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The Meggs Report Overview

October 8, 2020

Founded on the ideal of providing “interdisciplinary insights into the operational efficiencies of life” and “rigorously researched, not-for-profit, mouse-peeps of truth”, The Meggs Report has had a very low concept to published ratio and a very slow publish rate. Ironically the times of greatest adventure and intensity typically received the least reporting. All that could change. The frequency is increasing. Answering the requests for a table of contents:


Cargo Bikes and CARB (January 26, 2021 begun).

Bicycle Safety: Recommendation to Uber (dooring) – November 1, 2019

Do Bikeshare Systems Hurt Bicycling? (July 23, 2012)

Presentations from Velo-city Global 2012 (July 6, 2012)

The Idaho Law: allowing safer choice and happier travel (September 29, 2011)

Wanted: Planner Politico SWOT team (January 25, 2011)



Rinpoche: The World is Unsavable (August 30, 2013)

Cargo Bikes and CARB (January 26, 2021 begun).


Protect Yourself from Wireless Radiation (July 25, 2020)

EMF Protection Magic Carpet Ride (08 Oct 2020)

Salva Italia: l’attacco di estetica (April 18, 2011)

Experimental Citrus Pacifier to Help Protect Babies (August 18, 2010)

“Americans are sicker than ever.” (August 12, 2011)


Let the World Know to Increase Airflow v. COVID-19 (April 11, 2020)

Protect Workers with Airflow – COVID-19 (April 10, 2020)

Turn up the HVAC v. COVID-19 (April 8, 2020)


Wingspan Remote Rules (September 4, 2020)

Bees v. SUVs!!! (June 12, 2015)


Curie, the bomb, and the pandemic (August 6, 2020)

Gender-Neutral Pronouns, Please! (October 15, 2015)

Proposed: The Controversy Index (August 30, 2013)

In Celebration of Slugs (July 2, 2016)


A Quick Meal with Meggs (August 15, 2011)

Experimental Citrus Pacifier to Help Protect Babies (August 18, 2010)

Cargo Bikes and CARB

January 26, 2021

Bicycles are a fun, efficient, highly effective, highly affordable, and exceptionally healthy means of transportation.

With the recent advances in electric bicycles, including bicycles designed to carry passengers and cargo (electric cargo bikes), the potential of the bicycle to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions has never been greater. Electric bicycles allow almost anyone, even many people with disabilities, to travel comfortably and easily at average speeds similar to cars for many trips.

As the climate emergency intensifies, bicycles also offer an immediate method of slashing emissions where no other option is available. As California’s forests die and burn by the millions of acres due to climate change, yet California has outright resisted giving bicycling even a small place at the table when seeking to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, let alone protect us from the devastation expected with peak oil in the next decade.

This article is a placeholder for a much, much larger story: the story of what inspiring potential cargo bikes hold to replace a large share of motor vehicle trips, and the story of how that option has been suppressed even by California’s lead agency empowered to take action to protect us from climate change, the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

During my years at CARB, where I worked for the larger half of a decade, I advocated extensively within the agency to include bicycling, particularly electric bicycles, especially electric cargo bicycles, in its efforts to shift transportation and land use practices (as mandated by SB 375, AB 32, SB 32, etc., various Executive Orders and more), including developing an Energy Economy Ratio on my own time at request of Sam Wade, Branch Chief for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, finding by conservative estimates that electric bicycles are approximately 25-700X more carbon-efficient to perform the same job; organizing a well-attended and multifaceted workshop;[1] traveling to Europe on my holiday to attend the largest cargo bike conference in history and returning to give presentations to sustainable freight staff and all interested (resulting in a feature article on the CARB internal website by the Public Information Office);[2] and bringing attention to the fact that good science by one of the State’s top public health analysts found that a bicycle scenario was the ONLY way to achieve SB 375 Sustainable Communities Strategies targets.[3]

Unfortunately, the response from CARB management was to punish and silence me for these efforts, leading to my quitting the agency – for now.

Although the agency claims to be “technology neutral,” it continues to pursue a Business As Usual oriented solution of cars and trucks, ignoring the enormous problems with that path which are already admittedly and colossally failing (details another time!), while giving barely a shred of attention, and essentially zero funding, of its billions of dollars in resources, to bicycling, despite bicycling being far more efficient and expedient a solution than many short-sighted and unsuccessful efforts that are instead being funded and supported.

I recently brought these problems to the attention of the CARB Board at its December 10, 2020 meeting where I publicly called for a variety of CARB reforms (joining a host of others, including black employees at CARB, and the EJ community at large, as well as numerous experts who for years have pointed out failings in CARB policies).

At that meeting, I proposed internal reforms to protect staff from harassment and retaliation such as I had experienced, with the ARB Staff Protection Act (which had earlier been emailed to outgoing Chair Mary Nichols and other CARB and CalEPA leadership), as well as external reforms to tighten up accountability and effectiveness. Climate investments should be chosen based on efficacy, expediency and cost effectiveness to save lives, not based on politics and pressure from industry. Staff should have viable, trusted options to report ethics and accountability issues rather than be silenced and trapped while public resources and opportunities are misused and wasted. CARB has grown in power rapidly without provision to protect the misuse of that power, and that must change – our lives depend on it.

You can find my written comments and attachments (left and right column links respectively). You can also read the transcript with my statements and download or stream the video or audio of the entire day-long meeting.

CARB has not replied.

A short list of recent articles with a variety of perspectives on how California/CARB are failing:

This article will be updated over time. It serves initially (January 26, 2021) as a way to post certain references for a whistleblower retaliation complaint aimed at addressing CARB malfeasance.

[1] Recording of the webcast workshop (Cargo Bikes: the California Potential!):
(Presentation available on DVD in the CalEPA library, along with full webcast file.)

