It works really well for anyone wearing the special nose plugs. Otherwise it just makes everyone nauseous and gives them a headache. Personally, I don’t think it’s as effective as the Quantum deodorant I use.
Ah, dear Cowpokes. If there’s one thing that remains completely reliable in the World of Woo, it’s that people will relentlessly find ways to re-invent, repackage and re-market good ol’ H20 as some kind of miracle product. For your delectation this morning, I present to you the following newspaper snippet that comes to you courtesy of the Weekend Australian and my fellow tweeps(i) @johncarneyau & @DrRachie.
It is to laugh. Now, I have not dined in chef Teage Ezard’s restaurant(ii) but when I read something like this:
It’s one of the cleanest waters on the planet. It’s totally pure. And it gives the food a completely different flavour.
…I already know, without the need to do any further research, that the person saying it is a nitwit. Understand this, Mr Ezard: it’s not hard to make ‘totally pure’ or ‘clean’ water. Millions and millions of litres of it are created every day for one use or another. It’s done very simply: you boil it and condense it, or you filter it. THAT. IS. ALL.
But of course for block-headed pretentious chefs-de-cuisine and air-headed credulous journalist gourmands, that’s WAY too prosaic. They don’t want ‘pure’ water, they want magic water – ’2000 year old’ magic water from the bottom of the ocean, in this case.
Whoa, hang on there Faithful Acowlytes – no need to bang the tin cups on the bars. Yes, water from the ocean IS salty, even if it is old. So how can it be ‘pure’? Well, to answer that question we must visit the source of Chef Ezard’s mystical water, ‘the island paradise of Hawaii’ and consult the makers of the product in question: MaHaLo Hawaii Deep Sea Water.
[Cue Hawaiian guitars and hula dancers]
MaHaLo Hawaii Deep Sea drinking water comes to you from the island paradise of Hawaii, 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, where the water is naturally clean, pure, cold and filled with healthy minerals and nutrients.
Aha! Naturally clean, pure, cold and filled with healthy minerals! Righty-ho, that’s easy – nothing left to do but bung it in some bottles and ship it to the customers!
Koyo USA Corp. pumps the water into its ultra-modern processing facility, where it removes the excess sea salt and tests it for purity and content.
Wha? They have a processing facility? And they need to remove stuff? And then do tests? So when they told us before that their water is naturally clean and pure, they meant, ‘kinda sorta’, it seems.
Deep Sea Water contains abundant amounts of essential minerals like potassium, calcium and selenium, plus minute amounts of many of the trace elements such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese and chromium, which are missing from common surface water.
Maybe that’s so, but that’s not what’s getting into the bottle, is it?(iii) What MaHaLo is asking us to believe here is that they treat water in such a way that they can remove the sea salt, make the water ‘pure’ and still maintain its supposed magical balance of minerals. I’m highly skeptical of this. What I reckon happens in the MaHaLo plant is that they desalinate the water, measure its characteristics, and then add stuff back to it. This is not rocket science, nor is it particularly special – it happens in water bottling plants all over the planet.
These trace minerals help humans absorb the vitamins in food and pass these directly into the system.
Actually (and I’m prepared to stand corrected on this matter) I was under the impression that it’s vitamins that help the body absorb metals and minerals and not the other way around. Whatever the case, it’s plain bunk that you need to get necessary trace minerals from drinking water; whatever you need you can get from a healthy diet.
In some cases, bottled water marketed as “natural spring water” with pictures of mountain streams and lakes on the bottles’ labels is nothing more than filtered tap water.
That’s right. And in some other cases, bottled water marketed as “natural deep sea water”, with pictures of palm trees and rainbows on the bottles’ label is nothing more than filtered sea water.
We at Koyo USA take these deceptive claims very seriously and strive to meet and exceed EPA and FDA standards for our water.
The implication here is that there is something rare or special about meeting or exceeding EPA and FDA water quality requirements – this is a wondrous use of weasel language. ALL bottled water and even normal tap water is required to meet those standards. MaHaLo should be doing more than striving – they should be guaranteeing!
There is no healthier way to obtain all the nutrition your body requires from water than MaHaLo Hawaii Deep Sea® Water.
Nutrition? Really? Er… actually, your body doesn’t require any nutrition at all from water. I think they’re getting confused with food. What your body requires from water is water. Counting on water to provide nutrition is almost as dumb as counting on air to provide nutrition.
