Tag Archives: Everybody Panic

Today’s Threat to Humanity: Sleeping Next to Your Pet

Bruno Chomel, a researcher at UC-Davis, believes that sleeping next to your pet can give you the bubonic plague.

According to a new study Chomel co-authored with the California Department of Public Health’s Ben Sun, other risks include “chagas disease, which can cause life-threatening heart and digestive system disorders; and cat-scratch disease, which can also come from being licked by infected cats.”

Pet owners probably face statistically greater threats of being struck by lightning (that’s roughly 1-in-500,000 people per year).

If I want to be scared, I’d be better off watching a horror movie. They usually depict far more plausible threats than catching bubonic plague from sleeping next to a dog or a cat.

So despite Chomel and Sun’s dire warning, my cats will remain welcome in my bed. Besides, they’re warm. And it’s been a cold winter.

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Regulation of the Day 96: Health Warnings on Cell Phones

The state of Maine and the city of San Francisco are considering requiring warning labels for cell phones.

Perhaps some warning labels are in order. After all, few things are more annoying than people SPEAKING AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE INTO THEIR PHONE ABOUT WHAT’S FOR DINNER when a normal tone of voice will do.

But these warning labels have nothing to do with letting people know that their phones can make them look like jackasses.

No, the labels warn the credulous that their phones emit electromagnetic radiation. Otherwise known as light waves. Some people believe that this causes brain cancer.

Brain atrophy, maybe. But cancer? Most studies have found no correlation, let alone causation.

Something else to consider: the demographic group far and away most prone to brain cancer is also far and away the least likely to use cell phones – the elderly.

Hmm.