If Adair’s microwave addicted monkey junkies are not enough to strain credibility (last message) then how about the insanity dreamed up by her IEEE standard setting buddies Buffer and Osepchuk which Adair referred to in the NYT article. Check it out in New Scientist, 21-28 December 1996. The following is a message I wrote about the New Scientist article back in Nov. 2002.
Brave New World of Microwave Heating
The Microwave Research Centre in Marlborough, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
have come up with a new, somewhat novel concept in oven design.
Instead of cooking your chicken in your microwave, you can warm
yourself and your family by flooding your home with microwave
radiation to give that “warm inner glow” on those cold winter days.
Such a room may contain a hole in the wall allowing a standard 800
watt transmitter such as that used in a conventional microwave oven,
to beam microwaves into the room. In order to prevent the microwaves
escaping, the walls would need to be clad with a metallic reflecting
surface. In order to prevent reflected microwaves concentrating into
hot spots, the room will have to be ‘stirred’ by large metallic
blades attached to the walls. As these blades revolve around their
long axises, they reflect microwaves in different directions and stop
hot spots from forming – microwave cookers contain similar devices.
Making all this attractive to the eye may be a home decorator’s
nightmare. Nevertheless Charles Buffler, of the Microwave Research
Centre, says such a home heating system would be a highly efficient
way of keeping warm. He has calculated that microwave heating
systems could cut household heating bills by 75%. An added bonus is
that since microwaves cause light bulbs to fluoresce, such a heating
system could also double as the power supply for a system of wireless
John Osepchuk, a long standing member of the American Institute of
Electronic and Electrical Engineers, (IEEE) an organisation involved
in setting microwave exposure limits, feels that “Getting public
acceptance of the idea will be the biggest problem”…”At the moment
we have a pervasive electrophobia. People are scared stiff of the
There are several other problems with such a heating system, other
that electrophobia, which may make it a hard sell to the public:
* Microwave heating would not necessarily make you feel warmer.
While microwaves would heat up internal organs, the skin always
remains in contact with cool air so you still could feel cold.
*Furniture would have to be covered in a material that also heats up
with exposure to microwaves so that it wouldn’t feel cold to the
* The microwaves would interfere with radio and TV reception, as
well as distorting TV and computer monitors.
* Small metal objects, such as keys and coins, would become extremely hot.
* Buffler admits that heat might build up in parts of the body that
are particularly exposed or poorly supplied with blood. “The main
areas of concern are the cornea and the testicles”.
Now if you are concerned about these small side effects, such as
cooked eyeballs and testicles, remember it is only a symptom of
“pervasive electrophobia” according to Osepchuk. (pronounced Up-chuck
which is also a symptom of microwave sickness).