. No illness claims, but some physiological effects, ugly sensations and maybe hallucinations. Don’t know if its true or not, but it fit perfectly to explain the behavior of “my ghost” in a radio station.

  4. @IasonOuabache: Well, science isn’t inherently elitest and we’d do better if more people were interested in it rather than put off by a misperception of it.

    Fixing a car engine is science. Sports are science. Making delicious cookies is science. All sorts of “low brow” activities are science and can make the concept of doing science more approachable to people who think that it’s too difficult for them.

  5. @Amanda: Ah. I guess I should have read the article. They are bringing science to “the common man”, so to speak. We need a program like that here in the US. Anything to raise the science literacy in this nation would be good.

    I bristled at the use of the word “elitist” because of the right wings’ hijacking of that word in recent years. Call me crazy, but being led by the smart people usually works pretty good for us.

  6. @Amanda: Yay! for that response! You go, girl!
    As much as engineers sometimes hate to admit it, all engineering is applied science. I like to think of it as science doing the exploring and seeking of knowledge and engineering putting those discoveries to work. :-D

  7. @DMS: Booo!! Get off the stage.

    Honestly, I’m torn when it comes to hoaxes. On the one hand I love a good hoax, (made a crop circle once, good times) on the other hand, I can see how it can be damaging to public perseptions as it confuses the public and gives the true believers something to point to, sometimes making the skeptics job harder. What are all of your thoughts?

    At least the people who created the cello scrotum syndrom were willing to shut it down once it started to appear in medical journals.

  8. Hmmmm…Does that mean if we mount a cello on a wind turbine, they will cancel out each other’s low frequency vibrations?! Eureka! :-D

  9. Or… it could create MORE low frequency vibrations. Imagine… a colossal, rotating cello-turbine devastating the minds and scrotums of all within earshot. Awesome.

    On a side note, I may have finally discovered a way to conquer the planet.

  10. Aw, man…I thought the cello scrotum story was going to be about guys putting fake nads on their instruments. Like those nads on raised trucks.

  11. I could see the “ice throw” being a valid arguement. BTW, if by “elitist” you mean “not wanting to hang around with people who talk about stuff they’ve only heard about with no other knowledge, use “momma told me” as evidence of scientific accuracy, use logical fallicies by the bushel, put unnessecary emotions and feelings into arguments, and have no interest in bettering themselves, or their minds”, then, yeah, I for one, am elitist.

    Finally, to find out that Cello Scrotum is just a hoax, in the immortal words of Michelle Tanner-“Aw, Nuts!”

  12. If they were concerned about bats I could understand the wind turbine thing, but low frequency noise? Jesus. I hope none of these sensitive folks live near a highway or an airport, either or their heads might implode from all the “damaging” noise.

  13. I wouldn’t be surprised if recycling did damage the environment. The vast majority of it is terribly inefficient.

  14. You people don’t understand, Wind Turbines might damage peoples health!!!!!1~!!!!11~!1

    tHERe’s no way be sure they don’t kiill berian sells!!!1111111!!!!

    If flickering shadoowas and lowfr equency noice cauyse cancer, it woold be crimialn3w;l to put therse things nere a cxskooll!!!!!!



    /nutjob rant off

    seriously, is there nothing that is such a good idea that everyone can agree that we need more of them rather than less?

    Granted, nothing is perfect, but does that mean nobody can do anything until there’s ironclad proof that it doesn’t harm anything or anyone anywhere no matter how low the probability?

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