The Silliest Of Bands


The deadline for ordering the Ultimate Fancy Edition AND getting your name in the book on the Fancy Wall of Fancy Fame is January 15th!!!

Less than half of the 150 UFE’s remain! Show your support for HE and preorder the shit out of Book 2!

I’ve been seeing these commercials on late night TV for a while now touting rubber bracelets that “balance your core” and are “tuned to your body’s frequency” and “take your $30″ and “affirm that you shouldn’t be allowed to make your own purchasing decisions” and “call into question your ability to care for yourself without supervision.” I get so angry when I see these types of products that claim to be based on science then proceed to use nonsense, unrelated buzz words in rough juxtaposition to confound the consumer into believing all the answers to their problems lie in $0.40 worth of silicone.

I wasn’t really thinking about PowerBalance Bands as a possible comic topic until I saw a few tweets from Mythbuster Adam Savage on the subject. I guess his followers were asking why they didn’t debunk the bands on Mythbusters, to which he replied, “I can’t debunk the science of the stupid bracelets, because there IS NO SCIENCE TO THE STUPID BRACELETS.” It’s nice to see that such blatant snake oilery produces the same ire in Adam as it does in me.

He’s right. There IS NOTHING TO TEST. If you are at all curious as to how they pull off the balance tests on the commercials to seemingly awestruck passers by, it’s a simple bit of physics trickery. Slight of hand. An illusion [not a trick… tricks are something whores do for money, Michael].

Adam also points out how fascinating the Placebo effect is. When I was 17, I had a friend (he was around 40) who could play guitar in essentially every conceivable style with expert level prowess. He was really gifted. He also had carpal tunnel syndrome in his right hand that was preventing him from playing as often as he needed to (he made his living as a guitar teacher). The pain was awful. One day I brought him a magnetic bracelet I’d purchased at Wal-Mart. I was a stupid teenager and hey, magnets right? How the fuck to they work? Long story short he strapped that bracelet on, the pain (which was caused by a medically verifiable condition for which he required surgery) was gone and he continued to play full time with no problems. What I’m saying is the human brain is a stupid, stupid lump of crap and a dirty liar.

I’d also like to point you to this video (and 100’s more like it) where the individual lets you know how to tell the difference between a real Power Band and a fake one. Go ahead and try to wrap your mind parts around that one. I dare you. If you really need one of these things, may I suggest Placebo Bands? They work just as good (which is to say they also do nothing, but at least they come with a free layer of irony).

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