Fifteen tourists in China were injured because one of theircell phones was struck by lightning while they were walkingon a section of the Great Wall. It acted as a lightning rod,injuring all of them.

A hospital worker says of one of the injured men: “He felt alittle dizzy, but he’s been discharged now.” Following thefreak accident, signs have been put up along the Great Wallwarning people to turn off their cell phones duringlightning storms.

Atmospheric scientist Liu Shuhua says, “The electromagneticwaves emitted by mobile phones are quite good conductors ofelectricity.”
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Ever want to pretend you’re stuck in traffic as an excuse for breaking a date? Now there’s software for your cell phone that can generate a fake background noise, so when you call to cancel, you’ll be believed.

Will Knight writes in New Scientist that SoundCover can also mimic a thunderstorm, a dentist’s drill or even a circus, so you don’t have to use the same excuse every time. You can even assign background noises to specific callers, so if the excuse works once, you can use it again (and again). An especially popular sound is another phone ringing, so you can pretend you have to answer your landline.
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Scientists at Bell Labs in New Jersey have discovered that your cellphone reveals your vital signs, even when you don’t answer it. Victor and Olga Boric-Lubecke noticed that some of the microwaves transmitted by the cellphone’s antenna bounce back to the phone from the chest, heart and lungsof the person using it, indicating their pulse and breathing rates.

Bell Labs plans to modify their cellphones by adding a circuit that will detect these subtle signals. The phone would send this information on to a base station. “We’re talking about very low-frequency signals,” say the researchers. “They’re easy to separate from a voice.”
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