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Posts Tagged ‘cellphone’

Dirk-Jan Visser for The New York Times

I’m a sucker for any story about an angel because it gives me a chance to mention that Suzanne’s birthstone-jewelry company, Luna & Stella, has a lovely angel charm.

That is why I zeroed in on this article.

John Tagliabue writes in today’s NY Times, “The statue of an angel outside St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in ‘s Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, holds a cellphone, which has two numbers.

“That is because, shortly after the statue was unveiled last April, a local couple, the parents of two children, set up a number so people could call the angel. Business cards soon appeared in pubs, restaurants and hotels with a picture of the angel and the number. So successful was the line that the couple opened a Twitter account, @ut_engelke, managed by the husband, which now has about 2,700 followers.”

Then the church, not amused by @ut_engelke, set up its own number. It charges for calls, and people get to hear recorded messages about the church.

The woman who answers the original phone number doesn’t charge. She answers with “Hello, this is the Little Angel,” and she just sees where it leads.

“ ‘In most cases there is laughter, but there are callers who have no faith in friends or relatives, so they would like to talk to someone they have some kind of faith in,’ she said. A widow in her 80s called from Amsterdam to complain of loneliness …

“ ‘She said she’d lost faith in humanity, in her own family,’ said the woman who lends the angel a voice. Two weeks later the elderly woman called again, to thank the angel. Things had gotten better.” Read more.

I would be interested in your angel stories.

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I think I have always cut articles out of the paper to give people or to post on my fridge. (At the office, I post work-related clippings on the wall of my cubicle.) Suzanne and her brother, John, often teased me about how often the stories were dire warnings in the news. Around this time every year, they would be deluged with clippings about sun screen and melanoma or deer ticks and Lyme disease.

Now that they have grown up and have their own homes, the fridge is rather empty of news articles. But since they are reading this blog, I’ll post a typical dire warning from today’s Boston Globe, something I’ve been harping on since the mid-1990s. (Oh, well. They laughed at Columbus.)

Hiawatha Bray’s column for June 2 is about protecting oneself from possible cancer-causing effects of mobile phones. He has several pieces of advice any mother would love: “make like a teenager, and text instead of talking. Sending SMS or e-mail messages keeps the phone well away from your skull. The farther your brain is from the phone, the lower the risk of brain tumors. If you must talk, most handsets have a speakerphone feature to let you converse at a distance. I often use it because I’m too lazy to hold the phone. Now I’ve got a better reason.”

And a study done in Sweden a few years ago suggests that it isn’t just brains we need to worry about. Cellphones left on in a pocket can affect reproductive function.

Bray says, “I carry the phone on my hip, in a holster which keeps it the required distance from my body. I’ve mocked my wife for losing her Android smartphone in her purse, but carrying it well away from the body is the safest way to go.”

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