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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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