Search the Site

Cellphones: not just for airplanes anymore!

I’ve blogged before about my suspicions that the ban on electronic devices on airplanes is the product of a regulator with an overactive imagination, which is an opinion that upsets a lot of blog readers, so let’s take it another direction.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t use cell phones in hospitals for fear of disrupting life-save hospital equipment. Right?

According to the Survival of the Sickest blog, looks like that fear was imaginary as well, as demonstrated by a new Mayo Clinic study. By the way, if you like the Freakonomics blog, you might like the Survival of the Sickest blog also. It is by the author of a recent book Survival of the Sickest, which brings an evolutionary perspective to medicine, trying to make sense of how diseases manage to survive even when they hurt the people who carry them. The questions include “Can a person rust to death?” and “Why do we need to pee when we are cold?”

I don’t always believe evolutionary explanations since there are so many “degrees of freedom” available to help explain what we see evolutionarily (e.g. the peacock’s tail is so big because it helps the peacock reproduce; the manx cat’s tail is so small because it helps the manx reproduce, etc.). One thing is for sure, though: the issues discussed in this book are fascinating.