[2] The Airwaves article on Cargo Bikes (accessible from inside the agency):

[3] Neil Maizlish presented ahz ITHIM analyses of SB 375 scenarios, finding the bicycle scenario most effective, at the CAT-PHWG in July 2017:
Webcast of talk:
Academic publication (Health and greenhouse gas mitigation benefits of ambitious expansion of cycling, walking, and transit in California):

EMF Protection Magic Carpet Ride

October 8, 2020

A home experiment to reduce exposure to microwave radiation while using a Wi-Fi printer to manually scan documents. An aluminum screen was draped over the printer which greatly reduced radiation levels experienced, even at close range.

Like many Wi-Fi devices, there was no evident way to turn off the Wi-Fi radiation on the printer even when not in use, even while using the printer via a wired USB connection, pictured here.

Thankfully, the sheet of aluminum screen greatly reduced exposure even working adjacent to the printer at very close range.

As the video demonstrates, radiation levels were very strong and constant near the printer, overpowering the radiation meter (the HFE35C High-Frequency Analyzer from GigaHertz Solutions, using an omnidirectional antenna, once considered best-in-class). The meter’s built-in limit is 2,000 microwatts per square meter, when the signal is higher an error is given as shown in the video. (To read the higher level either an attenuator could be added, or a different meter with a higher limit could be used instead.)

Draping the screen over the printer brought the radiation levels down considerably, as well as shielding from additional Wi-Fi coming through the floor from a lower unit. The screen was also comfortable to sit on, although slippery, and could be easily folded back off the printer while scanning documents in order to lift the lid and change documents while still minimizing direct bodily exposure.

This successful trial has implications for anyone seeking to protect themselves from wireless radiation. A sheet of lightweight, flexible aluminum (not steel) screen is a portable and easily applied shield. It can be used as a carpet to sit on or to drape over devices, or to protect from radiation coming through a floor, window or wall. Screen is various widths, here the screen was 48″ wide (4 foot/1.22 meter). This Agent had bulk-purchased a 100-foot roll to shield windows, walls and floors creating the opportunity to experiment with draping a magic carpet techniques.

As with any shielding, testing is required to observe the effects of the shield, as unexpected and unwanted results may occur. Obviously, it would be better to eliminate the source (in this case, to use a non-Wi-Fi scanner) but we don’t always have easy choices about what resources are available.

Is Wi-Fi Dangerous? What Can I Do?

Low-cost meters and many additional ways of mitigating exposure, and reasons for doing so, are described in another recent Meggs Report:

Note: Your Agent Meggsy is available for individual free consult to anyone committed to taking reasonable action to limit exposure.

UPDATE: You might enjoy this whimsical realization that a microwave oven can be used as a safe box for errant wireless appliances that won’t stop irradiating your household:

Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley in combination with a Master’s in Urban Planning focused on Sustainable Transportation & Land Use in the International Field, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, with a Minor in Entomology
(the study of insects – as well as pesticides).

Meggs also holds an engineering degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering,
also from UC Berkeley.

Wingspan Remote Rules

September 4, 2020

Unless you’ve been living in a house or apartment, or a hut in the Himalayas, you’ve probably heard of WINGSPAN, one of the most refreshingly disruptive board games in a long time – and particularly eclectically-electrically-edifying for bird-lovers, easter egg cuteness afficionados, strategic thinkers, and the ecologically affined.

Egadz! You’ve finally got your hard-to-get copy but now there’s a pandemic emergency on! Who can you play with? Is all lost?

Widely regarded as the hardest game to procure in the past year, and easily one of the most addictive, being unable to convene groups to enjoy the game once you finally get one is at first blush yet another major bummer of the times.

But wait! What if we could play remotely?
And so we did…with surprisingly easy modifications of the rules, detailed below.

Four players separated by many miles and a pandemic play Wingspan and enjoy social joy and gamer thinkalink via video chat – in this case sharing only one divided game set.


Set up and choose the first player normally. Play goes clockwise as usual – if there are multiple remote groups be clear what the order is. Prepare to communicate! Active questions and announcements of our moves, about one another’s moves, what’s visible on our boards, and fawning and flaunting the birds we play in our habitats is not only encouraged, in many cases it’s required. Caution, socializing may ensue!


Any group with food dice rolls them as appropriate (including rolling for remote players who have no food dice because they don’t have a complete set), and then announces the results. It is important that all players know and maintain the same contents of the birdfeeder. Yes you can make your own food dice or food dice simulator if you want to!!!

Whenever food is removed from the birdfeeder, it is announced so remote players can track the change and update their birdfeeder.

Any group without food dice can use matching food chips in a designated birdfeeder area. An egg can signify a “slasher” worm/grain die since there is no split food token. Consistent communication is necessary to make sure everyone has the same food showing on their table (see improvised birdfeeder food tracking at center of below photo).

Use food tokens to represent the food in the remote birdfeeder if you don’t have a birdfood tower and food dice. An egg can represent the “slasher” dice with both worm and grain.


  1. Be sure to agree whether you’re using the green (more competitive) or blue side (easier, less competitive) for the end of round goals.
  2. Have fun choosing the goals however you like (one player draws for all, or multiple players take turns, drawing them as you like – then make sure they are identical at each table.
  3. If any table doesn’t have a complete copy of the game, they can make a game copy for their table such as the hand-drawn example shown here:
End of round goals drawn by hand at a table that had no copy of the goals board and tokens.

4. To be sure scoring will be smooth at the end, it helps for at least one table to keep track of all tables’ End of Round scores each round, as you go.
5. Recommend having four color cubes or other items to represent and track each remote player (or record with writing) at the accounting table. Eggs once again worked well as a substitute piece, when we had given away our little color turn cubes to split the game so we didn’t have their color.