But perhaps I have this whole affair arse-about. Maybe that’s what Teage Ezard is getting at with his fancy boil-in-a-bag haute cuisine: there’s no nutrition in the food itself, so he’s hoping you’ll get it out of the water! It’s at least as plausible as claiming that it makes the food taste any different. I guess Chef Ezard feels compelled to do something flamboyant with MaHaLo Deep Sea Water: for the $13,000 per pallet that they apparently charge for it, you’d certainly not be wanting to piss the stuff away.(iv)
MaHaLo is certainly not spending any of their profits on their advertising. The commercial on their home page is one of the lamest, crummiest, least-persuasive ads I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen some. [↩]
Acowlytes! From the people who brought you Special One Drop Liquid and ShooTag (Froot Loop Central, that is) I present today for your delectation a new wonder of the modern age. Allow me to introduce, direct from Somerset’s Maperton Trust, the astonishing HELRU:
The Head Lice Repelling Unit (HELRU) is a small device using the latest technology to repel head lice from infesting children and adults.
“Awesome!” I hear you cry. “My head lice infestation is OUT OF CONTROL. I want a dozen of these things right now! But before I spend my money, how does it work?”
Ah yes Faithful Cowpoke, I have trained you well. It’s the very question I asked myself when I heard about this wonderful gadget. Fortunately for us, the Head Lice Control website has a comprehensive FAQ and our query is the first one on the list:
How does it work?
Without a comprehensive understanding of technology e.g. that used in space travel, it is not really possible to provide a very satisfactory answer.
That’s right, dear friends. Frequently Asked Questions are not necessarily Frequently Answered Questions. The technology that HELRU, uses IS rocket science! There’s no use us worrying our pretty little heads about all that technical stuff!(i) Just fork out £19 ($US31.00) and trust them! They say it’s science, and, gosh, therefore it must be!(ii) One thing is for certain – the cash you’re handing over for the HELRU gives you much better value than what you get from a ShooTag. The HELRU’s effects last for a very decent 2 years! And it has much more entertaining testimonials as well:
Please forward another head lice unit as soon as possible, my previous one went in the washing machine and now my son has started to come home with unwanted visitors.
Ma’am, it only protects against head lice, not Scientologists.
Elsewhere in the Maperton Trust Universe (which is most definitely not the same one in which the rest of us reside), you can get a free online treatment for anything that ails you! It’s as simple as clicking a button.(iii)
Yes, indeed, it does sound ‘incredible’. As in: ‘having no credibility’. But what the hey, all they want is an email address, what have I got to lose!(iv) Clicketty click!
The website counts down, during which time something is supposed to happen.
You know what, I have to confess I felt kind of ‘better’ afterwards. Not in a specific way, but a little more energized, maybe even a little happier… OH COME ON! Who believed me for even a second? The whole process is about as effective as putting Special One Drop Liquid on your CDs. I swear I could hear pinging sounds in my brain for the entire time. There is, however, a disclaimer (surprise!):
Not everyone ‘feels’ the effects of the treatment at the time it is being delivered. Sometimes no feelings are felt and no effects are noticed. Sometimes however, the benefits are only evident some time after the treatment has finished.
Righty-ho. So maybe I can expect a delayed effect. I fully expect it to kick in sometime this evening after a glass or two of the Quinta Ruban. Now that’s a proper special one drop liquid.
Perhaps the term ‘space travel’ is apropos in this context though; someone at the Maperton Trust is definitely on another planet. [↩]
Seriously, why don’t they just say it’s magic and be done with it? They have a picture of a unicorn on the damn thing for chrissakes! Why even bother with the pretense of science??? Actually, let me answer that question: They bother because they know that science works. They are trading on all the credentials of legitimate science (which they eschew when it doesn’t suit them) because proper science, done by proper scientists using proper scientific method, quite demonstrably has credibility. Unicorns, quite plainly, do not. [↩]
I wish I could give you a direct link to this wondrous resource, but this site must be one of the very last to use frames. Most people have figured out that frames mean far fewer hits on their pages and have abandoned them years back. That Maperton is stuck in teh intertubes Stone Age hardly surprises me. [↩]
I probably don’t have to tell you that you should not, under any circumstances, leave a real email address on a site like this. Usually – as is the case on the Maperton website – you don’t need to. It doesn’t even do a rudimentary check of address viability. So use this random identity generator and have at it! [↩]
♫ Everybody’s talks about a new world in the morning… new world in the morning so they say-ee-ay-ay… ♫ I myself don’t talk about a new world… Hey! WTF! What are you all doing here? Weren’t you killed by the earthquakes and the volcanoes and the asteroids? Goddamnit! Do you mean to say that I spent all that money on a Vivos Underground Fallout Shelter for nothing? You’re not going to tell me that noted astrologer Richard Nolle, who predicted apocalyptic events as the FULL moon approached perigee, and who was quoted on Space.com,(i) was wrong? Son of a bitch!
