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Archive for October, 2010

The 2010 Shonky Awards

I have to admit, I’m sitting here feeling a little bit smug this morning. As my many avid readers (hi Mum!)  are probably aware my very first blog post was about the Power Balance Band.  I was so enraged by the stupidity of the useless rubber arm band that I was spurred into action (well my nerdy version of action).

So it was with great pleasure that I read the news that Power Balance Bands have been awarded a Shonky award for 2010 by CHOICE a leading consumer advocate group in Australia.

For those of you unfamiliar with the band it is a silicone band that comes in various colours that has a useless hologram sticker stuck in it, oh wait, no, sorry it’s a  “Mylar hologram designed to react with the body s natural energy flow.”

When worn Power Balance claims that these bands will increase your, strength, agility and balance, magic!  Of course the company has a whole bunch of incomprehensible pseudo-science jargon to back up their claims, but basically, it’s bullshit.

The CHOICE Shonky Awards are given out annually to deserving crap products and this was what they had to say about Power Balance making the list:

“We CHOICE sceptics did our own testing under controlled laboratory conditions – after all, you can’t believe everything you see on TV – and verified the Skeptics’ findings. The money-back guarantee, however, did work. The only power this bracelet seems to have, placebo effect notwithstanding, is in tipping its distributor’s bank balance well and truly into the black – they’re reportedly raking it in. So, if a fool and his money are soon parted, there are apparently plenty of fools out there – and they’re all conveniently identified with a rubber band bracelet. If you see one, offer to sell them a bridge.”

Well said CHOICE, well said. So even though this obviously crap product has been proven yet again to be a fake, people still aren’t willing to admit they’ve been had, this is an excerpt from the Telegraph today as quoted from Andrew Wood, a personal trainer and triathlete from Sydney, who had worn one of the bands for months:

 “I don’t put it on thinking I’m Samson and take it off and think all my power is gone … but you do start getting attached to it so I probably will keep wearing it. I’m less taken by all the hype around its energy systems.”

Less taken in?! Jesus, there is no helping some people, as CHOICE said, at least now they are identifiable by their little bracelets.

Coles “$10 meal” promotion with Curtis Stone also received an award. The premise of the promotion is that you could follow the special recipes handed out at Coles and make a gourmet meal to feed up to four people for less than $10. CHOICE found this to not be the complete truth, unless  you happen to have some of the stuff in your pantry already and you manage to convince Coles to let you buy two cloves of garlic or one bay leaf. CHOICE calculated Curtis’ $7.76 Coq au vin would cost $37.74 if you bought all the necessary ingredients – including the integral half-litre of vin, which somehow wasn’t included in the $7.76 (though you’d perhaps hope not for that price). And it wasn’t just that recipe – the $9.99 Chicken Tikka Masala would set you back $39.74.

Also in the CHOICE line of fire was Nurofen, and more specifically it’s targeted pain relief tablets (neck, back etc) that contain identical ingredients to regular Nurofen pain relief tablets and yet cost more money. Bravo Nurofen, even I fell for that one. I’m the kind of moron who says “My back hurts, give me some back pain relief! No damn it! I said back not shoulders!”

Hmmm maybe I’ve been to harsh on the Power Balance victims, everyone gets taken in by some scam or another. The important thing to do now is to cut your losses, admit defeat, take off the fucking band!

O.k. you got scammed, and it doesn’t feel nice. Nobody likes looking silly, but you’re going to look a lot more silly if you keep clinging to the bands and defending them in the face of all the logical evidence. if you want some dignity back, I would suggest you find some other Power Balance victims and have yourself a little lawsuit. Unfortunately history has shown time and time again that even though the emporer has no clothes everyone would rather pretend he does than admit that they’ve been fooled.

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Revenge, Is It Worth It?

Historically, there are two schools of thought on revenge. The Bible, in Exodus 21:23, instructs us to “give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” to punish an offender. Then, more than 2,000 years later, Martin Luther King Jr., responded, “The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”

Who’s right? I think it’s possible that both theories have some merit, while exacting revenge may make you feel as if you have taken back some control or power in a hopeless situation, revenge comes at a price. Instead of helping you move on with your life, it can leave you dwelling on the situation and remaining unhappy. Considering revenge is a very human response to feeling slighted, humans are atrocious at predicting its effects.

