Faithful Acowlytes! Have you put on a few pounds over the winter?(i) Has your flat stomach been Autocorrected into a flab stomach? Would you like your former Olive Oyl profile back once more? Well then friends, let me tell you all about the miraculous LifeChange Diet, featuring amazing ‘bioresonance’ drops! Yes, these wondrous drops in conjunction with ‘a strict low calorie/low GI diet’ just about guarantee that you’ll shed those unwanted kilos in no time.
But first, before we get too excited, we might examine the above magazine clipping (thoughtfully sent in by Cissy Strutt) with the TCA Bullshit Magnifier™ to see what it throws up.
First of all, you might be forgiven for thinking that popstar-cum-clotheshorse Carmen Electra has anything at all to do with the LifeChange Diet. She doesn’t. Well, not the LifeChange Diet being promoted in the text by Sydney naturopath Danielle Berends, anyway. But maybe that’s my mistake. The credit does say Carmel Electra, so perhaps it’s Carmen’s lesser known twin sister doing the promoting. You might also be forgiven for thinking that the drops Carmel is talking about have anything to do with the drops that Danielle is hawking. They don’t. At least, if they are the same product, they don’t make a big thing of it on the LifeChange Diet website, and probably for good reason: HCG Platinum Drops are not in the good books of the US Food & Drug Administration, who have found the drops to be in violation of numerous FDA standards and that ‘…there is no evidence that they are generally recognized as safe and effective for their intended uses.’
But hey, it’s not hard to accidentally put the wrong photo and caption on your text, right? Maybe these ones were meant to go on the story ‘Bogus Weight Loss Drugs promoted by Idiot Celebrity’ and there was a bit of a mixup. It’s easy to see how that could happen.
So, what then does the LifeChange Diet website have to say about these awesome homeopathic drops. Let’s look at the Bioresonance page (because we just know that’s gonna be good):
The LifeChange Diet combines an easy to follow structured diet program with bioresonance technology, in the form of specially formulated bioresonance drops.
But what is bioresonance technology? That’s a very common question.
Bioresonance technology was introduced by German scientists in the 1970’s. Its foundation is based around the body’s energy system.
In bioresonance therapy, the transmission and receipt of electromagnetic frequencies is used to identify and support your energetic status.
All the cells in your body emit and communicate via electromagnetic frequencies. In a healthy body, this communication is free and the body functions as it was designed to do.
Well, I agree that ‘What is bioresonance technology?’ is probably a common question from those hearing of this scheme. Indeed, I asked it myself, although it was more along the lines of ‘Jesus H Christ, what the fuck is bioresonance technology?’ But, the internets being right at our fingertips & all, it’s only a moment’s work to fire up our favourite Search™ engine and plug in ‘bioresonance’ and ‘German scientists’. The very first result we get is this Wikipedia(ii) article on ‘bioresonance therapy‘ which begins with the explanation that ‘Bioresonance therapy is a pseudo-scientific medical concept…’ I guess that wasn’t much of a surprise. Bioresonance was ‘discovered’ in 1977 by Franz Morell who, after seeing a Scientology E-Meter, created his own version of it, along with a whole heap of baloney to explain its supposed working mechanism. Needless to say this centers principally around the vagueness of concepts like ‘electromagnetic frequencies’ and ‘energy flow’ so beloved of woo peddlars across the globe, a club of whom we must consider LifeChange a card-carrying member.
Simply put, the wondrous drops that the LifeChange Diet promotes as part of its weight-loss scheme are nothing more than magic water. Yet again.
I guess you all saw it, right, at the beginning of this post? The diet promoted by this racket – ‘a strict low calorie/low GI’ food intake – by itself will guarantee that you lose weight. The magic drops are total bullshit, and I say these people know it.
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. [↩]
Tetherd Cow Ahead Presents: The Baffling Bible
Episode #5: Jesus and the Fig Tree
When I was a kid in Sunday School, I learned lots about the life of Jesus. I knew the stories of the Sermon on the Mount, the casting out of demons into swine, the miracle of the loaves & fishes, the overturning of the moneylenders’ tables in the tabernacle and many other colourful yarns that have turned out to have about as much relevance to my adult life as they did to my ten-year-old self.
One baffling tale that doesn’t usually get much of an airing when the life of Our Lord is being recounted, though, is the story of Jesus and the Fig Tree. It certainly didn’t make it into my Bible class back in the day – I think it’s just possible that’s because a ten-year-old might’ve empathized with it all too well.
