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View Full Version : Snake oil products that customers want to buy.


Crosshair
07-18-2006, 05:48 AM
Lets share stories about people who buy snake oil products.

Today I was helping in sporting goods when a lady and her adult daughter came to the counter. The mother asked if we sold any bracelets for motion sickness. My co-worker and I both had a confused look on our faces. My co-worker asked if they where looking for Dramamine or Ginger pills? The daughter said that they where looking for those bracelets that you wear and they eliminate motion sickness. They where going on a long trip and her mom gets motion sickness very easy. The daughter want on to tell how wonderfull the bracelets worked and she didn't want to waste money on drugs.

Just a note, the "Insert product name" bracelets are all bunk and only work on the "Placebo effect". Anyone who buys these are wasting their money.

Anyway, both of us said that the bracelets are bunk and don't work, for such a long trip we both said that they should look into getting some Dramamine or Ginger pills. They insisted and as luck would have it our HBA/OTC guy was walking past. We snaged him and the mother/daughter explained what they wanted. HBA/OTC guy said the same thing we did, that they didn't work and you would be better off using pills. We also found that we didn't sell them anyway. Mother/daughter would have none of this so I told them that they could go to crafts and buy some elastic and sew together a bracelets. It would work just as well as the "real thing". They then left in a huff.

Seriously, I feel sorry for that woman. She is probably going to find one of those things and wear it on their trip and wonder why it isn't working as she is puking her guts out.

Anyway, lets hear your stories about customers who buy snake oil products

Ringtail Z28
07-18-2006, 06:33 AM
There's so many of those things that have come and gone I've lost count.

There was the magnetic bracelets that was supposed to cure all sorts of things.

MetaboLife. Some sort of diet herbal supplement that we couldn't keep on the shelf a few years ago. I think it caused a bunch of health problems.

Some sort of shock belt thing that used small jolts of electricity to stimulate the muscles. It was supposed to be just as good as a workout but allowed the person using it to just sit on their ass and do nothing. Very popular, even my sister bought one.

Billy Banks Tae Bo. Some sort of kickboxing workout thing. It caused a lot of injuries from what I've heard, for being a lousy workout that results in a lot of strains and from getting their asses kicked for thinking that this crap counted as martial arts training.

I'm sure there's a ton more that I haven't thought of.

Rapscallion
07-18-2006, 07:07 AM
In the health food industry, we have phases of different faddy products to deal with.

Omega-rich foods? Sure, we came up with our own pre-packs of omega seeds.

Pomegranate juice being the best thing since sliced sex for your immune system? Yup. We bought in shedloads and people bought it.

Right now, it's Goji berries. They contain a high level of anti-oxidants - they help combat cancer etc. What people don't realise is that pomegranate juice also contains anti-oxidants as their main selling point, and both were introduced to the herds as being the latest miracle food.

In short, both products do the same job. What they also don't realise is that if you go down any hedgerow in the UK at this time of year, you'll find shedloads of blackberries, which have the interesting property of having a high portion of anti-oxidants in them - nearly as much as pomegranate juice and Goji berries. They're also more palatable as well, not to mention free.

Rapscallion

Lace Neil Singer
07-18-2006, 11:55 AM
Pomegranate juice being the best thing since sliced sex for your immune system? Yup.Does it still work if you mix it with Pimms? :lol:

Mongo Skruddgemire
07-18-2006, 12:27 PM
Some sort of shock belt thing that used small jolts of electricity to stimulate the muscles. It was supposed to be just as good as a workout but allowed the person using it to just sit on their ass and do nothing. Very popular, even my sister bought one.

Oh that one works...sort of.

What that gizmo is supposed to be is a TENS unit. And yes, they can build up a muscle without actually using it. My wife and I were both on the TENS units for different reasons. Hers to help with the recovery of a shattered knee, and me for an atrophied muscle that was causing my cyatica.