When Revenge Goes Wrong

While wanting revenge at someone who has slighted you may be a knee-jerk reaction, it is sometimes best to take the time to think about the possible consequences of your actions. Take Marie Lupe Cooley ( 41, of Jacksonville, Fla.) When Marie saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper for a position that looked suspiciously like her current job — and with her boss’s phone number listed — she assumed she was about to be fired.

So,  she went to the architectural office where she works late Sunday night and erased 7 years’ worth of drawings and blueprints, estimated to be worth $2.5 million.

It didn’t take Steven Hutchins, owner of the architectural firm that bears his name, much time to figure out who’d done it — Cooley was the only other person who had full access to the files. Police arrested Cooley Monday evening and charged her with causing greater than $1,000 damage to computer files, a felony. She was bailed out the following afternoon.As for the job, Cooley originally wasn’t in danger of losing it. The ad was for Hutchins’ wife’s company.

Whoops. So Marie pretty much went and fucked everything up, all because she jumped to conclusions and sought out vengeance without taking time to think things through. Think it through people! Figure out whether or not it is worth it to you.

When It’s Not Worth It

It’s not worth it if taking that revenge is going to hurt you as much as it hurts them. It’s not worth it if it’s aimed at someone you still care about, because deep down, you’re going to regret it. It’s not worth it if the revenge means that you continue to dwell on the person or situation that brought you to wanting revenge. If plotting revenge is stopping you from moving on and getting some closure from the situation, it’s not worth it. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is move on, continue being awesome and forget about it. That other person is already fucked, they have to wake up every day and be themselves, they have to live their lame life. You get to wake up and be you! You’re fabulous! (I love your hair like that by the way.)

When It Is Worth It

When you’re dealing with a situation or a person that has left you feeling completely impotent, revenge can be a way to take some power back for yourself.  Will signing your cheating ex up for various charity and telemarketing lists solve all your problems? No, but it might make you feel a little bit better knowing that at least you’ve done something to release some pain, it may not be the healthiest thing, but at least it’s something.

To summarize, I’m not going to be one of those people who says “revenge is never worth it.”  I think that vengeance has its merits, (I’m a fan of it myself, so I advise you never to cross me bitches) The only advice I’m going to give on the matter is think before you act, is your form of revenge going to come back and bite you in the arse? It’s not worth going to jail just to get back at someone who has wronged you. Like the saying goes, the best form of revenge is leading a good life, (just make sure you have that person on your Facebook friends list so that they are forced to see how awesome your life is).

Until next time gentle reader, peace out and stay rad.

What Does Your Facebook Profile Picture Say About You?

Facebook is a great way to express yourself. It’s a great way to make new friends and connect with old friends (and rub your awesome life in their faces) Facebook is a useful tool indeed, but have you ever stopped to think about how you may be coming across? What first impressions you may be making? Something as simple as your profile picture can speak volumes about you. Lets have a look at some different types of Facebook profile photos and see how they come across to other people.

 

The Duck-face

The duck face is a well documented phenomenon, seemingly sane and normal human beings will be smiling away with their natural beautiful smiles until… The camera comes out. The minute the humans with their fragile egos and false bravado see that camera they all suddenly begin to make and identical face. They purse their lips together and stick them out, they also widen their eyes to an unnatural level, they may also slightly tilt their heads. The result is a ridiculous caricature of a human face. So why do we do it? Because it looks sexy, duh!

The duck-face is an extremely common Facebook profile picture, but what is it saying about you?

Whenever I see this face, my first instinct is to think, get some confidence! Be proud of your face, work with what you got baby! Always present your best face to the world, and your duckface isn’t it. For more information on the duck-face epidemic visit Antiduckface.com.

The Myspace 

The MySpace shot is a self-portrait. This photo is taken by holding a camera at arms length above your head and looking up at the camera. This type of photo was made popular during the rise of MySpace and continues to be a Facebook standard, especially among teenage girls. This type of photo is used mainly by women because it is a good way to showcase your best features (eg. your eyes and hair) and it allows you to hide the parts of yourself you may be less willing to show off (eg your body.) This shot says to me “I’m 17 and this is the sexiest picture my parents will let me put online” There is no excuse to have this photo as an adult.