To set the the scene: Jesus has returned from his 40 days and nights in the desert where he has had a lengthy hobnob with God, and is traipsing across the countryside accumulating crowds(i) of the faithful and assembling the cabal of chaps who would end up as his apostles. This is the Jesus of Matthew and Mark. This is the Jesus we all know and love from the comic books; he has just appeared to his followers (and Matthew & Mark’s readers) in dazzling white raiment which of course proves he is not just some guy like all the other common-garden-variety Messiahs who were touring the land at the time. In addition, he takes every opportunity to voice noble (if mostly obvious and occasionally curious) moral advice, and he performs miracles. Lots of them.(ii)
The Story of the Fig Tree is one such miracle. We’ll take up the tale with Jesus waking up one morning after having spent the night in the countryside outside Jerusalem (somewhere around here I figure). Over to Matthew to relate the tale in his compelling literary style:
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
In other words, because Jesus was hungry and there were no figs, he threw a tantrum and did the supernatural equivalent of punching his fist through the wall: he put a curse on the tree. Kapow! Take THAT you stupid tree! I’ll teach you not to have figs out of season!
Now religious scholars are quick to put forward all kinds of explanations for this decidedly tetchy Saviour behaviour. It’s certainly not fashionable these days to have Jesus to appear to petulantly invoke his super powers out of spite, so most modern Christian scholars interpret the story of Jesus and the Fig Tree as some kind of metaphorical statement about the condition and the predicted eventual fate of the Jewish nation.
But I want you to pause and reflect on that for a moment. None of Jesus’ other miracles get the ‘allegory’ explanation. If Jesus does a really cool thing – like healing a blind man, say, or walking across a lake – that’s not a metaphor. That’s a myrrh-soaked, gold-plated, frankinsence-doused, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-and-never-be-resurrected MIRACLE! But when Our Lord chucks a tanty and fries a fig tree, well then, that must be symbolic…
That’s all well and good, and I might even buy it except for one thing: both Matthew and Mark independently make the effort to point out that Jesus was hungry. This tiny detail makes nonsense of the fall-of-the-Jewish-nation explanation. How does that high-falutin’ symbolism have anything to do with Jesus not getting breakfast? Plus, it just gives the whole story a ring of truth – I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
No, Faithful Acowlytes, I believe that the most reasonable hypothesis for this story is that Jesus just got out of bed on the wrong side and took his grumpiness out on the first thing he saw (and I offer this as scientific endorsement of my assertion). Luckily it was just a tree – his dad had something of a tendency to take his pique out on entire cities.
Or maybe, just maybe, the Westboro Baptist Church has had it right all along, only their bibles have a small typographical error…
We should take mentions of ‘crowds’ in the Bible with a grain of salt. That part of the world was not especially densely populated at that time, and I suspect that if you got a toothless man and his wife and their goat to come out and look at you, that probably counted as a ‘crowd’. Especially in the eyes of someone spinning a yarn to beat up some PR, as Matt and Mark unquestionably are. [↩]
I feel I have to point out that, in the light of the way we are familiar with ‘healings’ & clairvoyance and visions of the Virgin and other contemporary ‘miracles’, you don’t have to try too hard to come up with fairly reasonable non-supernatural explanations for all Jesus’ marvellous conjurations. And given nearly 20 centuries of undoubted ‘embroidery’, well… [↩]
I’m not one for patriotism. In this rapidly shrinking world I feel that the idea of ‘belonging’ to one country or another is as silly as forever waving a flag for the town where you were born(i) But sometimes, sometimes, along comes an event that makes me truly proud to be Australian.
This morning I read in the Guardian of one such event. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to announce to you, direct from Australia … Space Beer.
That’s right friends, the 4 Pines Brewing Company in Sydney, Australia, is proposing to go where no brewery has gone before by concocting a malty beverage fit for astronauts.
Humanity loves beer. We always have and always will. The Space tourism market is emerging and will take off in less than 2-years, with thousands of screaming, happy space fans booked on suborbital flights. Guaranteed some of them will want the option to enjoy a brew while looking at our big Blue Globe. Why deny them the chance?
Why indeed?! To this end, Jaron Mitchell and Jason Held from 4 Pines have developed their Vostok 4 Pines Stout, which, like good scientists, they have tested under the conditions in which it will be consumed.
A microgravity expert from the non-profit organization Astronauts4Hire (A4H) provided the test subject. The tester, who also works part-time as an in-flight coach for ZERO-G, had over 300 parabolas in microgravity. The tester consumed nearly 1-litre of the beer during weightless portions of the flight, while recording basic biometric data to track effects of the experiment.
This obviously gives the ‘vomit comet’ a whole new level of potential.
Making a brew suitable for consumption in zero gravity is not all beer & skittles though. There are a few obstacles to be overcome:
Beer aficionados will notice two differences when drinking in space. First, the sense of taste is reduced due to mild swelling of the tongue. Second, drinking beers can be uncomfortable—bubbles do not rise to the top, because there is no “top” in space. Gasses and liquids don’t like to separate. So if you have to burp, you will burp both beer and bubbles.
