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Is Apple Acing Chemistry but Flunking Biology?

It used to be that half of all heart patients first report their condition to their physician by dropping dead. Today it seems they are reporting it first to Apple.

“If Yeats is right, the next divine influx will be on Oedipus’ side of the balance — the side of full participation in the world, not of withdrawal from it; the side of wholeness, not of perfection; the side of earth, not of heaven. If he’s right, in turn, we face a revaluation of all values considerably more wrenching than the one Nietzsche thought he was proclaiming — a revaluation precisely as wrenching, in fact, as the one that came when Great Pan died and Christ took his place.”

We watched the September 12 Apple Event webcast from the Steve Jobs theater with eager anticipation. We came away both intrigued and concerned.

A year ago we were on a long overnight flight to Hangzhou and unable to sleep in the dark cabin. We were staying up watching a film about Nixon and Elvis when our heart began racing. We knew it had nothing to do with either Nixon or Elvis.

The doctor had by this point given us a prescription for our condition but had not yet instructed us in the vagal maneuver or other ways to arrest the arrhythmia quickly.

An arrhythmia can occur if the electrical signals that control the heartbeat are delayed or blocked. This can happen if the special nerve cells that produce electrical signals don’t work properly. It also can happen if the electrical signals don’t travel normally through the heart. An arrhythmia also can occur if another part of the heart starts to produce electrical signals. This adds to the signals from the special nerve cells and disrupts the normal heartbeat.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Fortunately, we were wearing our Apple Watch, so we touched the heart icon on the face and it started tracking our heart rate. As we watched, it refreshed its digital display at ten second intervals — 134, 140, 148, 153. We brushed to the stopwatch feature and began the timer.

We had been journaling these episodes to report to the doctor. This particular transient went on for more than 20 minutes, our longest, and somewhere in the middle of it, another passenger came to tell us that what was being observed was not good and that we should call for a doctor. She had been surreptitiously observing the watch display from the opposite aisle seat two rows behind us. We reassured her that we were under a doctor’s care and that the event was not unusual for us, although, in fact, its duration was.

We later reported this, along with other entries in our journal, to the cardiologist in Tennessee and he changed our prescription and instructed us in three techniques we could use to stop such events quickly. He warned us that prolonged transients of this type could bring about a stroke and that the damage a stroke could do would be in many ways “worse than death.”

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So it was that we were pleasantly surprised when Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, let it drop that we were not alone and Apple was listening. While describing the features of his company’s new Series 3 line of watches (Apple is now the number one watch brand in the world, with 97% user satisfaction), Williams said that Apple had received a great many queries about the heart rate monitor from customers who were experiencing precisely what we were — unexpected and unexplained surges in their heart rates (the Apple Watch is also now the number one heart monitor in the world).

It used to be that half of all heart patients first report their condition to their physician by dropping dead. Today it seems they are reporting it first to Apple.

Apple listened. The new line of watches includes an alert to stir its users to take action if abnormal heart rate initiates inexplicably. Apple has teamed with Stanford Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration to mine user data streaming from all those wired pulses around the world and try to piece together an epidemiological picture.

As Williams described it, the new series 3 Apple watches have their own cellular SIM cards, antennae, radio, power amplifier, GPS, barometric altimeter and data plans. Inside is a new dual core processor and a custom W2 wireless chip for WIFI and Bluetooth (the new earbuds, which can relay from watch as easily as phone, are wireless).

“And if you don’t do it right, it gets so big it looks like a house arrest bracelet and you are not going to wear it,” Williams quipped. Thus, the new Series 3 is the same size as Series 2, but with a “two sheets of paper” greater depth (0.25 mm). That packs a lot of radiative power density into a small space, microns from a major artery and a centimeter from rapidly dividing, white-cell-forming bone marrow.

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All of this is concerning when we contemplate the effect of wireless radiation on the human body and pause to consider whether Stanford’s Apple Heart Study is a dog chasing its own tail.

One must know that the effects of past actions, whence cometh all sorrow, are inevitable.

“Very recently new research is suggesting that nearly all the human plagues which emerged in the twentieth century, like common acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, female breast cancer, malignant melanoma and asthma, can be tied to some facet of our use of electricity. There is an urgent need for governments and individuals to take steps to minimize community and personal EMF exposures.”