 The Arty shot

The arty shot is a good way to showcase your personality as well as your physical appearance, it’s a way to say “I am above the superficial need to look pretty, I am an intellectual.”  Popular amongst hip young urbanites in their twenties, the arty shot is a regular in Facebook profile shots. This type of profile picture comes in handy for one thing, keeping people like me away from you. The minute I see someone using a shot like this for their profile the pretentious warning bells start going off in my head. I can quickly see that this is the type of person that only drinks coffee that has “passed through” various rare animals and listens to avant-garde music. If you come across this type of person,  in the immortal words of Iron Maiden “Run for your life!”

The Inanimate Object

The inanimate object shot is a picture of anything, could be a car, could be a tree, but it ain’t you. These photos are popular because you can use them to show people things that you like, things that you might believe represent a part of your personality, or it might just be that you seriously don’t have any photos of yourself to upload (highly unlikely.) When I see these types of profile pictures, I generally think “come now sweetheart, show the world your pretty face” (imagine me saying that in a overprotective mother voice.) The inanimate object picture is an easy way to hide a face or a body you may be insecure about, but you shouldn’t be afraid. This is the internet baby! Let your freak flag fly!

The Group Shot

The group shot is a photo of you and your buddies, hanging out, being and looking fabulous. A very popular Facebook profile picture, because, come on! What’s cooler than your entourage? the use of the group shot can vary greatly, are you the party girl sticking her head in on the left there? Or are you the dude behind the umbrella who can’t be seen? People use the group shots for different reasons, either to stand out, or to fade into the background. I see the group shot as a nice way to show the world a bit about your life and your hobbies, however if you are the guy behind the umbrella, use a different picture.

The Joke Shot

The joke shot doesn’t have to be a photo, it could be text (as above.) It’s some hilarious and quick visual joke you can use to show the world what a crack up you are! Picture disabled because he’s too good-looking?! Hahahahaha! That is too much! That is genius comedy, that guy needs his own sitcom! People who use the joke shot are also the same kind of people who wear tee shirts with funny slogans (I lost my number, can I have yours? Hahahahahaha) These people are the worst people in the world. I would literally rather spend time with a conservative christian who doesn’t believe in evolution than hang out with the kind of person who thinks joke tee shirts are funny. Having said that the joke profile shot is a good way of identifying these people so that they can be avoided, so I encourage you to continue.  

The “Me As A Baby” Photo

 Aaaaaaw, how cute! you’ve used a picture of yourself as a baby for your profile picture! It’s even cuter because you’re not a baby! You’re an adult! Aaaaaaaaw.  This is an odd one, but I’ve seen it around more than once, fully grown adults using a picture of themselves as babies or children on their profile picture. Why? I think it’s a combination of things, partially I think it’s an ego thing. you’re so into yourself that you think other people will get enjoy your old photos as much as you do. I also think it may be a way to reclaim the glory days for some people, ah childhood, it was all downhill from there.

 

My Kids! My Husband!

If you’re married and/or have kids, chances are you’ve got a profile picture that reflects your status as a family man/woman.  Maybe you’ve got the photo from your wedding day, maybe it’s junior’s gap toothed smile, either way, you’re showing that you aren’t just an individual anymore, you’re part of a family unit. Photo’s like these may show that you are a loving mother/father/wife/husband, but try mixing it up every now and then. Don’t let your public image become two-dimensional. People will be more interested in a multi-faceted well-rounded human being than they will with “super mummy.”  

My pets!

Ok, the pet shot. This shot is similar to the kids shot, but much, much worse.  A lot of people use pictures of their beloved pets as a way to express their undying affection to the animal. If you’re using a  picture of your cat as your profile picture, it might be time to start thinking about having a baby. Don’t get me started on the people who make separate profiles for their pets, no I will not be friends with your dog!

The Drunk Shot

The drunk shot, one of the most popular choices for profile pictures amongst young people (and sad older people.) This photo is a way to show how much fun you are, and how much fun you’re having! You’re not a stuck up snob, or some nerdy loser. You’re cool, you’re awesome. Shots like these may seem awesome now, but consider how they may affect you later on in life, down the line when you’re applying for that high paying job with the conservative company, you may wish you had appeared less “awesome.”