Friday, August 20, 2010

The human magnet

Wotta lotta! It's Uri Geller all over again: Pure trickery. The woman is portrayed with a brass key and a copper coin sticking to her but magnetism attracts ferrous metals only -- NOT copper and brass

LOOKING on the bright side, she should never lose her keys. But for mother-of-one Brenda Allison, her mysterious 'power' that means metallic objects stick to her body has long since lost its attraction.

Dubbed 'the human magnet', Miss Allison says she is often embarrassed by the effect, which she has been told is down to a heightened electromagnetic current running through her body.

The accounts manager says coins, safety pins, magnets, spanners and even a metal lid from a Vaseline pot can stay on her body for up to 45 minutes without falling off. When the pulse is at its strongest, she says she can even dance in her living room without them coming off.

For as long as she can remember, she explains, her body has set off car alarms, interrupted the TV signal and blown out light bulbs. When she was a child, she said, her parents stopped buying her watches because her magnetic field kept interfering with the timing mechanism.

Every person has a subtle electromagnetic field flowing through their bodies - but most of us are unaware of its presence. However, Miss Allison, 50, says she first noticed the effects of her magnetism when she was in a nursery school.

As she grew up she started to keep a diary and realised the magnetic pulses were strongest at the end of each menstrual cycle. 'People laugh when I put metal objects on my skin and they don't fall off,' Miss Allison, of Holloway, North London, said: 'But sometimes my condition can be extremely embarrassing.

'On one occasion I had a dreadful experience at the supermarket. When I reached the check-out the till machine started to misbehave and it was obvious I had caused it. 'The man on the checkout started shouting at me and accused me of putting a voodoo curse on his till.'

Doctors have told Miss Allison that her magnetism may be caused by high stress levels and have urged her to take steps to relax. During strong magnetic periods she has been advised to grip the kitchen taps as they are 'earthed'.

Last night she said she her one wish was to be tested by electromagnet specialists so she can understand the cause behind her condition, adding: 'When I was a child my parents knew there was something different about me - but they never entertained the idea of taking me to the doctor.


Once again: The poor have poorer health

Study links diabetes to low income, education among women. The link between social class and health is undoubtedly the most pervasive finding in epidemiology but is usually ignored. Nice to see it explicitly mentioned this time

A new study by Statistics Canada released on Wednesday has linked Type 2 diabetes in some women with low levels of household income and education.

Excess weight is a well known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. The report suggests that while factors like excess weight and ethno-cultural origin play a role in who develops diabetes in both income groups, women in poorer households were significantly more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

In men, however, when researchers controlled for other risk factors, there was no link to income and education.

"Instead, the development of diabetes among men was related to being overweight or obese, and to the number of secondary behavioural factors they reported, such as heavy drinking, smoking and physical inactivity," the report said.

The study, "The role of socio-economic status in the incidence of diabetes," tracked the health status of more than 17,000 Canadians since 1994-1995.


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