Science, sex, and anti-radiation stickers.

I love books on popular science. They make scientific ideas accessible and less esoteric for laymen. Plus, they make for interesting casual reading for visitors in the apartment.

Last night, I passed by the discounted section of National Bookstore and I saw a hardcover copy of Mary Roach’s Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. The white dust jacket was grubby (which is why it was placed in the discount bin), but the book is otherwise undamaged. Best of all, it was on sale for only a hundred pesos — down from probably more than seven-hundred pesos originally.

I have not yet read beyond the foreword (yeah, I read those, too) but the book is a collection of summarized studies on sexual physiology written in a light and slightly humorous tone. It reminded me of another book I have, Mitchell Symons’ Where Do Nudists Keep Their Hankies? (… and Other Naughty Questions You Always Wanted Answered), an informal and funny attempt of a British journalist to answer often cheeky questions about sex. If Bonk is just as entertaining, it’ll be staying with me in the toilet as the book-to-read-while-taking-a-dump for the next couple of weeks.

Anti-radiation sticker from Korea

While I was paying for the book, I saw a newish product by the cashier: supposedly Korean-made 24-karat gold-plated anti-radiation stickers for mobile phones. There had been concern for the radiation emitted by mobile phones increasing the risk of cancer, and the World Health Organization recently stated that mobile phone radiation could increase cancer risk.

Given how fear could make people more gullible, it’s not surprising that an “anti-radiation” product for mobile phone comes out. Those stickers actually remind me of PowerBalance and how it was proven to be a scam earlier this year.

For fifty pesos per thumbnail-sized sticker, I find it difficult to believe those stickers actually contained any amount of gold. And while I’m not well-read on the physical properties of gold and nickel when it comes to stopping radiation, I’m skeptical of the claims this product promises. It reeks of pseudo-scientific bull droppings.

Some of the anti-radiation stickers sold in the US looked rather cute, though.