Welcome to Rd 2 of the Knucklehead Blog-Off. This week's category is observational humor. You can vote here. The voting begins today at 10 am Pacific time and goes through Wednesday evening. Please read all of the entries and vote based on merit and not on the fact that I would give each and everyone of you a kidney. Based on my regular stats, that's a total of nearly one dozen kidneys. Thanks everyone. As always, your readership is much appreciated.
Science-y is everywhere. As I type this, all over the world actors are posing as scientists to deliver us the latest in vaguely scientific sounding bullshit. It's like pseudoscience without the effort. If pseudoscience is like astrology or economics, then science-y is like Shape-Up Shoes.
Shape-Ups show us a dramatization of someone wearing the shoe and we can see the flexing calf muscle. The advertisers toss out the word "kinetic," and Joe Montana tells us it works. Suddenly, it's a billion dollar a year market -- for Frankenstein shoes. We had a name for those when I was a kid. We called them orthopedic shoes and the people who wore them had bad feet.
There is this Wisk commercial out now. The claim -- Wisk doesn't just clean dirt; it cleans "particulates." Then a fake microscopic "reveal" shows the offending particulates, and little hexagons start bouncing all over the screen. The hexagons have two letter abbreviations in the center: Pt for particulate, Oi for oil. Clearly, we're supposed to be reminded of molecules and more specifically, the periodic table of elements.
"Oooh" we'll gasp, "That stuff has to work. It's like . . . science and shit."
The thing is, last I checked, "Oil" is not on the periodic table. Neither is "Particulate." The periodic table has stuff like gold (Au) and, uh, other things.You can't just make shit up and pretend it's on the periodic table. I wish you could. I'd have done much better in high school chemistry. And there would be an element called Cakeium. (Ck)
Oh and a particulate can otherwise be defined as soot or dust particles suspended in the air. It's dirt. That's not science, Wisk. Not even a little. That's Science-y.
We had a personal experience with science-y sales when we bought our mattress at a store called Sleepy's. Before they would show us the mattresses, they made us each lie down on another mattress connected to a big computer-esque machine. This was supposed to tell us what our perfect mattress would be. It whirled and chirped and lights flashed and I'm pretty sure I saw an Oompa-Loompa. I asked what the science behind the machine was because I'm a douche bag like that. The salesman said, "Well, it's from the Sleep Institute."
Whoa, the Sleep Institute. Really? Well then. I'll never forget when Dr. Von Snoozenburg won the Nobel Prize for Sleepology for his work on pillow drool.
Science-y is very useful for selling us shit. Show us an x-ray of the human body or a drawing of a pulsing red quadricep and we're convinced your product is the one for us. It's gotta work, it's science.