• German twenty-somethings would rather give up sex than the Internet: In an industry survey, 84 percent of 19- to 29-year-olds said they would rather live without their current partner or an automobile than their Internet connection, and 97 percent found it “unthinkable” to live without a cell phone.
• The “Bodies” exhibit has reached Poland, and government officials are investigating whether the human cadavers on display amount to desecration of the human body. Next in the investigation queue: this woman.
• Meanwhile, Mother Russia “disproves” [sic] of the “monopolizing” American control over the Internet. A government official has spoken out against the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which creates top-level domain names (like .com) and manages IP addresses. The goverment reportedly plans to release suggestions for how to “demonopolize” the Internet—like oh, say, put a few crooked billionaires in charge.
Cell phones are fragile: One slip of the fingers and yours can be headed for a disastrous meeting with the sidewalk, leaving you headed to the store for a replacement. Once again, however, nanotechnology might be coming to our rescue.
Clemson University scientists led by Apparao Rao say they’ve created a new process to help make phones, car bumpers, or other often-broken items a little more resilient. The researchers built beds of tiny coiled carbon nanotubes that act as spring-like shock absorbers, protecting the object from a fall or collision.
Mainstream news outlets are buzzing today about a new study from UCLA that found an apparent link between mothers using cell phones during pregnancy and their children developing behavioral problems. The story broke on Sunday, when Britain’s Daily Mail and The Independent both reported its findings.
From the headlines in these two papers (“Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby” in The Independent) to the claims (“Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research”) and categorizations (stating that the study was conducted by “top scientists”) to … just about every other sentence, these stories do a pretty spectacular job of diluting the facts. And while The Independent may win the award for “most egregious science coverage,” with the Mail a close second, they certainly weren’t alone.