Disaster! That bird card you were hoping for is gone! Painful as it is, we simulate the increased disruption between turns of a larger group of players by removing the card from the same place.

Bird cards can’t reasonably be coordinated and matched, especially if the deck was split, so when one remote team pulls a bird card from the three on display, we simulate the random loss of the bird cards on display for all remote tables by removing the card at the corresponding place at each table (left, middle or right).

No bird card was removed if the remote player simply draws from the deck, what’s the point? Just increases shuffling rate! Especially with a reduced deck.

As an alternate approach in a learning game, birds were only removed by the people at a given table. With no random removal, scores were unusually high (perhaps enhanced by this, as desirable high point cards were less likely to disappear before someone could get them). Have not statistically analyzed (Elizabeth?). If you try variants, of course: Just agree and be consistent. And let us know how it goes!


Operate normally.


If one side has an expansion set that another doesn’t, two approaches:

  1. Gamers can agree to ignore and play anyway, improvising around any differences and hope for the best. One side will be able to draw different cards with powers and abilities that have no match on the other. And you won’t be able to share some end of round goals. (You can opt to have different end of round goals, at least for some rounds, but that would reduce the amount of dialogue to find out how remote players are doing toward their goals.) In our experience having different sets does create some imbalances and may actually detriment the folks with the expansion set.
  2. If a level playing field is preferred, remove expansion cards (generally easier to do as you play than to sort everything out in advance).


At end of game, one or more leaders can tally the score for all players, collaboratively or independently, relying on the remote groups to gather and share information for the count. This is very similar to when everyone is at the same table – people count their own birds, eggs, etc. – but the end of round goals can be tricky unless someone has been tracking all players (recommended above).


Funny things may come up – if everyone’s agreeable, flexible and creative and playing for the fun of it, have faith you can find a way to resolve any confusing circumstances not anticipated here.


These rules assume just one video feed per table. It’s impossible to read the contents of the other table’s boards although you can get some idea on a good day. In practice we’d much rather see our long lost friends’ faces than focus on their game boards – which is what we’d see in a normal game anyway. If you can rig up more cameras to inspect boards and prefer such, by all means go wild! Again communication foments the social dimension (and incentive to perceive gameplay and recall, as in counting cards).

A moment of conference – despite the distance it often feels like we’re at the same table.
Seeing the board is secondary to seeing the people – valuing the social interaction foremost.
Massage implement optional.



  1. A single game can be split among two groups, after shuffling the bird and bonus cards a lot, especially if you have an expansion set (in this case the European expansion so you have extra cards and food). Only one group kept unique items like the birdfeeder and end of round goals parts (game play for split set is discussed above). Yes the bird and bonus card options will be more limited and the decks might be imbalanced somehow but hey YOU GET TO PLAY WINGSPAN!!! Plus our bird card familiarity increased quickly for the smaller set we had (cognitive scientists, please weigh in).
  2. One or more players can use an online simulation of the game. This was a little tricky to research (hopefully easier now) but involved paying $20 for access to Steam and then at least one person has to purchase rights to a model of the Wingspan game in order to invite others and start a game for all the Steam members – around $6.99 for the full set (with European Expansion) from Tabletopia. Which is less than half as expensive for a single player than buying the physical game.

    Note the online offer is just a model of the physical game environment, without the rules, and no artificial intelligence to play with you. Wingspan does have the Automa rules so you can play yourself solitaire which can be very attractive given that set-up takes time and space and hard to carry with you, and even remote players aren’t always available. Also the Automa is fun – Wingspan is such a good thinking game that solo really is engaging and a good way to practice for group games. (Not sure if the online version includes Automa cards.)

    Worth noting that the online environment was amazing and beautiful and the quickest way to get access when the physical game has been so hard to get, but if you use a computer all day for work, even with a scroll mouse, good screen and gamer’s training you may find it painful. Here’s an image from when Your Agent Meggsy first tried it:
Online environment for playing Wingspan with multiple players – a beautiful representation and another great option for playing remotely – if you already have the rules and don’t mind a lot of mouse manipulation.


So there ya go! Hope this is helpful. Feel free to post in the comments, and ask questions, we’ll be happy to update. And let us know if you’d like to play!


While evangelizing about the love of Wingspan, people often ask if playing it teaches us about birds. Different people answer differently but after some experience seems like everyone believes they are more aware of birds. The game is modeled on actual bird characteristics with beautiful realistic illustrations. Food preferences, behaviors, nest type, nest egg capacity, special powers, habitats and more are modeled on the real birds. Cards even have a map of their geographic extent, a latin name and a fun fact. It’s easy to ignore these if you like but it must be said that this agent’s own experience noticing local birds and ahz relationship to them was certainly enhanced in very special ways, a topic for another time.

UPDATE: There’s an Android App that you can point at Wingspan cards and it will sing the song of that bird!!! Untested & unendorsed but sounds really cool!

For a more detailed background on the creation of this game, brainchild of Elizabeth Hargrave, there are many articles and interviews, one New York Times article is noteworthy, titled “She Invented a Board Game With Scientific Integrity. It’s Taking Off. How Elizabeth Hargrave turned a passion for ornithology and spreadsheets into a popular game about birds”.

HEALTH NOTE: No Wi-Fi was used in the playing of remote Wingspan.

