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Bulbs / Miliband

Possible bad news for migraine sufferers: Energy-saving light bulbs could trigger migraines [BBC]. Those fluorescent darkbulbs that take about quarter of an hour to reach their semi-luminescent state, one of which led me on new year’s eve to misread, albeit at a distance, a product on my esteemed colleague’s bathroom shelf as “Foaming Fascist Wash” (rather than “Facial”), turn out to be not only annoying but actively harmful for a select few.

My concern is that the government (1) seem to take at least four years to absorb new information anyway and (2) are puritanical enough at heart, even without David Miliband heading Environment any more, to press ahead with banning normal light bulbs with no regard to what that could do to migraine sufferers. Prove me wrong, envirowonks!

Incidentally, now that “the Mil” has inserted himself into this post, I am slightly disturbed by the number of my female acquaintances who have A Bit Of A Thing for the Foreign Secretary.

David Miliband

I am a man, and I see the attraction
4(11.4%)
I am a man, and I do not see the attraction
7(20.0%)
I am a lady, and I DEFINITELY see the attraction
4(11.4%)
I am a lady, and I do not see the attraction
7(20.0%)
He looks like the lead character of a Manga story about a dead schoolboy whose corpse has been robotically reanimated and installed as Foreign Secretary. And then sprayed with bloody pheromones, apparently
13(37.1%)

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Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
> I wish he'd bring back his specs.



Steady, ladies.
(Deleted comment)
chiller
Jan. 2nd, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
He might have The Thing. You don't run into it much. We have one at work (not in this office, thanks be to god).

Unremarkable looking guy. Thinning hair. Not particularly muscly or tall. Not particularly pretty or handsome. Not particularly well dressed. Not funny. Not engaging. Not charming. I don't think I've ever seen him smile.

But the second he walks into the room it's physically impossible to do anything other than fantasize about him.

It's not just me. The first time I met him, a colleague and I both went "FFFFhhhh" as he left the room and slumped onto the conference table. "Was that just me?" I asked, trying to be vaguely subtle.
"No," she responded. "He's a sex god." Of course, at that second he walked back into the room and asked a technical question. I never felt as profoundly 12-years-old as that when I actually WAS 12 years old.

I have NO IDEA what The Thing is. None. But it's like being a metal filing next to a very, very big electromagnet.
ninebelow
Jan. 2nd, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
I do apologise; I had no idea I was replicating a poll you had already run... Still, I think that only goes to show that this is a question deserving of national debate. Perhaps they could give an entire edition of Question Time over to it.
ninebelow
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Still, I think that only goes to show that this is a question deserving of national debate.

It does indeed. I also seem to remember doing a poll about the relative hotness of Blair, Brown and a hybrid of Brown's head on Blair's body but can't find it now.
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
> a hybrid of Brown's head on Blair's body

I liked Frankie Boyle's idea that George Bush wouldn't have realised without being told that we had a different PM; he'd just have assumed that in the interim Blair had put on a bunch of weight and suffered a mild stroke.
strictlytrue
Jan. 2nd, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
are puritanical enough at heart, even without David Miliband heading Environment any more, to press ahead with banning normal light bulbs with no regard to what that could do to migraine sufferers. Prove me wrong, envirowonks!

Hmm. The allegations in that story don't really seem to imply that banning conventional light bulbs is going to lead to an epidemic of migraines. The "evidence" presented in the report that energy-saving bulbs are doing so is pretty sketchy and anecdotal, and only seems to apply to certain bulbs anyway. And is it really "puritanical" to make a change that would make an enormous dent in carbon emissions?
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
> don't really seem to imply that banning conventional light bulbs is going to lead to an epidemic of migraines

Well, no, not in people who aren't already prone to them. And yes, sketchy and anecdotal the "evidence" is, but there's a strong argument for at least looking into it first.


> is it really "puritanical" to make a change that would make an enormous dent in carbon emissions?

There's a definite puritanical streak to a whole load of the solutions and behaviour modifications demanded of us in the face of global warming. Maybe they will help stave it off or solve the problems facing us, but even if they don't, we will have been put firmly in our place. Of course, making us all install darkbulbs is by no means the most extreme of these, but they are slightly worse than what we've had in the past and that certainly satisfies something deep in the puritan breast.
strictlytrue
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
Well, no, not in people who aren't already prone to them.

