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  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • LAURA LING: We're driving to Green Bank, West Virginia,

  • and the radio just went out, I lost cellphone service,

  • no Wi-Fi.

  • And that's because we just entered the National Radio

  • Quiet Zone.

  • It's been called the quietest place in America.

  • There are no cellphone towers, Wi-Fi is highly restricted,

  • microwaves too.

  • The US National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile area

  • was established in 1958 to protect telescopes

  • like these from electromagnetic frequencies

  • that could cause harmful interference.

  • We went 450 feet up to the very top

  • of the world's largest steerable radio telescope

  • in Green Bank, West Virginia.

  • In being up here, I feel like a speck on the earth.

  • JAY LOCKMAN: What it's used for really

  • makes me feel like a speck on the earth,

  • because it's used by scientists to study

  • things that are going on very far out in the universe.

  • Stars that are being formed, or stars that are dying,

  • galaxies and their collisions.

  • People have looked for life using this telescope.

  • LAURA LING: What makes this particular telescope unique?

  • JAY LOCKMAN: What makes it unique is, for one thing,

  • it's location.

  • It's in the National Radio Quiet Zone,

  • and so we're free from a lot of the man-made interference that

  • would really block study of sensitive signals.

  • The tiniest little transmitter, even

  • things like cellphones or even the kind of transmitters

  • that are in your digital camera would wipe out the signals.

  • Another thing is its sheer size.

  • It's a very good, very precise tracking instrument,

  • so a lot of things put together make

  • it an absolute unique instrument for the study

  • of a large range of phenomena out there in the universe.

  • LAURA LING: Do some people feel as if they're

  • living in a little bubble here?

  • JAY LOCKMAN: In a sense, I feel like I'm

  • living in the little wonderland, because we have

  • this great science going on here,

  • and I suppose there are people that

  • can't imagine doing without cellular service,

  • but for most of human history we managed quite well.

  • Think of it as living in 1980.

  • LAURA LING: I love the '80s.

  • JAY LOCKMAN: Well, the fashion left something to be desired.

  • LAURA LING: Jonah Bauserman patrols the 10-mile radius

  • around the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

  • to make sure there are no electromagnetic frequencies

  • that might interfere with the telescopes.

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: This is actually NRAO property,

  • you know, the folks that live here sign a rental agreement,

  • and it basically says you are not

  • allowed to have microwave ovens, Wi-Fi, cordless telephones.

  • Anything that could transmit a signal is strictly forbidden.

  • LAURA LING: So no Lean Cuisines for these guys for dinner?

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: Nope Or they have to figure out

  • another alternative to cook it.

  • LAURA LING: I mean, it does seem in some ways

  • that this town is kind of from a different era.

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: It is a unique area.

  • We're kind of locked back in time, if you will.

  • LAURA LING: The National Radio Quiet Zone is not only

  • a place of scientific research and discovery,

  • it's become a haven of sorts for people

  • who believe they suffer from a condition known

  • as electromagnetic hypersensitivity,

  • that electromagnetic fields make them sick.

  • DIANE SCHOU: I got a headache that

  • was like a sledgehammer on the head.

  • JENNIFER WOOD: I started losing weight really fast.

  • I got emaciated.

  • The doctors were really frightened.

  • They thought maybe I had cancer.

  • MELISSA CHALMERS: I was very nauseous.

  • I was throwing up all the time.

  • Every moment of every day was absolute torture.

  • LAURA LING: Diane Schou, Jennifer Wood,

  • and Melissa Chalmers are among the few dozen people who

  • have moved to Green Bank in the last few years

  • to try to escape the ever-growing reach

  • of Wi-Fi technology.

  • What sorts of things were making you sick?

  • DIANE SCHOU: Well, originally it was just

  • the cellphone tower that was near my home,

  • but after that it became cellphones,

  • and eventually it also morphed into power lines,

  • electrical devices, fluorescent lights are horrible.

  • The electricity became so painful

  • that when the neighbor ran her coffee maker,

  • I was in such pain, with such a headache

  • and, oh, that really hurt.

  • MELISSA CHALMERS: When I was using the phone,

  • after couple minutes, I would start getting numb

  • on this side of my face, and so I would turn it off,

  • but then the last time I used it,

  • my face went numb for two weeks.

  • JENNIFER WOOD: A lot of houses I can't even be in,

  • so this is why I hand-built my own house with no electricity.

  • LAURA LING: There are some people

  • who say that what you're suffering

  • from is not a condition, it's an affliction, it's in your head.

  • How does that make you feel?

  • DIANE SCHOU: They're uneducated.

  • They are closed minded, and they are selfish.

  • It is real.

  • It is true.

  • LAURA LING: How did you feel when

  • you arrived in this quiet zone?

  • MELISSA CHALMERS: I felt great, actually.

  • You know, at one point, my whole body just relaxed.

  • DIANE SCHOU: By getting away, I was able to recover.

  • I do have electricity in my home.

  • I use it carefully.

  • So therefore, I do have a computer.

  • I can go to local grocery store, I can go to church.

  • I can be with people, and they're not carrying

  • a cell phone in their pocket.

  • JENNIFER WOOD: As soon as I moved in,

  • I was completely out of all electrical fields and all cell

  • phone reception.

  • Within two weeks, I noticed I was already gaining weight.

  • MELISSA CHALMERS: It took a couple days

  • for the ringing in my ears to stop here, and after two days

  • I never wanted to leave.

  • There no other place like it that I've seen.

  • LAURA LING: But as technology continues to creep in,

  • things may be getting a little louder in the quiet zone.

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: We've got quite a few Wi-Fi modems here

  • in the area.

  • These could potentially cause harmful radio frequency

  • interference to the telescope.

  • I would say there's probably maybe 40, maybe 50 Wi-Fi modems

  • just driving through the town of Green Bank.

  • LAURA LING: Wow, that's a lot of Wi-Fi for the town that's

  • not supposed to have any Wi-Fi.

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: It's a little bit disheartening,

  • but it is what it is, I suppose.

  • LAURA LING: Even though they're not supposed to,

  • people here are accessing things such as wireless technology,

  • and so you have to wonder, how long can this place truly

  • remain a quiet zone?

  • MELISSA CHALMERS: I think eventually the zone

  • will be threatened.

  • People are going to want to use the technology,

  • because they want to use it.

  • I don't know what I'll do.

  • JONAH BAUSERMAN: The type of science that we're doing here

  • is not just for right here, right now,

  • in this day and time.

  • It's for the next generation.

  • The universe is vast, it's huge, it's magnificent,

  • and to be able to take a tool like this

  • and look back through time is just astounding to me.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • LAURA LING: Be sure to watch one of these other episodes.

  • Click the top video for a look into the science

  • behind fecal transplants and how it's saving lives.

  • Or click the bottom video to see how a Hollywood stunt man

  • mentally prepares to get lit on fire.

  • Thanks for watching, and please subscribe.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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B1 中級 美國腔

美國小鎮禁止使用手機和Wi-Fi。 (The American Town Banning Cell Phones and Wi-Fi)

  • 236 13
    Flora Hu 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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