Dr. Samuel Milham, MD, MPH.

Ninety-five percent of USAnians use cell phones daily. Nearly all businesses and most households have WIFI. Schools and medical centers are going ubiquitously wireless. And yet, none of this increased exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been shown to be safe for long-term exposure. In fact, the opposite is true, if anyone bothers to read the studies. We know beyond doubt that EMF emitted from common electronic devices causes biological changes in ourselves and other living beings. It can lead to a long list of health concerns — some of which can be pretty serious.

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Remember, this new electronic environment is still in its infancy. It might be a hundred steps of Moore’s Law along, but it is still less than one human generation from its inception.

And yet, we have only scratched the surface of the technology still to come. We are being outfitted for wearables. EMF emitters, like EMF itself, are becoming invisible and ubiquitous. Children born today will be exposed to much higher doses of electric smog than those born just 10 years ago.

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Dr. Milham tells the story of how he discovered an unsuspected source in the residence of a patient.

With the electric service turned off:

  • Sitting on toilet: feet off ground — 4.1 uA
    * Bare feet on floor — 17.3 UA
    * Hand-touching shower control — 40.5 UA
  • Showering: Hand touching shower control — 55.0 uA

The same pattern repeated in neighboring residences and was traced, eventually, to natural gas service pipes leading to gas meters for the apartment complex. Those currents contacted the cement floor and all metal connected to the concrete slab, such as door frames and plumbing — toilets and showers — had high contact current.

But that’s not all.

Last week we watched, and recommend, the 10-part (nearly 30-hour) series, GMOs Revealed. At one point the series interviewed Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at MIT, who mentioned the increase in abnormal heart rate — such as we’ve experienced since becoming an Apple Watch wearer.

Dr. Seneff explained that cardiovascular plaque, which develops with aging, serves to gather sulfates and make cholesterol sulfate, which the heart needs. “Cholesterol is not a problem,” Dr. Seneff said, “it is essential to all of the body’s functions.” The brain has 25% of all the body’s cholesterol with only 2 percent of the body’s mass.

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Seneff, Why Glyphosate Should be Banned, Globally MIT CSAIL 2017

What is a problem is a deficiency of cholesterol sulfate, which can be induced by GMO corn and soy, glyphosate exposure, aluminum and statin drugs, among other culprits.

Some symptoms of glyphosate poisoning, commonly from wheat and soy:

  • Pulmonary edema
  • Respiratory distress sometimes necessitating intubation
  • Dysrrhythmia
  • Renal failure
  • Altered consciousness
  • Shock (very low blood pressure)
  • Blood parameters
    * Acidosis
    * Low serum oxygen
    * High white blood cell count
    * High serum phosphate, potassium; low serum bicarbonate

We are only just starting to learn these things by studies of large groups of patients that look for commonalities that might be associated with causation.

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Seneff, Why Glyphosate Should be Banned, Globally MIT CSAIL 2017

But the whole point of epidemiology is that association is not causality. We can say that our glyphosate-contaminated diet is associated with everything from autism and cancer to dementia and asthma, but we can say the same of our electronic environment, or the ionizing radiation loosed by atom bombs and power stations. When you get a cancerous tumor it does not raise a little flag and say “I was caused by radiation,” or “I was caused by Round-Up.” The Anthropocene is less forgiving to human health than was the Holocene from which we evolved.

Maybe the good doctors at Stanford will tell us whether the number one heart monitor in the world is giving us all heart disease. Whether a particular individual could then sue for damages from Apple is a different matter, but we suspect the Apple Heart Study is more defensive than public spirited.

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Seneff, Why Glyphosate Should be Banned, Globally MIT CSAIL 2017

We could not say whether the racing heart we experienced on that flight to Hangzhou was caused by our Apple Watch, by the glyphosate residues in our gluten-free meal, by the odor of jet fuel while we waited at the gate, or by the increased levels of non-ionizing radiation experienced at that altitude. We just watched our heart race and hoped it would soon return to normal.

The Babylonian starlight is still waiting, with no shortage of fabulous formless darkness to bring in its train. And the new influx? That will come when it wills, not when we choose.

Emergency Planetary Technician and Climate Science Wonk — using naturopathic remedies to recover the Holocene without geoengineering or ponzinomics.

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