Monthly Archives: December 2011

Parents Push to Ban WiFi in Schools

Posted by Dr. Brent Conrad from

Parents’ advocacy groups in Canada and the US are successfully getting schools to ban wireless internet access due to health concerns.

Awww, don't cry little guy

It seems as though there have been more of these stories over the last year or so.

Although I think that keeping phones out of the classroom is a good idea (you are there to learn, not text, right?), is banning wifi in public places based on evidence or unjustified fear?

Points from the story:

  • In May of 2011 the World Health Organization classified the RF signals sent via cell phones and wifi connections as “possibly carcinogenic”
  • Health Canada states that there is “strong evidence” that current exposure levels to wifi signals are not dangerous and no additional precautions are necessary
  • Some parents believe that their children have experienced headaches, nausea and heart problems due to exposure to wifi signals
  • Magda Havas, a Trent University professor argues that there is research showing that exposure to radio frequencies leads to an increase in tumors for rats
  • Dave Michelson, an electrical engineering professor at the University of British Columbia believes that wireless internet is safe and that groups trying to enforce bans are doing more harm than good

What do you think? Is our precious wifi access slowly killing us (get in line wifi, you have a lot of competition), or is this just a “sky is falling” overreaction with not enough evidence to back it up?  

Original Article: WiFi foes fight to rid schools of wireless Internet

Facebook Adds Program To Report Suicidal Comments

As social media becomes more and more intertwined with our lives, problems like online bullying, internet, and video game addiction will almost certainly become more common.

It’s not all negative though. Case in point: Facebook announced a program today that may be helpful for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Hopefully the service will be helpful

Here’s how it works:

If you see one of your friends expressing suicidal thoughts or intentions, you will be able to click a link next to the comment. Facebook then sends a link to the user with the opportunity to instantly connect (online chat or on the phone) with a crisis counsellor from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Good idea I guess. Do you think there is a possibility it will be abused though (e.g., pranks)?

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer promotes bullying says psychologist

Promotes bullying?

In the near future I intend to write a few articles on online bullying at Several recent teen suicides that appear to be connected to online bullying have brought more attention to this issue.
I do think that that this is a real problem and one that parents especially need to be aware of.
Do you really think that we need to ban classic cartoons such as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer because it “encourages bullying”?
One psychologist apparently thinks so.
Quotes George Giulani:
“Throughout the entire movie, Santa Clause is saying ‘you cannot be on my team because you have a disability.”
I disagree. To portray Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer as “pro-bullying” or somehow justifying the mistreatment of others just seems too extreme, misguided, and completely misses the many positive messages in this Christmas classic (for example, recognizing your talents, being proud of being unique, proving that you are capable of something, not giving up, etc, etc. etc.).
I am wrong here? What do you think?  
Original video:
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