Curie, the bomb, and the pandemic

August 6, 2020
What Is Coronavirus? | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Image Source:JHU
Without consciously realizing it, I chose to watch Radioactive, the biographical drama of Marie Curie’s life, on the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
The film interweaves images of what’s to come from her discovery of radium, including that bombing.
As a result of being touched by this I’ve sought and read perspectives and news stories, and happened on a news piece making a bold statement of the resultant end of the war that “the White House and the U.S. military were well aware that their celebrations came at the cost of over one-hundred thousand civilian lives. The Hiroshima bombing remains today the deadliest single act ever perpetrated by humans.”
Poignant, but I take issue with that statement if we are to learn and change. Case in point, the coronavirus today, with far more total U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 as of this day (officially 159,000 and counting) than attributed to both bombs dropped on cities in Japan at that time. These tragedies are different, but there is a core lesson our genus has not yet collectively embraced.
Not every deadly act is as sudden as a bomb; nor is a bomb such as the first atomic bomb the result of but one action, nor are the sudden deaths the only suffering caused – very far from it indeed. Many worked at length, building on the work of many more, and even Marie Curie’s discovery grew from the collective work that made the observations and insights and materials and technology to isolate radium possible. Not that any who collaborated to create the technology for the bomb and even those bombs themselves, nor the airplanes that carried them, had a clear choice in what happened 75 years ago, let alone Marie Curie who was blamed personally as radiation sickness and disease was identified, even as Curie suffered illness and loss as well, as if an unexpected consequence were intentional. (Update 8/15: it may seem strange to say there was no clear choice – we can isolate decision points such as the president’s order, or the bomber’s pushing of a button, but there was a belief many more would die; and the bomber may have been shot and replaced and the mission completed.)
The precautionary principle would have been wise then as now, not just in terms of radiation and SARS-CoV-2 (not to mention WAR ITSELF) but in everything from gasoline to corn syrup (not that those two are so different).
Albert Einstein famously said, “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. The very prevention of war requires more faith, courage and resolution than are needed to prepare for war.” We cannot continue to fund police in hopes of bringing peace to our streets and homes; rather moving quickly to #defund is the only viable solution particularly if the U.S. is to make any progress on human rights, undoing the self-destructive oppression and exploitation of institutional racism. Investing in well-being and community-based capacity for self-healing, guidance and determination has many returns whereas treating every problem needing a “$400 hammer” is a recipe for collapse.
Likewise, the invention and proliferation of the motor vehicle has killed far more than all wars combined. Yet the carfree cities alternative provides so much more benefit.
Countless untold policy choice stories each have their attributable death toll, from former President Reagan’s gutting of the nascent Noise Control Division at the U.S. EPA (noise pollution adds substantially to preventable death), to the petroleum industry and its subsidiaries, not least the pesticide industry. There are so many examples of institutions and practice which are knowingly harmful, recklessly so, and avoidably so.
If we are to learn and change to avoid inflicting suffering and death, let alone to protect and enable the potential for all to reach their potential, a new approach is mandatory. With climate change, nuclear war, global pandemics and the death of nature at our doorstep, sooner seems far better than later.

Also today, watched a short interview with Mary Trump, Trump family whistleblower who advised the country: “We need to hold people accountable which is something that this country is VERY bad at doing.” This seems critical at a time when corruption is so deeply ingrained in the system, conflict resolution and understanding so unsupported, and the public’s ability to navigate our future so compromised. Many explicitly turn away from the concept of accountability and responsible choices and even attack the messenger.

Protect Yourself from Wireless Radiation

July 25, 2020

How can you protect yourself and your loved ones from wireless radiation?

Reduce the sources and their intensity from the environments you control.

Limit exposures in the environments you don’t control.

For the quick and dirty, scroll down to “Quick Advice” or the video below.


Wireless radiation is now in the same general propaganda group with tobacco, asbestos and climate change: big money wants you to think it’s safe. And continuing to invest in it is quite likely very harmful to our health.

If you try to search about the safety of wireless online you’ll likely find a vast array of incomplete, inconsistent, sometimes shrill and often contradictory advice. If you scratch further you’ll find that very little research is being funded, and scientists have had their careers attacked and even ruined for reporting findings that threatened the industry. As with tobacco there are studies saying opposite things, one side funded by industry.

To add to the confusion there are many new types of radiation coming from ever more sources, and there are other important electricity-related health risks such as magnetic fields and voltage transients (“dirty electricity”) which are not covered in this article.

That said we know a lot of well-documented biological effects of wireless radiation (which are really a wide range of microwaves). See bottom of this article for some key sources. We also know that the incredible rise of illnesses such as autism and autoimmune diseases have really taken off side-by-side with the advent of microwave ovens in the 1980s, and then Wi-Fi and cell phones in the mid-1990s(see graphs below), which is all the more reason to be very cautious about their use.

Update January 24, 2021: The previously shown graph showing dramatic increases in a variety of autoimmune diseases has somehow disappeared, here are two – one showing a variety of autoimmune diseases and one showing California autism rates. Compare with the rise of microwave radiation beginning in the 1980s.



Age-resolved snapshot for 2017, showing the growth in California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) Code 1 autism prevalence from 0.001% in birth year 1931 to 1.18% in birth year 2012.  From: California Autism Prevalence Trends from 1931 to 2014 and Comparison to National ASD Data from IDEA and ADDM

Technology adoption in US households - Our World in Data

My vision for The Meggs Report has always been to provide rigorously researched, not-for-profit, mouse-peeps of truth. But that takes time – Your Agent Meggsy (YAM i am) has been meaning to write a simple guide like this for over half a decade, meanwhile our understanding of and the nature of the problem has become much more complex. Helping you understand why this is important is a daunting task, let alone specifying all the details of what to look for and how to address it.

