Supercharge Your Spider Plant
We all know that spending too long at the computer can cause Repetitive Strain Injury, especially in teenage boys.
But, according to an article in yesterday's Guardian Weekend, "computers (like all electrical equipment) emit electromagnetic fields, which have been linked with insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety and general ill health."
Jesus, it's a miracle I'm not in intensive care.
If I view these assertions with some scepticism it's because they come from a woman who is the author of an Holistic Therapy book. 'Holistic' takes its name from the fact that there's a large hole where things like 'evidence' and 'proof' should be.
This woman also asserts that it's not enough to turn your computer off. If it's plugged in it will still emit electromagnetic fields. Surely such fields are 'created' rather than 'emitted'? But that's a minor point. I'm more intrigued with how they can be created, if they are, when no power is circulating in the system.
Apparently, placing a pot plant near your computer can help because they "soak up" electromagnetic fields. Presumably, they can do this without suffering anxiety and general ill health. One of those recommended for this purpose is a spider plant. It's only "certain plants" that can do this, possibly those most often found in offices and living rooms which, in a mere 20 years, have adapted to electromagnetic fields from computers.
As a bonus, these plants can 'negate' pollutants like Formaldehyde. That's handy to know because I usually pickle my ex-boyfriends' testicles as a souvenir and keep them in specimen jars on my mantlepiece. Let's hope Damien Hirst has lots of spider plants in his studio.
Now all of this may be completely true - the electromagnetic fields, not the pickled scrotums. But as I'm not a scientist I shall seek the advice of The Guardian's Ben Goldacre who writes the excellent Bad Science column.
Of course, his own paper may be off-limits for him.
But there's an important point here. Say, for the sake of argument, that this is all unsubstantiated holistic hokum. Should a paper like The Guardian be publishing it? A paper that now has the best science coverage in the national press and that employs someone to expose pseudo-scientific nonsense. And would they knowingly publish nonsense on their news pages? Some papers do, but not The Guardian. Why should a lifestyle feature in the magazine be any different?
I'm just off to water my spider plants but to be safe I'm going to wear rubber gloves and rubber boots. With all the electrical equipment in my house, they must have soaked up acres of electromagnetic fields by now. If I plugged the washing machine into my large double spider plant it could probably supply enough power to do the weekly wash for a year.
But maybe the emissions from my computer have caused mental confusion. And anyway, I didn't even get Physics 'O' Level.
I have now been told by a highly authoritative source in the scientific community that the stuff I quoted above was indeed nonsense.
Phew, that's a relief.
Not that I was worried about death by electromagnetic field. I just didn't fancy publishing an abject apology to the alternative bollocks merchants.
Anyone want a secondhand spider plant, one careful owner? I was fed up with watering the fucking thing anyway.