Hmmm. Beer-bubble-burps. Not something you might like to inflict on that groovy zero-g chick you have your eye on.
Undaunted, 4 Pines has pushed on to address these problems by re-engineering one of their previous award-winning beers to create the new highly-flavoured space stout.
This is not a “novelty beer” with the same bland taste as your normal stuff. This is a craft beer. It is meant first for people who love beer so it MUST TASTE SUPERB on Earth.
Of course you don’t need wait for your Virgin Galactic flight to sample Vostok 4 Pines – it’s already available Earthside. But only for Australians. Sorry foreign folks: that’s one of the perks you get for living in a country of innovation!(ii)
Faithful Acowlytes! Have you always longed for an alcoholic beverage that contained its own hangover cure? Have you ever wondered why there’s a créme de menthe and a créme de cacao but not a créme de pork? Do you find yourself constantly disappointed that a Bloody Mary is a little too vegetarian for your taste? Well my lucky Cowpokes, your prayers(i) have finally been answered. Allow me to introduce for your imbibory(ii) pleasure Bakon Vodka. Bakon Vodka takes the clean clinical precision of superior quality potato vodka and smooshes its molecules with the smoked meaty taste of hog flesh.
In past musings we’ve featured vodka here on The Cow, and also brought to your attention the dawn of the pork-flavoured cocktail. It was of course inevitable that these two ideas would eventually coalesce into one streamlined commercial concept.
Bakon Vodka, promoting itself as Pure. Refreshing. Bacon. (‘pure’ and ‘refreshing’ being two words not typically found in the same sentence as ‘bacon’), claims to be a part of a burgeoning trend for ‘Carnivorous’ Cocktails. Sadly there are no further examples of this supposed fad on the Bakon Vodka website, which, as I’m sure you will understand, came as a great disappointment to me.(iii)
My despondency was short lived, however, when I found the Bakon Vodka recipe page. Oh joy! Here I discovered all manner of liquidy alcoholic bacon concoctions, including the Hawaiian Luau (Bakon Vodka, Pineapple Juice and Butterscotch Schnapps), the Scottish Bacon (Bakon Vodka and Scotch) and the Russian Rural Sunrise (Bakon Vodka, Orange Juice and Grenadine)(iv), and Bakon Nog (Bakon Vodka and Egg Nog). That last is obviously something you’d drink at hogmanay.
And then there’s the Elvis Presley.
Yup. It’s the perfect way to toast your favourite overweight rock legend. The King is Dead! Long Live the King!
In the United States of America, around 30 kilograms (66lb) of beef is eaten per capita every year.(i) That’s over 9 million metric tons of cow meat.(ii)
That’s a lot of cows. And a lot of cows take up a lot of space and use up a lot of feed. The Guardian reports this morning that Professor Richard Gradwohl of Washington state has come up with a solution to this problem by spearheading a drive for miniature cattle. Gradwohl’s farm boasts 18 breeds of miniature cows, including ‘microminiature’ varieties that stand just over a meter (one yard) tall. He claims that 10 miniature cows can be raised on the same amount of land as two full size cows, using just one third the feed and producing half the amount of methane. Sheer genius. Not only that, the tinier the cow, the better it tastes, according to the Guardian article.
Of course, here at the Tetherd Cow Ahead laboratories, the boffins were quick to see the potential of this scheme. “Why stop at merely ‘miniature’ cows?” asked the Head Boffin, “Surely if you make the cows even smaller you can make even greater savings and get even tastier beef!”
That’s why he earns the big bucks! To this end, I have set the laboratories to work creating the first nano cows. By my calculations, using the savings in feedstock and land that Gradwhol’s reductions in size have achieved, the shrinking of cows to nanoscale should mean that a million cows could fit on one square centimeter of farmland and would only need a blade of grass per year. On the five acre pasture that Gradwohl uses to raise ten mini cows, TCA Labs can raise trillions of cows, producing a billionth of the methane of conventional cows and yielding enough beef for one thousand billion billion McDonalds’ all-beef patties every month.(iii)
I also have the labs investigating what happens when the miniaturization process ‘goes homeopathic’ (as we say in the science business). What this means is that once the cattle are shrunk past a certain size, Gilbert Einstein’s famous equation E=M¾ kicks in and the cows become ethereal. The beef yield simultaneously becomes infinite. Needless to say, the taste of flame-grilled steaks also improves immeasurably via this process.
Here in the Land of Shoo!TAG, I don’t see how I can possibly fail to get some investment interest.
According to the Guardian article linked here. A search around the web mostly gives numbers higher than that. [↩]