TRC #325: Cells On A Plane + Effective Donating Revisited + Sad Music

sadmusicbabyOn this week’s show, Adam rings in about whether we really have to turn off cell phones on a plane, Darren contributes by revisiting effective donating, and Cristina conducts a minor segment about why we listen to sad music when we’re sad.

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Cell Phone Use on a Plane

inFace: Cell Phones on Airplanes

Turn Off That Phone! – How Things Work – Air & Space Magazine

Picocell – Wikipedia

Mobile phones on aircraft – Wikipedia

Effective Donating

Dean Karlan


Charity Science

How to donate to GiveWell charities tax-efficiently

Why Sad Music Makes Us Sad

Sad Music Induces Pleasant Emotion

Sad Music Induces Pleasant Emotion Original Research Article


The Paradox of Music-Evoked Sadness: An Online Survey

We Listen to Sad Music to Feel Nostalgic

The Reason We Enjoy Sad Music

There’s A Reason You Love Sad Music After A Breakup, New Study Says

Why We Like Sad Music


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3 Responses to TRC #325: Cells On A Plane + Effective Donating Revisited + Sad Music

  1. Rod Vokey says:

    One of the early reasons why you were discouraged from making cell phone calls in the air is that you hit too many cells from altitude which confused the older cell technology and caused some degree of communication overload.

    As far as impacting aircraft systems, in the early days when these rules arose the main systems that were in use for navigation were the VOR and ILS which worked in the VHF ranges and to a lesser degree NDB which operated overlapping the lower AM radio frequencies. In fact you could use AM transmitters as navigation beacons.

    The most critical time relative to interference is landing – especially in bad weather. When landing in such conditions you are dependent on the navigation aids (e.g. ILS) to get you within sight of the runway without encountering any terrain (e.g. mountain) or other obstruction. If something interfered at that point it could be dangerous. OTOH, most devices are not in the frequency ranges that would matter.

    If I were to ignore the rules, I would tend NOT to do so when landing in IFR conditions.

  2. Paul Buhler says:

    Sometimes when I hear a pilot say unauthorized cellphone use caused a navigation error, I wonder is it possible the pilot is relying on the cellphone as an excuse for a mistake that occurred in the cockpit? “Arguments about the effect of mobile phones on planes’ guidance systems aside, wouldn’t somebody, either in the cockpit or in air traffic control, have noticed the plane wasn’t where it was supposed to be? The plane was supposed to land at the Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, which opened in July, but instead landed at the city’s old airport. Sounds like somebody just screwed up, rather than a phone being to blame.” And I liked this comment from the above article, ”
    If cell phones were really dangerous on airplanes, don�t you think terrorists would have figured out that it is way easier to ship a box of cell phones next day air, than it is to smuggle a knife on to a commercial airline?”
    But there no easy solutions to this problem, as Wikipedia notes, “On the other hand, official aviation agencies and safety boards are resisting any relaxation of the present safety rules unless and until it can be conclusively shown that it would be safe to do so. There are both technical and social factors which make the issues more complex than a simple discussion of safety versus hazard.” And the 737 landing error may involve more than just a cell phone. As the ASRS database noted, “AN ACR B737-700 CREW, ON APCH TO BWI RWY 10, ATTRIBUTES BEING OFF COURSE TO POSSIBLE UNAUTH USE OF CELL PHONES PROMPTED BY A CABIN ANNOUNCEMENT. THE INABILITY OF THE CREW TO BOTH BE ON THE ILS FREQ BECAUSE OF THE APCH DESIGN, ALSO MAYBE A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.” ACN: 576709 (52 of 77)

  3. Pingback: The Reality Check – Darren McKee: Effective Donating Revisited | EARadio

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