Speaking personally, when I take a moment to reflect I know far too many people who have had illnesses that are associated with microwave radiation; some have died. In general these people had unusually high exposures coupled with other factors like unusual stress at the time of illness onset. Examples:

  • A dear friend who moved into a home with frequent microwave use, cellular phone use and Wi-Fi during a time of disruption. Previously healthy in a low radiation home, she came down with cervical cancer at a young age after some months in the new environment. No known family history of cancer.
  • Another dear friend, an amazing activist for bicycle and pedestrian safety, who lived a high stress lifestyle for the public good as an obvious result: unfortunately her workstation had Wi-Fi, a cordless phone base station and a cell phone all together in close proximity (the Wi-Fi and cordless phone were totally pointless sitting at a desk and easily substituted for). She died young of leukemia which is associated with microwave exposure. Family history unknown.
  • A family member who cooked with a microwave oven in a kitchen with a cordless phone base station (sometimes while speaking on a cell phone) while often standing near or cooking on a stovetop in front of the microwave oven, also came down with leukemia. No family history of this.
  • A family member who had a cordless base station, Wi-Fi router, cell phones and bluetooth devices all nearby suffered from numerous unexplained ailments including fatigue syndrome, and unexplained anemia and unexplained bleeding (a biological basis exists for these being caused by wireless microwave radiation). No family history of breast cancer or leukemia.
  • [Update January 2022] A close family friend, a grandmother, is surviving breast cancer after brutal rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. Observing her habits, she frequently uses an over-counter microwave oven, putting her arm on the wall above and leaning so her chest is near the lower seal. She opens the oven while it is operating. She also has long video phone calls with extended family, holding the phone on her breast. No family history of breast cancer.

And more…I know more and more people with autoimmune disorders, children with autism, etc. Exactly on point to this crisis, the author of the excellent text Dirty Electricity, Samuel P. Milham, MD, MPH, a physician/epidemiologist throughout whose diverse career of more than 50 years noted and explored these and related issues, points out that these avoidable everyday exposures are chronic stressors which add to the burden of disease. In other words, why add another serious risk if you can avoid it? Any additional risk might tip one over into a serious disease that might otherwise have been escaped.

The basics are simple:

  1. Wireless radiation has biological effects and causes health harms

  2. You can reduce your exposure to much safer levels without giving up modern technology

The simplest principles of protection are:

  1. Reduce the number of sources (substitution)

  2. Reduce the intensity of any remaining sources (distance and shielding are very effective)

  3. Reduce the amount of time you use any remaining wireless sources

Some quick advice:

  • Don’t buy wireless devices and appliances you don’t absolutely need and disable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/etc. on any you already have (from speakers to washing machines). Test with a detector to be sure.
  • Move any Wi-Fi source away from people, especially sleeping areas, and shield it (better yet eliminate it), as a quick immediate step while you explore eliminating it. Put it on a $10 timer turning it off when likely not in use, especially sleeping hours. A recent Meggs Report demonstrated using aluminum screen on a Wi-Fi device.
  • Switch to ethernet network cables instead of Wi-Fi (these can also work for data on many phones and tablets using a powered network adapter). Your Wi-Fi router probably already has ethernet ports so you can plug network cables right into it, and the Wi-Fi on the router can be turned off and/or shielded, sometimes just by pushing a button. You may be able to eliminate the Wi-Fi router immediately, depending on your modem. To add more network cable connections you can purchase a switch starting at $20 or so. More advice on this will have to be another article.
  • Absolutely get rid of any cordless phones immediately, the base stations put out strong radiation 24/7 even when not in use, but do keep a landline if you can and simply switch to inexpensive corded phones. (In the USA the landline is widely reported to be the quickest way to get emergency services and more likely to be working in a power outage or disaster.) Family in Scotland didn’t want to switch because of the features to filter spam calls so I found them an identical corded model, and some long cords and a second phone so they still take calls in different rooms effectively similar to the cordless experience.
  • With your personal computer on ethernet (above) consider using internet calling for phone calls, rather than a cell phone, especially if you have no landline. There are many Voice Over IP (VIOP) services which can also give you normal calling through your wired computer. Gmail comes with a free calling option for outgoing calls. Option to forward cell phone to a safer connection as well (or use a system that rings on your laptop as well like google Fi did – UPDATE unfortunately while this article was drafted google phone service through a browser became unreliable at best or stopped working as of 8 8 20 20 – second update, as of late January 2021 the connections failed with a “<->!” symbol even using different adapters).
  • While you’re rethinking your personal computer be sure to use a wired external keyboard and mouse to get away from the strong magnetic field a computer typically puts out and any other sources of radiation, fumes, etc. (laptops are absolutely not safe for laps). This also allows you to set up a more ergonomic workstation.
  • Get rid of Bluetooth headsets. Bluetooth is not safer because it’s more local – quite the contrary, making a call means radiation for each communication goes to and from your phone twice (double exposure), and the earpieces are embedded in your ear cavities flush with your body. The pulsing characteristics of Bluetooth create additional concern.
  • Be sure to turn off Wi-Fi (and Bluetooth, and cellular data) on all your devices when you aren’t using it (hopefully by now rarely if ever) and check that they stay off. Apple seems to be the least friendly to health in this regard, they turn on what you’ve turned off including ones you may never use like bluetooth and haven’t been providing adapters nor cooperating well with third-party adapters (believe me I’ve tried talking with Apple!)
  • Yes if you must use a cell phone, use that cell phone on speaker phone, or a wired headset (USB works best). But then also keep it away from your body – don’t hold it in your hand, or on your lap or you still get the radiation, just in different target organs. If you’re out and about talking, try putting the phone in a bag, with an aluminum barrier between you and the phone (e.g., aluminum foil inside a large envelope or file folder is quick and easy) so the radiation is directed away from your body. Same idea in a house or car – an easy option is to put the phone in a window, in a small open box lined with aluminum-foil (open side points out the window). Of course this loses the ability to use the phone unfortunately. We need more available technology to connect to antenna outside the house or car.
  • Microwave oven? Definitely avoid. Levels are very high and often fail the Federal safety standard (which is grossly inadequate) after they’ve been used some. I once tested microwaves throughout an office building and each one tested had breaches of the seal far over the regulation level, risking the health of those heating their lunches but likely much moreso the workers situated nearby who are not as close but are hit by every single use.) Distance matters – get a few rooms away if you can. Can add more shielding. Works for me to heat leftovers in a pan with a little water. Important: if you do use a microwave oven, do not open while running. Wait for it to stop or cancel it before opening the door.

