Wireless internet versus pesticides

Dad’s first cell phone was one of those early ’90s Motorola monstrosities, the kind you could look at and wonder “why does it need to be so huge?” I would stare at the riduculous battery when the phone discharged after a few hours and the only thing I could think was “where does all the juice go?” because they admittedly used a lot of power.

I was hardly the only one thinking such things, and hence wasn’t all that surprised at the time to hear of studies being done and scientists wondering about the effects of that much radiation on the brain.

“I wouldn’t want a cell-phone shaped tumor growing out of my ear,” was the reigning mentality, and it was true: was it really worth using things that would scramble your brains just to talk to people that could wait until you got home?

Eventually, though, the phones shrank to obscurity and so did the argument. Years of no conclusive test results tend to do that, or if there were conclusive results, they weren’t ubiquitous enough to notice; and so, wireless technology continued to burgeon to the state it’s widely enjoyed today.

Apparently obscurity isn’t enough to diminish the argument for Ontario’s Lakehead University president Fred Gilbert, as he’s reportedly content to be the phone-hating technophobe dad that always bitches about cancer. The university recently declared that wireless wouldn’t be coming to campus, much to the chagrin of its potential users.

This is a case where we should be proud of our technologically advanced campus–the cool dad who buys his kid Blackberrys and all the newest video game systems–for being so good to us. See, there’s something your dad didn’t tell you when he was ranting about cancer this and lymphoma that: not only is he afraid of fun, he’s afraid of spending money.

Thus we see the ulterior motive behind Gilbert’s insistance that more research is needed before the implementation of campus wide WiFi. Watching a university squirm at an expensive project is alot like following your cheap dad on a trip to the mall. “Where does he get the cash for that barbeque,” you wonder, “and why can’t I have Lego?”

Gilbert can try to deny it but he’s proven that he doesn’t really care about the physical health of his students. Last year, when he was petitioned to get rid of pesticides on campus greenspaces, he ignored the signatures and went about soaking the campus in carcinogens.

“Oh, no, you don’t want Silly Putty, son, you might get some in your mouth, and who knows what that’ll do to you. Eat up, though, and maybe old Dad’ll let you buy us a diet soda.”

Clunky metaphors aside, there’s one huge reason to get on board with a wireless-enabled campus besides its nearly non-existant risk: any such technology gives students an edge in an environment where they can use it. In this mentality, the U of C takes a position worthy of praise.

So next time you’re sitting in Mac Hall being saturated by aerosol internet, you can be like I was when a kid; “Sure, it’s huge and I have no idea how it works,” my fingers fiddled with the tremendous buttons, “but at least Dad’s cool enough to keep up with the trend.”

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