2014-09-24-momentum

Momentum

2014-09-24-momentum

I might have already written about this story here, but a little over a decade ago I saw a dude refuse to leave a customer service line at Walmart the day after Christmas until they agreed to refund him for a dozen or so bottles of perfume that were NOT purchased at Walmart. It was just his refusal to cooperate, listen to reason or back down in any way that eventually broke them. He went through two or three cashiers, a manager and eventually the store manager. The store manager asked him what the perfume was worth, typed a special code into the register that denoted “giving some fucking asshole $100 so he will go away” to the higher ups and was able to satisfy the “customer.”

 

potter and daughter podcast logo hijink ensue

When my Patreon reaches $2000/month I’m going to release a new podcast where upon I interview my 7 years old daughter as she reads through the Harry Potter series. It’s called Potter And Daughter! More details HERE.
becomepatron

I learned a few important lessons that day. The first was that Walmart does have the power to return ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. It was shortly after this that they instituted the “show us your driver’s license if you don’t have a receipt” policy, but that just means that you can only pull shenanigans a few times a year before they get suspicious. I also learned the power of stubbornness. I didn’t think it was a virtue, but it was definitely power. I mean, the guy was clearly a lying fuckhole trying to defraud the store. That much was abundantly clear. He knew what he was doing, THEY knew what he was doing and he KNEW that they knew what he was doing. Still, he stood there INSISTING that the world conform to his will. He demanded that reality reshape itself to match his desire just by standing there and repeating the same lie over and over and over. Again, I did not think this was a good thing to do, and I did not plan to incorporate this tactic into my own dealings in the future, but it was certainly educational to see how it played out and to extrapolate how this might and DOES play out all over the world every single day.

The other thing I learned is that I probably shouldn’t be too nervous about trying to return the Playstation that I ruined while attempting to solder on a mod-chip that would let me play burned games. Compared to the other guy, I might as well have been there to deliver back rubs and blowjobs for all the employees. Subsequently, I did NOT try to modify the brand new Playstation that they gave me. I learned my lesson.

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The Silliest Of Bands

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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).