Phew, that’s but some of the big highlights. It’s important to note that for your trouble you’ll likely have less expensive, more secure and more reliable communications and appliances.

Sound hard? Take it one step at a time. Start with something easy.

Helps if you value old school ethos of doing things yourself, knowing how things work, and being willing to be a little different until this crazy world catches up to you. It’s also essential to limit your anxiety about this vast and invisible new environmental hazard. Anxiety itself could be more harmful in the end. People who imagine something is bad for them can develop real medical problems as a result. And when we have no control over something harmful it becomes ever so much more frustrating. All very human but also not helping. So please if you can, shield and care for your psyche even as you shield and care for your body. The long-term effects of these exposures are mostly unknown but don’t look good, but that can be said for so many things so please try to “keep calm and carry on” while taking reasonable steps for a safer environment. One caveat: given the parallel of the rise of autism with the rise of wireless radiation, be particularly vigilant to protect pregnancies and the very young (see Babysafe below).


Marie Curie, discoverer of the element radium, depicted in the recent film Radioactive, contemplating a glowing vial of the substance in bed, much as people today ponder their glowing cell phones while resting, both receiving radiation harmful to health, often without realizing it. See Meggs Report article, Curie, the bomb, and the pandemic.

Get a detector so you can “see” the invisible radiation around you

Why stay in the dark? Key to protecting yourself is knowing what sources are really in your environment and how strong they are. A good EMF meter may cost well over $100 (the best ones can run much more than that) but peace of mind and being sure you’ve eliminated unwanted radiation is priceless. Small and light, you may find yourself helping family, friends and perfect strangers who become curious about what you’re measuring. [Update January 2022: Meggs Report has had poor results with two low cost meters, one was only sensitive to very strong sources and inaccurate at medium and low levels, and both broke in various ways fairly quickly. These were not the same as the two recommended below but buyer beware.]

Once you have a detector you can also gauge if there are outside sources polluting your space. In that case you can consider shielding the direction it’s coming from. For example here’s a video where YAM is helping shield a bedroom using aluminum (not steel!) screen.


YAM does not advertise/profit from any products or sites (apologies for any random ads that appear here; they are from the host). Any products mentioned on this Resources list have not been vetted here but were recommended from trusted source(s) at time of publication.

EMF Meter:

Joshua Hart, Director of  Stop Smart Meters! a nonprofit advocacy group, recommends two “simple, high quality models” (with the caveat that they may tend to under-report peaks compared to more expensive models), that can be found in the group’s store:

  1. EMFields Acousticom 2 Basic RF Meter ($179.95 incl. shipping)
  2. Safe and Sound Classic RF Detector ($149.95 incl. shipping)

Reducing Radiation from Wi-Fi

Josh Hart replied to this of whether Wi-Fi could be made safer before giving it up:
  1. You could get a cage or shielding for the router; that would cut the wifi power significantly:
  2. Or a lower power router:

However, Josh added: Please make it clear that we do not endorse wi-fi at all and believe it is not safe used in any way– it can be ‘marginally less dangerous’ if you shield or get a lower power router.” The Meggs Report further adds that reducing the energy from the router likely does nothing to reduce the radiation from the device you’re using – which in many cases would still be very close to your body and not shielded. That said, a Wi-Fi router is pulsing 24/7 and the power is by far the strongest closer to it.

Health Studies:

A recent summary study regarding Wi-Fi is:
Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health, by Martin Pall,

The following info letter was written by YAM in 2018, to a cooperative household which went Wi-Fi and Bluetooth free:

Thank you for asking about the effects of wireless radiation. There’s a ton of information out there and it can be contradictory. A lot has come to light recently but a lot has been known for a long time.
One of the more accessible and factual overview pages I’ve found which seems up to date and which includes a basic introductory video, is here:
One of the best general sources since 2012 has been a group of scientists who put together a Bioinitiative Report which includes a literature review of observed biological effects associated with these types of exposures:
To get an idea of how the literature is split, that group did an analysis of effect/no effect for both neurological studies and in four categories of studies of either comet assay or oxidative effect :
In major industries it seems a truism that science is funded by industry to downplay the harm caused by that industry.
This has certainly been true with tobacco and climate among others. (Note again great documentary to check out: Merchants of Doubt.)
Basically from what I’ve seen and heard, the industry-funded research typically doesn’t find an effect…whereas the independent research often does.
Here is a very strong article in The Guardian from last July discussing a major case of this:
The article remarks on a major US-funded study at the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services finding cancer caused in rats by cell phone radiation:
There are many other sources of information as to be concerned about these technologies. There is definitely a battle over the minds and part of that battle focuses on the science. And any major effect might take many years longer to show up or be understood, particularly with strategic misinformation and obstruction taking place.
(I find it very important that the industry passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 taking away the power of local residents to prevent cell phone towers, before most people had any idea of the wireless world we were heading toward.)
More democratic places have taken action even at the country level – e.g., Sweden – which limits Wi-FI in schools to protect children among other policies, see this page:
Relatedly, the BabySafe Project:
Meanwhile, something needs to explain the reported rapid increase in malignant brain tumors. This article on the increase quotes a statement in part, “brain tumours kill more children in the UK than any other cancer.”
I’m sorry it’s hard to give a simple quick answer. It’s complex stuff and there’s a lot of confusion out there in addition to the biases that exist. But the research keeps piling up in favor of caution and limiting exposure and pointing to direct evidence of serious health consequences such as this Canadian study:
No doubt you’re wondering why this article didn’t mention 5G…or even Smart Meters.
For an excellent quick overview of the 5G problem check this article:

There is much, much more – the key issue is sifting through it all and making sense of it all.