Or in the people who are, either. Looking into the matter is fine, but as far as I can see from that story not all energy-saving bulbs produce the "flickering" effect mentioned anyway.

There's a definite puritanical streak to a whole load of the solutions and behaviour modifications demanded of us in the face of global warming. Maybe they will help stave it off or solve the problems facing us, but even if they don't, we will have been put firmly in our place. Of course, making us all install darkbulbs is by no means the most extreme of these, but they are slightly worse than what we've had in the past and that certainly satisfies something deep in the puritan breast.

Sorry, but I think you're way, way off beam here. Not all energy saving bulbs are as dim as the one experienced on NYE, and the idea that people wanting to replace conventional bulbs with energy saving ones are doing so to satisfy some puritanical impulse just doesn't ring true to me. I mean, by lobbying for less energy consuming light bulbs, just who is trying to put "us" in our place? I know plenty of people who would support such moves - including me - does that make us one of this group trying to put everyone else in their place?

There are areas of Government policy that can be seen as potentially restrictive or repressive, but it's a bit of a stretch to adduce this one as an example.

(and FWIW, I do agree with you that a puritanical streak is present in a great deal of Green thinking, but in this case, I'm not convinced.)
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
> Not all energy saving bulbs are as dim as the one experienced on NYE

That's true, but—although, as with most things, I'm prepared to be convinced—I haven't yet encountered a fluorescent bulb that's any serious rival for a normal one.


> the idea that people wanting to replace conventional bulbs with energy saving ones are doing so to satisfy some puritanical impulse just doesn't ring true to me

Not primarily to satisfy that impulse. I know that normal light bulbs are energy-hungry and need to be dealt with. I'm just saying that the fact that the alternatives are currently a little worse gives that impulse a reassuring little scratch under the chin.
chiller
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
I should point out that there is a small but significant chunk of society (of which I am, unfortunately, a part) who absolutely cannot function with some types of low energy bulbs (or fluorescent tubes). The flicker is visible and while it doesn't provoke migraine for me, I do find it distressing.
strictlytrue
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
I wasn't aware of this problem before I read that story, but if low energy bulbs are available that don't flicker - and presumably these will be more popular in the long run - then a long-term replacement of conventional ones with energy saving ones should be okay. I would imagine that ways will be found to make them brighter, too. We've just never had to really think about it before.
chiller
Jan. 2nd, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hey, if they actually invent one that doesn't flicker and that - you know - sheds a bit of light, I'm all over that.
lebeautemps
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
It's not just Migraine sufferers, but also those with light-related illnesses such as Lupus and other nasties. I didn't realise that as well as flickering along the migraine/epilepsy trigger line, these things also emit a form of uv, which is the issue for some skin conditions.

I am conscious of my carbon footprint, really I am. I have recycled, re-used, switched off standby etc in the spirit of willing. I have been using low energy bulbs in the last 6 months and can't get on with them. The light produced is just not bright or "clean" enough to study for protracted periods. And as such, I'm not interested.

I'd be happier restricting all vehicles to buses and taxis within central London and have the first Sunday of every month traffic-free to promote cycling and walking. That was painful for me to say, being such a lover of driving.

The key is lifestyle change, not Milliband's version of a quick fix faddy diet.

What else has the Gov ever tried to ban completely?
lebeautemps
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
And he UGLY.
carakins
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
It's only there when he's moving though. If it's a still photo, he always looks slightly creepy.
strictlytrue
Jan. 2nd, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
This is right. He's surprisingly charming in real life - well from 10 foot above, at any rate.
(Deleted comment)
webofevil
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Fair point. I got carried away because the poor quality of these bulbs has always pissed me off ever since the first really poor ones appeared on the market. "Potentially actively harmful", then.
yiskah
Jan. 3rd, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
I can SEE the attraction, but actually find him vaguely repellent (possibly related to suzanne217's sixth-former comment, above).

Though I do fancy Lord Goldsmith, so don't listen to me.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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