Thursday, 10 April 2008

On Frequencies

Everything in the universe vibrates. Everything, from the smallest ephemeral elementary particle to large heterogeneous masses like the Earth, has a frequency. If you play a single note on a piano, the quality of the note, the piano-nature of that note, is due to other harmonic frequencies that are generated by the string along with its main fundamental frequency. The same note played on, say, a saxophone, will sound different because the instrument generates different harmonic frequencies to the piano. The brain – the most complex computing device known to humanity – also operates at numerous frequencies. Different states of mind can be mapped onto different frequencies: whether reading this article, solving a complex problem, caught in a daydream, making love or in deep sleep; all these activities and the emotional and mental states that go with them can all be described by signature frequencies. Just like our fingerprints, the general templates are similar across humanity and yet all of us are unique in the precise details.

The electroencephalogram (EEG) is the most common diagnostic technique in analysing epilepsy. It is designed to measure the electrical activity of the brain through electrodes picking up electrical currents. This means two things; firstly that some of the brain's electrical signals can travel through the skull and skin; and secondly, that if we reverse the process and input similar electrical frequencies then we could, in theory, generate the mental state that corresponds to that frequency. It is possible to set off an epileptic seizure by applying certain trigger frequencies. Which frequencies these are will be part of this research. However, we are about to go down a very deep and rather dark rabbit hole.

Before I carry on, perhaps a little context is needed. My own background is in physics and mathematics. One of the most fascinating areas of modern science is the whole interface between biological and physical systems. A really good introduction is The Body Electric, which shows how so much of the body is a bio-electromagnetic system and that we can no longer separate biology, chemistry and physics (and mathematics) when looking at how our body and minds function. In this context, the electromagnetic pollution that is smothering our planet should be of deep concern, and yet, as it seems relatively invisible compared to, say, climate change, it generates little public passion and even less debate. This really needs to change as the biggest threat to human freedom is the control and abuse of the frequencies of life. This is not a joke; the USA has made it a priority to control the whole electromagnetic spectrum, in partnership (sometimes) with only its closest allies. Check out Information Operation Roadmap, signed in 2003 by then Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. This is not for your benefit; it is to spy where eyes cannot see, it is to map the movement of every human on this planet, it is to track, decode and read every communication exchange by anybody, it is ultimately to disable any illusion that we are free even in our thoughts. This electromagnetic spectrum includes everything from X-rays at one end of the spectrum, through visible light and onto radio waves. It also includes bioactive electromagnetic frequencies – it includes the frequencies of your mind.

Now, before I am charged with delusional paranoia let me explain one bit of physics which is nearly always misrepresented in the mass media. Whenever there is a public discussion about the effects of mobile phones on the brain we always here the same lame standard mantra regurgitated by the corporations (and by scientists in their pay). We hear that the energy of the mobile signal is so low that it cannot possibly create any harmful thermal effects. This tries to associate in people's minds the heating effect of microwave ovens with the possible heating effects of mobile phone microwave signals. However, such thermal effects are not the most likely cause of either brain tumours or other psychophysical symptoms. The thermal property of microwaves is one giant red herring dangled before an ignorant public. The real problem with mobile phone signals is not the microwave carrier frequency but the modulated pulsed frequencies that are carried with the signal. You can even hear this pulse a couple of seconds before your phone rings if you happen to have your mobile near a radio set or you are talking on a landline. Most mobile phone signals have this pulsed frequency in the range of 2-100 Hertz. This isn't the place to go into this in detail, but I am putting together some links on this. The important thing for now is that this 2-100Hz is precisely the range in which brainwaves operate. Indeed, the range 50-100 Hz is also the range of epileptiform brainwaves. Even more worryingly, as mobile signals are (nearly) everywhere you don't even need to use a mobile phone to be sitting in the firing line. You have little, if no protection.