And beware scam products promising protection

Unfortunately, because of mounting public concern and the complexity of the topic (and no doubt the need for a convenient, affordable quick fix), there is a surprisingly large industry peddling ineffective solutions.

For example, the idea that a dot you stick on your phone, or a pendant around your neck (or any other piece of jewelry) will protect you from radiation. It defies reason, and science, to suggest such a thing can work; you can’t stop the ocean waves by putting a stick in the sand. Your meter will easily debunk such things.

Another example of misleading would be claiming to show that a product works, but doing so while using a meter incorrectly – for example there was a marketing video which purported to prove that an expensive silver-thread-lined bed canopy (upwards of $2,000 USD) was effective, by sticking a meter in and showing a low reading. Problem is, the antenna was a unidirectional meter, not omnidirectional, so it proved nothing except that in a straight line out into space there was low radiation. The ambient levels could have been much higher. This is not to say a canopy is a bad idea as some surely help – but the marketing for that one made a false claim and the marketer did not answer when called on it.

Scam products aren’t just ineffective, some can even increase your exposure. To be fair, the one good thing about them is they may have a placebo effect, providing some sense of security and control over our bodies which industry has stolen. This false assurance can have the truly beneficial effect of reducing anxiety which in itself is an EMF harm.

A good overview page critiquing scam products (although the page itself has some misleading/erroneous information) is this one:


Your Agent Meggsy enjoys giving free assessments of home, workplace, etc. The price is a commitment to take reasonable action based on the findings.

An example assessment highlights:

  • The large television and Wi-Fi router in a living room were each directing strong radiation into the crib of one small child on the other side of the wall. Even when turned “off” and attached to ethernet the television was powering radiation out the back.
  • The area near the wall along the main building hallway had very high magnetic fields (presumably a main power line)

This was in a two-bedroom apartment where two small children lived full-time.

Why not take on the adventure of being part of the alternative? Look how delighted Your Agent Meggsy was to discover a cell phone could work on an ethernet cable!

agent-meggsy-delighted-to-use-phone-on-ethernet-cableWith a powered USB-C ethernet/USB-hub (not shown), the battery was charging rather than draining, and many USB accessories including USB headset (crystal clear and reliable), as well as an external keyboard and mouse all worked! (Android phone.)

P.S. It’s ironic that people want Wi-Fi with their laptop for convenience, but often end up tied to multiple devices, and a power cord, anyway. Particularly as recent operating systems for no evident reason flare up after they’ve been closed/put to sleep and use up their battery – doing what? So they must be plugged in more often. Relatedly my Android phone has had a long-time stubborn tendency to turn Wi-Fi on itself, not only risking my health from radiation but from using up an essential resource – for example it once happened while camping in the wilderness – no way to charge – and the phone was needed for navigation. Beware the wireless industrial complex…

Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley in combination with a Master’s in Urban Planning focused on Sustainable Transportation & Land Use in the International Field.

Meggs also holds an engineering degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, also from UC Berkeley.

Let the World Know to Increase Airflow v. COVID-19

April 11, 2020

Attached is a letter you may use (and personalize and modify as needed) to alert hospitals, grocery stores, and any other places where people are at risk, to the need for increased airflow, ventilation, and filtering:

Download PDF:     open-letter-airborne-transmission-protections-11april2020.pdf

Download Word Doc:     open-letter-airborne-transmission-protections-11april2020.docx

In this time of global pandemic, do you worry about your local grocery workers? Those who shop there? Surely you worry about our front lines workers such as nurses, doctors, and EMTs in direct contact with people dying from the disease? Like me you may have close family and friends who are taking terrible risks as they work to save others’ lives.


Please let them know!

You can use the attached letter with references.

world-map-of-cases-npr-10april2020Source: NPR (accessed April 11, 2020)

As the spread grows to every country, many of which are even less prepared than the United States, what can we do to minimize the damage? Isolation is essential, but where people must take risks, the air we breathe needs to be as clean as possible. Even opening doors or windows and using a small fan can make a measurable difference.

UPDATE (April 20, 2020): The New York Times reports today on a field research finding from China that it appears two families at nearby tables were infected by one person at another table due to the direction of air from an air conditioner.

#COVID19 #microparticles #coronavirus #pandemic #globalhealth

UPDATE (May 29, 2020): Almost 7 weeks later, News is finally catching up:


Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley.


Protect Workers with Airflow – COVID-19

April 10, 2020

Essential businesses and services remain open during the coronavirus, putting workers at heightened risk along with customers.

Protect workers by increasing airflow and filtration.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has released guidelines in support of this measure which advises:

Engineering Controls
Engineering controls involve isolating employees from work-related hazards. In workplaces where they are appropriate, these types of controls reduce exposure to hazards without relying on worker behavior and can be the most cost-effective solution to implement. Engineering controls for SARS-CoV-2 include:
■Installing high-efficiency air filters.
■Increasing ventilation rates in the work environment.
■Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards.
■Installing a drive-through window for customer service.
■Specialized negative pressure ventilation in some settings, such as for aerosol generating procedures (e.g., airborne infection isolation rooms in healthcare settings and specialized autopsy suites in mortuary settings).

