Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Invisible bath of radiation

Sunday May 1, 2022


Sweden is building a road that recharges batteries on an electric bus, as the bus passes over it. 

            The project is an experiment. 

            I gather that transmitter will be buried in the asphalt. When the designated bus passes over a transmitter, it will emit a blast -- sorry, I can’t think of a better word -- of wireless radiation that will boost the bus’s battery storage, much like the wireless charging devices for your cell phone. Or your hearing aids. Only much stronger.

            Promotional blurbs released about the Swedish experiments gloat that this process -- if successful -- will eventually eliminate the need for charging stations. The highway will recharge your Tesla or Ioniq as you drive. 

            Wait a minute… What about the humans in those vehicles?

            Won’t they also be in the line of radiation?

            Countless studies and articles claim that wireless radiation has no harmful effects on the human body. I don’t believe it. 

            Assuming that you could bypass the safety features in your microwave oven, would you stick your head inside that oven and turn it on? I didn’t think so. 

            But that’s the standard by which the risks of wireless radiation are measured. 

            In Canada, all wireless risks are based on Safety Code 6. Which defines (I’m simplifying drastically here) how much microwave radiation will raise the temperature inside a human head by 1 degree Celsius. 

            That’s what a microwave oven does, isn’t it? It raises the temperature of some organic product, until that product is considered fully cooked. 

            Which admits that microwave frequencies are not harmless.


Harmful effects

            We know that other electromagnetic frequencies are not harmless either. 

            When I was young, shoe stores had X-ray machines that let shoppers peer at a greenish image of the bones in their feet. 

            When I was young, every child had a TB X-ray every year. 

            When I was young, a suntan was considered healthy.

            All those are now considered health risks. Because we’ve learned that radiation can harm, as well as heal. 

            But because wireless radiation is invisible, we forget that it’s there. 

            There’s no such thing as safe radiation and unsafe radiation. The sunlight that you bask in, the X-rays that penetrate your flesh, the infra-red lamps that keep pre-cooked chickens warm in your supermarket, the radio waves that let you listen to your favourite programs -- they’re all the same thing. 

            Just different wavelengths on an immense spectrum, from cosmic gamma rays to computer screens. 

            Visible light occupies a tiny bandwidth on that vast spectrum.

            Since the beginning of time, all life has existed in various kinds of natural radiation. 


Human-caused radiation

            But since May 13, 1897, we have all been living in an invisible bath of a new kind of electromagnetic radiation. On that day, Marconi sent his first radio transmission -- a mere 6 km.

            Four years later, he followed up with the first trans-Atlantic transmission.

            Today, my house as three wireless telephone handsets. Plus a wireless router for my computers. My hearing aids communicate wirelessly with each other -- right through my skull.

            So-called “smart meters” let corporations monitor my use of electricity, natural gas, and water. 

            Alexa and Siri are always on, always connected.

            Radio and TV broadcasts proliferate, although some is now delivered by cable. Meanwhile, cell phones have multiplied like corona viruses.

            Local communities have protested the citing of cell towers near schools and hospitals. They forget that every cell phone is also a transmitter. Its signal must be at least strong enough to reach back to that tower.

            Unless cell phones are physically turned off, they are always on. They have to keep in touch with a worldwide wireless network, so that a German resident calling from Thailand can reach my daughter’s Edmonton number here in B.C. 

            I’m not a scientist. I have no access to a lab; I don’t submit papers to learned journals. But I know that every new technology has had both negative and positive effects

            Wireless transmission may be the greatest experiment that we humans have ever performed on ourselves. 

            Conspiracy theorists blame vaccines for everything from autism to Alzheimer’s -- because they can see something physical going into our bodies. They don’t consider that something invisible may also have effects. 

            I’m worried, I admit. In spite of endless assurances, I cannot believe that something utterly new to life on this earth, something now universal and ubiquitous, can have no harmful effect on us.

            For example, how might the blast of radiation under that bus affect a passenger’s pacemaker? 


Copyright © 2022 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups encouraged; links from other blogs welcomed; all other rights reserved.

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Your turn


No, there wasn’t a column last week. Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent to the B.C. Auto Association who can come running to inflate a flat brain. 

            So this mail is about the column two weeks aga, connecting the experiences of Easter 2,000 years ago with the experiences in Ukraine today. 