In both cases it worked to bring the muscles up enough that Physical Therapy could do the rest.

That machine could indeed work to improve tone in the muscle, but it won't build the muscle up any more than it already is. You can improve your abs so situps and crunches aren't as hard to do, but it won't turn the flab into ripped 6-pack abs.

So that one works, but not the way it's advertised.

Mongo

sarahj
07-18-2006, 12:44 PM
Billy Banks Tae Bo. Some sort of kickboxing workout thing. It caused a lot of injuries from what I've heard, for being a lousy workout that results in a lot of strains and from getting their asses kicked for thinking that this crap counted as martial arts training.

Billy Blanks Tae Bo rocks! My mum got that set years ago but she never used it cos the moves were too hard/confusing, like you said. But I've done a few years of tae kwon do, so I know what I'm doing, and I can honestly say that the tapes are good fun.

I see what you mean, and I can only conclude that the tapes should be clearly marked as "not for beginners." :)

lordlundar
07-18-2006, 03:20 PM
OH! OH! The Game Boy Micro!:D

Seriousley, this thing has to be one of the silliest ideas Nintendo came up with. The old model GBA screens were tough enough to see, so what does nintendo do? "let's make the screen about a third of the size!"

I have told people that the things were meant to be a fashin accessory before a game system (Nintendo's words, not mine) and steered them over to the GBA or DS.

Now they're discontinued and we're selling them for 70 bucks and I have to get them out the door.

Dreamstalker
07-18-2006, 04:30 PM
Oh, I could fill an entire forum with tales of my grandmother. She orders everything under the sun from those cheap "medical" trinket catalogs (can't recall any names off-paw). She's needed a hearing aid for years, but thinks the cheap $10 "magic ear" sound amplifiers will suffice (um, no, it don't work that way). Also thinks that Mentholatum (anyone remember that stuff?) will cure all ills...

Tried to get me into the magnetic bracelet thing...she just will not believe mom and I when we tell her why product X won't work for the arthritis and bad hip she should have gotten treatment for ten years ago. Kind of sad really, but also funny at the same time (what manner of stuff will she buy this week?).

Her latest kick is herbal supplements that she thinks will negate any and all need for the medication she needs to take.

Luckily for my mom, she is legally off the hook (as in she cannot be held responsible for anything that happens to my grandmother as a result of her snake-oil dependencies).

I thought those muscle stimulators were found to be dangerous, and hence outlawed/banned.

cpux
07-18-2006, 04:54 PM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.

And I remember when pomegranates were "in" as the miracle food guaranteed to improve your health. You had all the health nuts going ape over the fruit and the juice (which was quite expensive, even at our grocery store). Now they just trot them out around Rosh Hashanah, as is the custom.

beercashier
07-19-2006, 03:53 AM
THe placebo effect on the seabands can work! One of my kids get really carsick and it worked for him a few times. Of course, dramamine is more effective because it knocks him out

A long time ago, my DH had insomnia and ordered the VCR remote you can talk to.... how lazy can you be?!?!?

protege
07-19-2006, 05:26 PM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.



I wouldn't be surprised if that stuff was really fuel injector cleaner, or repackaged STP...marked up 50-100% of course :rolleyes:

Argabarga
07-19-2006, 06:13 PM
Copper braclets that supposedly stop arthritis pain, and "Airborne" a vitamin mish-mash that advertizes it can prevent colds, people ask the pharmacist if it works, we tell them "no, there's no way it can deliver what it's promising" and they buy it anyway......

Dreamstalker
07-19-2006, 06:53 PM
THe placebo effect on the seabands can work! One of my kids get really carsick and it worked for him a few times.
Acupressure, I think is the concept behind those.

Airborne works for my family. Maybe it has different levels of effectiveness on different people, I dunno. The woman my mom works for swears by it and has my mom buy her 12-14 boxes at a time :eek: I'm of the theory that overuse causes resistance and therefore reduced effectiveness, but hey, it's not my mom's money that gets wasted on the stuff, so...