Yes loyal Cowpokes, it’s true. Once again, the unhinged blathering of a woo personage turns out to be categorically and unequivocally wrong. I’ll just say that again:
You can read about Space.com’s embarrassing article (which tries to pretend it’s not really quoting an astrologer), here, but for the real meat of this sandwich you need to read what Mr Nolle said, in his own waffly words:
Of course you can expect the usual: a surge in extreme tides along the coasts, a rash of moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions), and most especially in this case a dramatic spike in powerful storms with heavy precipitation, damaging winds and extreme electrical activity. Floods are a big part of the picture in this case, although some of these will be dry electrical storms that spark fast-spreading wildfires.(ii)
No doubt Mr Nolle will do what all purveyors of this kind of nonsense do when they are shown to be WRONG, and start claiming everything in the vicinity as an endorsement of his prediction, including the recent tragic Japanese tsunami.
That makes this [the date of the 'extreme supermoon'] a major geophysical stress window, centered on the actual alignment date but in effect from the 16th through the 22nd.
Geez. Even when he hedges his bets with the dates, he’s WRONG.(iii) The Japanese tsunami occurred on March 11. Of course, that won’t stop him!
The March 19 SuperMoon is by far the most significant storm and seismic indicator this month, but it’s not the only one. Lesser geocosmic shock windows also up the ante for unusually strong storms(iv) and moderate to severe seismic activity(v) (including(vi) magnitude 5+ earthquakes, subsequent tsunami, and volcanic eruptions). These lesser windows include March 1-7 (surrounding the new moon on the 4th), March 23-26 (bracketing the lunar south declination peak on the 25th), and from late on the 31st on into early April.(vii)
Hahaha. Look at all that risible equivocating (I’ve enumerated all the hedging for you in the footnotes). That covers just about every possible day in March and every possible earthquake above a magnitude 5. Since the planet experiences more than 1500 earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above every year (divide that by 12 months and you get over 125 magnitude 5+ earthquakes somewhere in the world every month) Nolle can make a prediction like this with complete impunity. When you include his dates for the Super Moon, Nolle has every day in March covered except March 8 – 15 and March 27 – 30! That’s predicting 20 whole days of March might possibly have an earthquake of magnitude 5+ somewhere in the world! And he still missed March 11! Whoopsy. I guess a fucking ginormous earthquake that causes massive tidal surges and kills thousands of people is easy to overlook with that extreme spike in electrical storms and amongst all the floods and volcanic eruptions. Oh wait. None of those happened on March 19 either.(viii)
So, let’s just see what scientists predicted for the approach of the Super Moon. John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey:
Practically speaking, you’ll never see any effect of lunar perigee. It’s somewhere between ‘It has no effect’ and ‘It’s so small you don’t see any effect.’
Who, I hope, are still sitting in the corner with their dunce cap on… [↩]
Gee, care to add anything else to that, Mr Nolle? Just in case that wide net misses something? [↩]
I’m posting this on March 20, Australian time, so there are are still three more fudge days to go, but you know what? I’m saying here and now that in those three days nothing at all of any geophysical significance will happen. I’m sure Mr Nolle is well on his way, though, to claiming that what he REALLY meant by his predictions was that the UN would endorse military strikes on Libya. That’s the way this stuff invariably works… [↩]
‘Unusually strong’ could mean anything more than a bit of blustery wind. [↩]
Moderate to severe? That’s really narrowing it down. [↩]
Including??? There’s a weasel term if ever I heard one – the addition of ‘including’ actually means that this sentence says in effect: “Any earth movements of any kind” [↩]
Into early April…? When’s ‘early’? April 5th? April 10th? Fuck me. [↩]
I’ll just note here for the sake of amusement, the introduction to Mr Nolle’s pages which says in part “If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad.” Got that? No mumbo-jumbo in this town, no way! [↩]
When I’m at home in my normal life, I don’t watch much tv, but living in LA without my family commitments I do end up with the odd spare half hour at the end of my day that needs to be filled with a little mindless distraction. And if mindless distraction is what you’re after, American television excels. For some reason(i) my brain is drawn to what used to be known as the Sci Fi Channel, but has recently been idiotically re-branded as SyFy. Judging by what SyFy dishes up, I can only assume this naff baby-speak appellation has been applied as an opening gambit in a profit-inspired move to drift the channel away from science fiction programming into a domain that consists of, well, anything that can be loosely assembled under the heading of ‘Crap’.