Tom Watson: “Interesting and compelling parallels between the biblical Easter and the current carnage and death in Ukraine.”


Sandy Warren: “A very moving juxtaposition. I'm at a loss for any kind of answer.”


Heather Sandilands just wrote, “Spectacular!”


Carol Rahn thought the column caught “Just how I am feeling. Thank you for your wisdom.

            “I am spending Easter planting seeds, late in the season [Carol lives in San Antonio, TX] but I don't care. The soil, the water, tiny objects give me the incentive still to hope. Today my faith lies in those seeds. In the 70's I chanted ‘No More War.’ Today, in my 70's, I plant seeds, as I wait for the field of peace at last to bloom.”


Kathleen Whyte got the column in time “to share this with my congregation this morning; for one couple especially poignant, as she is Ukrainian.” 


So did Susan Peverley: “I usually am so focussed on my services on Sunday morning, but I opened your post and was profoundly moved by it. So much so that I read it to both of my congregations as the Gospel reading. I don't think that I have ever seen such attentive looks on faces. It took me back to seminary, when a fellow student criticized me because I made a scripture relevant to current times! Your message struck home for me, and for others as bringing the Gospel into current times. Thank you for that.”


David Gilchrist sent one of the longer letters: “I was glad to see you add that last comment: it is still happening every day! This is one thing about Good Friday that has always bothered me. The Christian world remembers that terrible event: some folks implying that if only they had been there, maybe they could have prevented that Crucifixion; and some folk rejoicing because they feel it was the only way God could forgive them for their personal sins; etc. But so few seem to connect that common event of yesteryear with the cruelty still happening today. 

            “I don’t think we could have done much to help against those powers of authority -- both Jewish and Roman. BUT, there IS something that we CAN do to help prevent at least SOME such tragedies today. The intervention of such organizations as Amnesty International DOES save the lives of a few victims of injustice (innocent of any crimes, as Jesus was): but only with the support of those who contribute both financially and by adding our voices with our signatures. Now, if only we could find some way to get through to Putin -- who is guilty of many modern-version crucifixions. It is so easy to be busy being grateful for Jesus’ Sacrifice, that we don’t have time or energy to make a small sacrifice of time and effort to save those who are sentenced for trying to defend the powerless.”


Robert Bishop suffered some practical implications: “I wore a very small Ukrainian flag on my shirt to work & was told to take it off, as it was ‘political.’ I said it was a flag of the country of my grandparents & I had a right to wear it the same as if it was a Canadian flag. They made me take it off. 

            “I am pissed off. I attached a replica flag to my cell phone that hangs from my belt. If I get fired because I will not take it off, I guess I lose my job for displaying a flag of my maternal grandparents’ birthplace.

            “[I see it as] a human right & a moral obligation to wear a Ukrainian flag & I don't quite have to ability to fight them about this as I'm just a part-time employee.”






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            You can now access current columns and seven years of archives at http://quixotic.ca

  I write a second column each Wednesday, called Soft Edges, which deals somewhat more gently with issues of life and faith. To sign up for Soft Edges, write to me directly at the address above, or send a blank e-mail to softedges-subscribe@lists.quixotic.ca

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To use the links in this section, you’ll have to insert the necessary symbols. (This is to circumvent filters that think some of these links are spam.)

            Wayne Irwin's “Churchweb Canada,” is an inexpensive service for any congregation wanting to develop a web presence, with free consultation. http://wwwDOTchurchwebcanadaDOTca. He set up my webpage, and he doesn’t charge enough.

            I recommend Isabel Gibson’s thoughtful and well-written blog, wwwDOTtraditionaliconoclastDOTcom. She also runs beautiful pictures. Her Thanksgiving presentation on the old hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth, Is, well, beautiful -- https://www.traditionaliconoclast.com/2019/10/13/for/

            Tom Watson writes a weekly blog called “The View from Grandpa Tom’s Balcony” -- ruminations on various subjects, and feedback from Tom’s readers. Write him at tomwatsoATgmailDOTcom (NB that’s “watso” not “watson”)



            The late Alva Wood’s collection of satiric and sometimes wildly funny columns about a mythical village’s misadventures now have an archive (don’t ask how this happened) on my website: http://quixotic.ca/Alva-Wood-Archive. Feel free to browse all 550 columns




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