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Off the News

For Thursday, June 2, 2011


Cellphone ranking needs context

A World Health Organization panel's conclusion that cellphones are "possibly carcinogenic" sounds scary, but it falls far short of being an alarm. The ranking of Category 2B is the same as pickled vegetables and coffee.

"We found some threads of evidence about how (brain) cancer might occur but have to acknowledge gaps and uncertainties," said Dr. Jonathan M. Samet, who headed the panel.

A much greater risk is putting the cellphone up against your ear while driving, which could result in a crash.

Away from the car, users might be careful by using headphones and Bluetooth devices.

And stay out of the sun.

Summer's downside is hurricanes

Despite Hawaii's reputation for its perpetual summer, yesterday the season officially changed. It's hurricane season again, which means we'll hear the annual plea for preparedness from the Red Cross.

And just because this June-to-November risk period rolls around each year doesn't mean we should shrug it off. Check those emergency kits, those evacuation plans. If you've missed the previous prompts to harden up the integrity of your house, here's another chance.

Just when the tourist numbers look so rosy, we have to remind folks that we're somewhat storm-prone here. On the other hand, we're not the only spot on the planet where that's a fact of life, right?

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