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Professional Standards Among Psychics

CA PsychicsLast night, as I was falling asleep, I heard on the radio an ad I had never heard before: Click here for a link to the ad audio

It was for California Psychics, apparently a huge organization that has its hands in everything ‘psychic’. I did a little Google search and found that they’ve been around for a while, and they’ve been discussed recently, such as on the JREF forums.

The part that I find extremely fascinating from the radio spot is this line: “At California Psychics, we thoroughly test our psychics to make sure they’re professional, have real gifts and communicate clearly.” I’m not sure whether to laugh or turn my head to the side and grunt, much like a dog does when it can’t figure out what the hell is going on. Ok, I understand the professional part; you don’t want some crazy person running their mouth off to a customer like they’re in a liquor store–that drives the customer to hang up the precious pay-by-minute phone call. This goes for communicating clearly too. Nothing weird about that. Gibberish doesn’t make the money either.

But “have real gifts”? How do they even do this? How is this even verified. Some sort of committee? Do they combine their powers, ask Captain Planet if the applicant is legit, and then have a psychic party? I like how the gifts part is shoved in between two normal and regular job applicant qualities. Perhaps they were thinking, “if we throw it in the middle, people won’t hear us talking crazy on the radio”. Let’s be honest, if someone had “real gifts” don’t you think they’d be cashing in on James Randi’s generous donation to their personal psychic fund? In the ad, the woman speaking describes the process, but it is very vague and non-committal. Also, it could be an actor/fictional person. Either way, I see no real gifts.

Furthermore, at the end of the ad is an invitation for a free reading. If the reading isn’t the best I’ve ever had, it’s apparently free. Speaking for myself, that would be the case every time.

So next time you here this radio ad, remember that it is the duped paying the advertising fees.

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Why ShamPOOP Might Be Better!, a website whose title assumes omniscience, allows one to discover within its health & beauty section that perhaps your hair washing habits are a waste of time, and that the effectiveness of your current shampoo brand’s molecules are sub-par at best. The sponsor of this advice, Kronos Hair Care (who strategically does not show up until the very end of this advertisement disguised as a scientific article) claims that current shampoos on the market are constructed in such a way that does not allow for the “large” shampoo molecules to penetrate our tiny hair cells and follicles. In essence, says they, we are washing all the nutrients (and our money) down the shower drain. Kronos claims that in order for us to have nutritious hair, the nutrients must get to the very roots for it to be any good and to “think about it this way—if you wanted to fertilize a plant, where would you pour the fertilizer? On the leaves? Of course not! You’d pour the fertilizer on the root and the soil where it’s needed most.”

Carvaggio's "Medusa" painting

Did Medusa ever have a good hair day?

This piqued my curiosity. Am I wasting my money on my organic green-tea mint, for color-treated hair, delicious-smelling shampoo? My hair seems rather healthy, but maybe it is a pure coincidence. Had I not ever used shampoo, but rather Dawn dish soap my whole hairy-headed life, maybe my hair would still look as averagely-luscious as it does today! So let us find out, does shampoo actually clean and nourish our hair?

According to renowned chemist Joe Schwarz, Ph.D, there is sufficient molecular evidence to support that shampoo and its molecules (although no mention of their supposed “largeness”) do a fine job of cleaning hair. But that’s where the blonde or brunette buck stops. We can get our hair clean, but since our hair is essentially dead protein, there is no zombifying or resurrecting-nutrient in this world that will bring our hair back to life again. Want to read his take on the matter via Washington Post? Check it out: Secrets of Shampoo.

Later on in this article–er, advertisement, Kronos claims to have results that “boost hair volume and body by an unprecedented 96%; increase hair hydration by 91%; improve luster and shine by 96%; reduce split ends and breakage by 96%.” Can one actually measure hair luster and shine? Where are they getting these percentages? Do they have special Luster Quality Assessors (aka LQAs) that compare one set of locks to the other in some special machine perhaps nicknamed Luster Lucy 3000? Now I am curious . . . . (after Googling for a few seconds) . . . Lo and behold, I have, at the very least found this: Development of a device to measure human hair luster. Well, I’ll be darned! However, I have yet to see any of Krono’s “results” published alongside their data set and/or methods. If they did use a Luster Lucy 3000, however, they may be onto something.

Now, whether or not Dawn dish soap or cow manure would do a similar job could prove to be an interesting experiment on its own, but one I would rather not try on my own hair. After all, Dr. Schwarcz bluntly expresses the rather morbid truth of our hair’s deadness; so why waste money on fancy shampoos that promise to essentially add nutrients to a mass of death on top of our skulls? Perhaps I am a slave to marketing and all the pretty packaging it presents, but for now I will stick with the pomegranate-scented, lather-laden stuff.

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