It’s a category which is headlined by one of SyFy’s own creations, Fact or Faked. Paranormal Files.(ii) The premise of the show is this: a bunch of ‘experts’ review a selection of videos sent in each week by viewers, and then pick their favourites to ‘investigate’. The opening credit sequence, weighty with overblown seriousness, introduces us to the members of the intrepid Fact or Faked team:
Ben: Former FBI Agent
Bill: Lead Scientist
Larry: Special Effects Expert
Chi Lan: Photography Expert
Austin: Stunt Expert
Call me shallow, but the very first time I watched the program I took an instant dislike to both Chi Lan and Jael – the former because she’s an opinionated airhead and the latter because I hate her name. Larry is basically an overly-serious nerd, Austin is a gullible prat and Ben looks like he was roped into the whole debacle against his wishes(iii) and is constantly planning his escape from the show.
But you will have sensed that I have saved my vitriol for Bill, the ‘scientist’. Simply put, Bill is an idiot. He is certainly not a scientist in any meaningful sense of the word.
In an effort of forbearance I will refrain from further description of the dumbness of the show itself, and instead just concentrate on a story that was on last night and one that I think demonstrates the full credentials of this team, who must surely all be card-carrying alumni of Scooby Doo University.
The story in question concerns a phenomenon called the Paulding Light Mystery. A video from YouTube shows a tree-lined hill with a bright light waxing and waning in a dusk sky. A ten second long grab (which Fact or Faked repeats over and over) features a mysteriously appealing visual effect as the light is refracted by atmospheric conditions or possibly some kind of lens aberration.
The Facts: If you go to a certain spot just outside the town of Paulding, Michigan, and look toward the south after dusk, you may see, depending on the weather conditions, a bright light just on the top of the tree line. The light may vary in brightness and duration and even sometimes in colour. It is an unusual phenomenon in the annals of the paranormal, in that the light appears quite reliably, with a frequency that has allowed a bit of a tourist industry to have risen around it. In other words, if you visit Paulding, there’s a pretty good chance that you too can see the light.
The Myth: The Paulding Light is said to be the spirit of a dead railway signalman who was crushed to death while trying to warn an oncoming train about another train stalled on the tracks ahead.
So there you have the setup. Let me try and give you some idea of how the Fact or Faked crew typically proceed when investigating something like the Paulding Light.
Dusk approaches. Jael, Austin and Bill have been assigned to this story. They arrive in their Scooby Doo Mystery Machine with a fully decked-out Paranormal Investigation Kit: gas sensors, Geiger counter, FLIR camera system, walkie talkies and a two-person mini all-terrain vehicle. People are already milling about in anticipation of being on television an appearance of the mysterious light.
To fill in some time the team does a couple of vox pops. First of all they badger some poor old lady into saying that she thinks that, yes, the Light is the spirit of the dead signalman. Her demeanour is less ‘genuine conviction’ than ‘How much are you going to pay me?’ Next, a rotund geeky chap steps up to the camera and says that, in his opinion, the Paulding Light might simply be car headlights. Uh-oh. A sensible person! Quick! Cut away to Austin leaping into the ATV – the Light has appeared!
This is as close as Fact or Faked ever comes to presenting anything like a balanced point of view.
The members of the Fact or Faked team then set about deploying their peculiar notion of what constitutes ‘science’ in an attempt to find an explanation for the phenomenon. In this show, Jael and Austin head off to the place where they assume the Light ‘must be’ and traipse around in the dark with the Geiger counter and the gas detector arriving at the conclusion that the Light isn’t produced by radioactivity or swamp gas. Around now I start throwing things at the television. Of course it isn’t, you pillocks – even the most obtuse of dunderheads could make a quick assessment of that theory and throw it out the window. It is obvious that you’d need a mighty outpouring of gas or nuclear energy to generate something as bright as the video shows – that’s not the kind of thing that goes undetected for 40 years.(iv)
Austin then heads off to a local airport and, with an ultra bright electric torch,(v) attempts to duplicate the phenomenon by getting a pilot in a light plane to fly low over the area in question. Well, it does make a bright light in the sky, but it’s plainly not the ground-level geographically fixed light that everyone is seeing. How is it that I don’t need to fly around in a plane to figure out that this is also not a plausible contender?
