Monday, May 19, 2008

Mobile Phone Use While Pregnant May 'Seriously Damage Baby,' Study Says

The post title is from this piece from FoxNews and if that is truly the conclusion of the study, then I have some questions. Of course, the article's title may not accurately reflect the conclusions of the study. Journalists always tend to simplify things and seem too many times to get it all wrong. They want sensationalism. Subtle analysis is just not a forte of modern journalism.

The article states

Pregnant women who regularly use mobile phones are more likely to have children with behavioral problems, according to a study by a UCLA researcher who had previously had previously written there was no proof of "any adverse health effect."

Mothers who used their mobile phone while pregnant were 54 percent more likely to report issues such as hyperactivity and emotional problems in their children, Britain's Daily Mail and The Independent reported Monday.

One question is which came first, the behavior or the cell phone usage? Is the mother on her cell phone talking to her therapist, friends, and relatives about her youngster's behavioral problems? Or are the child's behavioral problems caused by a mother who's always talking on her cell phone and ignoring her child? Or maybe mothers who use cell phones are more likely to view their children as being hyperactive and having emotional problems (there doesn't seem to have been any outside evaluation of whether or not that is true) because those darn kids just won't behave while she's trying to chat on the phone.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The First Laser

Google was celebrating the anniversary of the first working laser in 1960 with a laser logo on their home page. I first saw a laser in 1966 when a high senior in my class brought one in with a professor from the University of Oregon physics department for a demonstration. I was entranced. I had no idea what it might be used for, but it was indeed beautiful. I don't remember that student's name although I remember he was admitted to MIT. I wonder if he did anything more with lasers.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

August, 1981

Me and John with Jack (1 month old)

Happy Mother's Day

Me and Mom (1922-2004)

Saturday, May 3, 2008


The second story bedroom in the house I grew up in had lilac bushes under the windows and on warm spring nights I'd open the windows and fall asleep to their scent. I've loved lilacs ever since.