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Electrical Strangeness in Canada

For two years, residents of a suburb in Victoria, British Columbia, have had garage doors open by themselves, sprinklers that come when they're not supposed to and radios that play several stations at once. VCRs and TV sets go on spontaneously and one person?s brass bed got warm. Chris Burke says his electrically-controlled bed has been folding up at night. "The legs start to come up and the head starts to come up," Burke says. "That's pretty scary when you are in the middle of a sleep."

The Canadian government has appointed a retired university professor to investigate the strange electrical phenomena that began after two 200-foot transmitting towers went up 50 feet from a suburban neighborhood, without consulting with the local government.

Melanie Roberts, an Industry Canada spokeswoman, says they need to expand cell phone and coverage across the country. "People usually don't want towers in their back yard, but they want access to services," she says. "We are the party trying to ensure that both of these needs gets addressed."

The new towers are used to broadcast three FM radio stations and are also supposed to improve cell phone service, but Burke says cell phone signals in the area are still poor. He?s unplugged his electric bed and stopped listening to the radio. "While you are listening to one station, you are getting overrun by another. It's just not fun any more," he says. "It's very frustrating."

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