Then the team (grudgingly it seems to me) get down to the most frequently offered explanation for the Paulding Light – that it’s caused by car headlights from either US Highway 45, or the old Highway 45. They choose a segment of the highway that they have deemed the likely place for car headlights to be the culprit and Austin and Jael use their television credentials to get the cops to block off the road. They then drive back and forwards while communicating with Bill back at Sighting Central. Not a sausage. Bill can’t see them.
Instead of even contemplating that the spot they’ve chosen might actually be the wrong stretch of the road, the team hastily dismisses the car headlight explanation. Then, conveniently, before anyone can raise a finger in objection, the Paulding Light has reappeared. Now, with no explanation that satisfies the Fact or Faked ‘professionals’, it falls to Bill to suggest the next course of action.
I want to pause here for a moment and remind you that Bill is featured as the ‘lead scientist’ of this show. Are you containing that concept in your minds? Right then, lets forge on.
So, what is the best scientific strategy that Bill, lead scientist of Fact or Faked, can come up with at this juncture? I hope you don’t snort whisky out your nose like I did, when you learn that Bill’s suggestion is that they try EVP.(vi) Yes, that’s right, having ‘thoroughly exhausted all possibilities’, Bill, the scientist, determines that they should attempt to contact the Spirit World to find out more about the restless wraith of the phantom signalman. The next few minutes of the show, with Austin, Jael and Bill wandering around the Ottawa State Forest attempting to coax the spirit of a dead railway worker to leave a message on their audio recorders must rank as one of the most risible things I’ve ever witnessed on television. The Scooby Doo-ers seemed genuinely deflated when their recordings turned up nothing.
Jesus H Christ. What kind of dimwitted, brainless lunacy are these people peddling?
And that was where the show ended. With every single scientific explanation exhausted and without any spirit communications from the Ghostly Signalman to set the record straight, as far as Fact or Faked. Paranormal Files is concerned, the Paulding Light remains a total and unfathomable mystery…
So utterly unconvinced was I by the team’s findings that I immediately leapt from the couch and did what any sensible modern person would do – I searched for the full YouTube clip of the Paulding Light from which Fact or Faked clipped the brief segment that they used on the show.
I’ve embedded it below for your viewing pleasure. Just listen to the credulous amazement of the onlookers as they gaze upon the perplexing riddle of the Paulding Light! Ponder on why Fact or Faked chose to present to their audience the very small snippet at the head of the clip, rather than a bit at, oh, around about the 1 minute mark. Indeed – listen to someone on the audio track at around 3:15, tell you EXACTLY WHAT THE PAULDING LIGHT IS (as if you need to be told by that point because to any normal rational person it’s as obvious as a pig at a christening).
But heck – view the clip and make up your own mind about what the ‘mysterious’ Paulding Light might be: the spectre of a dismembered signalman? A nuclear explosion? Too much gas? I’m pretty sure you’re not going to come to the same conclusion as the insightful investigators from Fact or Faked.
I think it’s some vestige of a long-dashed hope that someday, somewhere, someone might actually make a decent science fiction movie – you know, one that is actually intelligent… Maybe that’s just too much to hope for. [↩]
It REALLY annoys me that there is no question mark after the ‘Faked’. If it’s not a question and is just a statement, why do we need a tv show, you morons? [↩]
No doubt so the producers could flaunt his FBI credentials… [↩]
These people plainly haven’t got a clue about how nuclear fission works. The amount of radioactivity generated by something that could create a light as bright as the Paulding Light would have contaminated everything within several hundred miles. The lame Ghostbusters-style traipsing-around-in-the-dark-with-a-Geiger counter is nonsense of the highest order. [↩]
Now THIS is impressive – 25 million candlepower, according to Austin. Mind you, since ForF plays loose and fast with the facts everywhere else, I’m not sure we can take his word for it. This of course is one of the problems with a show like this – if there are actually any facts present, they get swamped under the tide of make-believe, rendering everything questionable… [↩]
You may remember that I discussed EVP at length on The Cow some time ago, including my personal experiences with it. [↩]