There is, sadly, little funded research in this area compared to the worldwide use of mobile phones. The electromagnetic smog will soon be getting worse with the global roll-out of Wi-Fi and Wi-Max, as well as other systems used exclusively by the authorities, such as TETRA. The propagandists will insist that the energy levels of even these bioactive frequencies are still too low to have any adverse effects. Let us now look at another well-known physical effect: resonance. If you have a tuning fork – say, middle C, at 512 Hz – set it vibrating and place it on the body of a classical guitar then the strings will start to vibrate. If one of the strings is perfectly tuned to 512 Hz it will vibrate with a higher amplitude than all the other strings. This is an example of resonance, where the input frequency of the tuning fork is the same as the natural fundamental frequency of the string, that string will vibrate with an amplitude greater than the input frequency. Most of the time we design things to avoid resonant frequencies because they tend to be destructive. The famous old film footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge shows how the wind made the bridge start to oscillate. This created a standing wave which made the concrete bridge oscillate like water waves. The engineers at the time had not considered that their structure had a fundamental frequency and the wind acted like our tuning fork above. More recently the Millennium Bridge in London had to be closed within a few days of opening because the small oscillations created by people walking across the bridge was making it sway dangerously. The engineers finally realized that unwittingly, people tended to walk in step with those in front of them, again setting up a low energy input frequency which, however, was close to the natural resonant frequency of the bridge and therefore caused the bridge to oscillate with much larger amplitude. The old rule that armies should not march across bridges seemed to also apply to civil pedestrian bridges. The point is that small, low energy, input frequencies can have disproportionately high output frequencies when they are at or close to the natural fundamental frequency of the system. I hope you can now see why the thermal effects of microwave radiation is such a blind alley and why you are being led there by the pied pipers of telcos.

Now, those of you of a less cynical frame of mind may argue that the use of these frequencies is accidental and unfortunate, and that if we have conclusive proof of the harm they cause then the authorities will demand that telecom companies change their operating frequencies. It would give me a warm comforting feeling to think that our well-meaning publicly responsible corporations and governments would do the decent thing, but unfortunately this isn't going to happen. This has all the hallmarks of the tobacco industry refusing to accept the links between cigarettes and cancer. We have had our mains alternating current running at 50 Hz (or 60 Hz) for decades. As you can see, this too is in the range of brain frequencies. We can hear the mains hum, and we now know that even the eye can respond to this flicker, and yet no government is prepared to change this frequency. It would not be so difficult – we are in the middle of the greatest technological change-over from analogue to digital systems – where there's a will there is always a way.

I do not want to stray too far from the focus on epilepsy, but these concerns about the possible causes, or aggravations, of epilepsy really should be investigated. Any links to research papers and articles are welcomed. There is a huge range of similar conditions with still unexplained causes: to epilepsy we can add depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines and a host of psychosomatic and neurocardiological conditions. Of course, what we all would like is a cure, or at least an antidote, so I will also be looking at ways to mitigate any negative effects of electropollution. As I said at the start, everything has a frequency, and to believe that external frequencies in the bioactive range have no effect on the brain or our DNA or our biological system is pure wishful thinking.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

How to use SnapShots

What is it?

Snapshots is triggered when you roll over a link with your mouse. It pops up a small window with a preview of the website page that the link points to. This means you can see if the page may or may not be of interest before clicking the link.

What features does it have?

When you see a Snapshots window open you will also see two small buttons on the top right. One of them is a small magnifying glass and will enlarge the preview window so you can see the website more clearly. You can toggle between two sizes.

There is also another button with a drop-down menu giving you Options and Disable. Clicking Options gives you some parameters you can set to improve your Snapshots experience. You can permanently set the size of the window, the kind of feed you see in the window (either an RSS feed or the actual website page) and whether you wish Snapshots turned on or off.

Can I switch it off?

Yes, when a Snapshots window opens, you will see two buttons at the top right of the window. One of them has a dropdown menu where you will see Options and Disable. Just click Disable and the Snapshot windows will no longer appear. In the Options page you can also switch it off permanently, so when you revisit this site it will no longer appear. Note, this latter options requires cookies setting so if in the future you delete the cookie you will need to reset this option when you visit this site.

Snapshots advertising revenue

As you will notice, the Snapshots window has a small advert below the website preview. At the moment, Snapshots does not actually pay out a proportion of income to the webmaster. However, it will pay a proportion to a designated charity. I haven't as yet decided which charity to receive these donations! These will sit there and accumulate until I decide.

And finally...

I personally find Snapshots useful, especially for seeing where contextual links are directed to. You will also recognize whether a link goes to a website that you are already familiar with, or if it is something new that you'd like to browse.

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