Source: Pages 12-13, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, OSHA 3990-03 2020,

My last blog article (Turn up the HVAC v. COVID-19) discussed how small businesses can reduce risk simply by keeping doors and windows open and using fans if available.

Essential businesses are a weak link in the effort to flatten the curve and prevent new cases. Do not assume that your local grocery store, market, bicycle shop, or even hospital is doing what it can to keep the infectious particles containing the virus from moving out of our breathing space. Without airflow they can persist for three hours or more.

Help get the word out to reduce the spread of virus by increasing airflow!

#COVID19 #microparticles #coronavirus #pandemic #globalhealth

Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley.



Turn up the HVAC v. COVID-19

April 8, 2020

All essential services need to take actions to move, filter, and avoid contaminated air.

Turn up the HVAC to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

Open doors, open windows, use fans, and be careful of where people are or have been breathing.

People who have the virus breathe it out in clouds of microparticles – blow those particles away, filter them out, destroy them with heat, and stay away from breath clouds – anything helps reduce the risk.

  • Open the doors and windows if you can. Microparticles will disperse faster (see this video).
  • Increase HVAC fan speed and percent of outside air coming  – heat may also help.
  • Blowing air with a fan should be helpful (be careful of direction)
  • Add a HEPA filter if you can (HEPA will filter particles much smaller than the virus).

Any kind of air movement should help disperse concentrations of particles and make them agglomerate into larger particles faster. Larger particles are more likely to fall out of the air and less likely to reach the deep lung when we breathe them in.

Stay out of others’ breath clouds as much as possible. Especially if either of you are breathing hard. Example: you’re walking down the sidewalk, someone runs past you, breathing hard – they are leaving a trail of breath cloud. Don’t let a mask give you a false sense of security. Step out of and avoid that trail of breathcloud.

Masks help in both directions but have only limited effectiveness.

Even N95 masks when worn correctly only reduce the risk by about two-thirds versus normal breathing, one-half versus surgical masks (according to one large study of airborne transmission of flu virus to medical personnel). You may eliminate the protective effect and may even increase risk with heavy breathing and/or mouth breathing. The masks were not designed for athletics.

Nose breathing is less dangerous than mouth breathing – the nose and nasal passages make a natural filter which helps limit the reach of small particles.

Get this information to your local grocery stores and markets and hospitals – help protect people vulnerable on the front lines.


The public has not been adequately warned about the risk of airborne transmission and how to best reduce risk, which should have started months ago and may have been able to greatly limit the pandemic.

This article to be updated with more of the scientific basis.

#COVID19 #microparticles #coronavirus

Photo source:

Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley.

Avoid Coughing to Save Lives (COVID-19)

March 15, 2020


  1. Simply breathing can transmit the virus, and 6′ distance is inadequate in many cases. See for example what happened to a choir in the Seattle area:
    And even more strongly, this:
    The science still supports this and increasingly supports this.

  2. Even if one covers a cough, or wears a mask, small particles can get through (in both directions), so physical (not social) distancing is key EVEN WITH NO SYMPTOMS
  3. Grocery store workers and others who interface closely with the public are at great risk and may also infect many people. The public health directives have largely failed to provide a safe way for grocery stores to operate.

Original article:

We are inundated with messages to wash hands as if it were the most important measure we can take — yet little is said about the risks of coughing.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes clear that the novel corona virus (SARS-CoV-2 or coronavirus, the virus causing COVID-19) is transmitted “mainly from person-to-person…through respiratory droplets when somebody coughs or sneezes.” (Source:


In addition a recently submitted paper (March 8, 2020) from Wuhan University and other scientists in China found the COVID-19 virus in the air in hospitals. (Source: We already known flu virus is found in the air.

Hand-to-face contact may or may not cause infection. CDC further states “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.


Yet the world is being told to wash our hands and rarely told the importance of covering our coughs and of avoiding areas where people are or have been coughing.

The primary receptors are in the deep lung (ACE2) and our fingers don’t go there — how does the virus get there? Small particles get there all the time, however — whenever we breathe. Many particles are emitted when people cough, including tiny particles.

Moreover, it is coughing and sneezing that most likely deposits the particles we are trying to wash off. Don’t give up on washing hands – it’s important for many reasons – but it’s long past time to emphasize people COVER THEIR COUGH so those particles don’t get all over and onto our hands and into our bodies in the first place.

SELF-QUARANTINE if you are coughing and AVOID people who are coughing. Unfortunately, covering a cough is at best partially effective.

Yes we should already be isolating – but many are partially isolating at most — or people are isolating in groups, some of whom may be infected or are not entirely isolating and may become infected – and we don’t know yet how infectious people with few or no symptoms can be.

I have a family of friends (including two small children) who have been washing their hands so much that their hands are cracking and bleeding. For all we know this could be another source of infection by the virus, theoretically it could be even more dangerous than touching the face – we don’t know yet. Blood-based path of infection could help explain why some people get diarrhea along with COVID-19 (two major areas for the receptor cells are in the deep lung and the intestines, so the bowels could get sick as well from the same virus — for example if the virus enters the cuts in the hands, spreads through the blood, and then somehow enters the receptor cells).

My hunch at this point given everything is that small particles are a significant source of COVID-19 infection, possibly the major source. Small particles by their nature typically stay airborne for long periods of time. In this case presumably the small particles would be emitted primarily by coughing, and also by sneezing.

Please alert anyone suggesting that hand washing is the answer, especially organizations doing outreach, to start emphasizing the key source of the particles. Teach people to avoid exposing themselves and others to coughing as if lives depend on it – they do.

Meggs holds a Master’s in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences Division) from the University of California at Berkeley.