Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, December 12, 2013

People in China are beating the smog by sticking cigarette filters in their nostrils

 http://grist.org/list/people-in-china-are-beating-the-smog-by-sticking-cigarette-filters-in-their-nostrils/

By Jess Zimmerman, December 11, 2013

smog_filters

 
Beijing’s smog is legendarily bad — on some days, stepping outside is kinda like trying to breathe in an ashtray. So it’s not that surprising that someone on Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, decided to deal with the pollution problem by shoving cigarette filters up his nose.
Rumors have spread over the Internet in China that taking cigarette filters and inserting one into each nostril can block the tiny PM2.5 particles of pollution that make breathing difficult and cause respiratory ailments. Some people have posted pictures online demonstrating the technique, although it was often unclear whether the pictures were in jest or in earnest.

“A magical fix for coping with the haze,” said one message that has been repeated many thousands of times on Sina Weibo, a microblog site that is China’s most popular equivalent of Twitter. “Take two cigarette filters, strip away the wrapping paper, and insert them in the nostrils.”
This definitely seems like it might be at least partly a joke, but the photo and concept went so viral that Beijing Youth Daily consulted an expert on whether the method would work (verdict: “unreliable”). And the Changsha Evening News warned that it could even be harmful: “Doctors have stated that this technique will definitely obstruct air entering the nasal cavity, and will affect normal breathing.” On the other hand, you’re kind of damned if you don’t: “There’s no doubt you die if you don’t breathe, but constantly breathing amounts to slow suicide,” said a Sina Weibo commenter.

If you’re going to go with this method of smog suppression, may we suggest that you use the entire (unlit) cigarette instead of breaking off the filter? That way even if it doesn’t work — and it won’t — you can still pretend to be a walrus.




 Novel Tactics for Dealing with Pollution

http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/offbeat-tactics-to-deal-with-pollution-border-on-satire/?src=twr&_r=0

By Chris Buckley, December 10, 2013

Some sensible medical advice: Jamming cigarette butts up your nostrils will not ward off the acrid smog enveloping China, and is positively risky for your health. Thus some Chinese newspapers have told readers, in the most giddying example yet of how chronic air pollution is forcing citizens to desperate inventiveness.

Rumors have spread over the Internet in China that taking cigarette filters and inserting one into each nostril can block the tiny PM2.5 particles of pollution that make breathing difficult and cause respiratory ailments. Some people have posted pictures online demonstrating the technique, although it was often unclear whether the pictures were in jest or in earnest.

“A magical fix for coping with the haze,” said one message that has been repeated many thousands of times on Sina Weibo, a microblog site that is China’s most popular equivalent of Twitter. “Take two cigarette filters, strip away the wrapping paper, and insert them in the nostrils.”


Rumors about the do-it-yourself remedy recently became widespread enough that a couple of newspapers have forcefully warned readers not to take to the streets with cigarette ends poking from their noses.

“Doctors have stated that this technique will definitely obstruct air entering the nasal cavity, and will affect normal breathing,” the Changsha Evening News, a paper from Hunan Province in southern China, said on Tuesday. Threads from the filters might also enter users’ lungs, creating more complications, the report said.

To overcome any doubts, the intrepid reporter tried the technique.

“This reporter tried the advice from Internet users and discovered that after inserting cigarette filters into his nostrils, breathing was affected and there was also the odor of tobacco,” the report said.
On Monday, the Beijing Youth Daily gave similar advice from a respiratory doctor at an air force hospital: “Just from the effects on breathing, this method should not be used,” he said.

But some of the messages on the Internet about the method appeared to be rueful satire, rather than serious advice.

“There’s no doubt you die if you don’t breathe, but constantly breathing amounts to slow suicide,” said one comment on Sina Weibo. “Seems I should meekly stick two cigarette filters up my nose.”
Serious entrepreneurs have also spied a market in the goop of dust, vehicle exhaust and smoke from coal plants mixed with fog. One Beijing company has developed an “invisible mask” that offers fashion-conscious residents a way of filtering their nostrils without cigarette butts, Tech in Asia reported.

The smog is likely to hang over much of China throughout the winter, and experts have said that a real respite could be many years off. But a report in the People’s Daily, the main newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, on Wednesday offered a kind of solace: it told readers that rumors of a link between the haze and impending earthquakes were untrue.

“Current research has not found any necessary or clear link between haze and the occurrence of earthquakes,” said the paper. Phew.