Ringtail Z28
07-19-2006, 07:56 PM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.


I remember something along those lines called the Tornado. A spinning metal thing that went on the intake manifold and was supposed to increase gas mileage and performance because of the way the air would spin into the combustion chamber. It was proven to do nothing except screw with the sensors on some cars.

Argabarga
07-19-2006, 08:45 PM
Someone on one of the car sites I go to bought one as a joke and actualy tracked his mileage and found that it improved by somthing like .02% over the week he didn't use the thing, and rightfuly dismissed such numbers as margin of error in data collection.

The realy funny part of the discussion were the 2 or so people who posted insisting this was proof that it worked.....:p

ladodger34
07-19-2006, 08:53 PM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.

Mythbusters tested a few different gas mileage cures and IIRC, none of them significantly added any fuel efficiency. A couple of the miracle cures actually decreased MPG.

Brighid45
07-21-2006, 05:43 PM
The latest snake oil gadget here is the solar-powered fan you hang in your car to keep the interior cool. The ads claim that even on the hottest days the fan can cool your car down to under 80 degrees Fahrenheit by pulling the hot air out. So one of the local news crews did an admittedly unscientific test where they took three cars of the same make and parked them in a lot where they were under full sun with the windows rolled up. They ran their a/c units until they were all a uniform 80 degrees inside. One car had nothing done to it, one car had a sunshade placed in the windscreen, and the other had one of the fans put in the window. Identical temperature gauges were put in the back seats of all three cars out of the sun. Five hours later, the cars were opened and the gauges checked . . . and they all read the same: 120 + degrees Fahrenheit. So much for the car fan!

bean
07-21-2006, 08:17 PM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.


A friend of mine had the "Tornado" - basically an overpriced piece of metal or plastic that you put in the air intake tube on an engine. I kept telling him all it would do is impede air flow, which in turn would hurt mileage and power. It was marketed (still is) as turning turbulant air into a swirling vortex. Yeah, it might do that, but as soon as it hits the butterfly of the throttle body and the plenums in the intake manifold that's all a moot point.

The car ran like absolute shit when he put it in. His mileage dropped by about 5 mpg and it lost a lot of power, also triggered a check engine light. Seems it really screwed with the MAP sensor.
edit: Beaten by Ringtail. You're better off taking the $70 or so you'd spend on the tornado and replace the air and fuel filters, toss a new set of spark plugs in, and if needed, a new distributor/cap rotor. You'd see a better improvement there.

The only real snake oil I'll use on a car is the crap that's sold to help you pass emissions - but only the really, really cheap stuff. It's basically just rubbing alcohol anyway, but alcohol burns cleaner than gasoline when it comes to the sniffer.. my car has 204,300 miles on the original engine and cat, it needs all the help it can get to pass.

My parents current kick is Seasilver (http://www.seasilver.com). They swear it cures everything, though at least it doesn't seem to be harmful going by the ingredients list (but it's all stuff you could get seperately for 1/10 of the price).

novicecrafter
07-21-2006, 08:28 PM
how about some herbal pills that "electromagnetically smooth out the intrinsic vibrations of your brain" :eek: aparently turning you into a vegtable for $40 a bottle.. hehe now available and pushed on you by the sales people at your local health food national chain....

They sold like hot cakes at the place I used to work *rolls eyes

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-21-2006, 09:14 PM
Some sort of shock belt thing that used small jolts of electricity to stimulate the muscles. It was supposed to be just as good as a workout but allowed the person using it to just sit on their ass and do nothing. Very popular, even my sister bought one.

My roommate in college junior year bought that thing. He used it once, and then it just sat in a corner in the living room.

The latest snake oil gadget here is the solar-powered fan you hang in your car to keep the interior cool. The ads claim that even on the hottest days the fan can cool your car down to under 80 degrees Fahrenheit by pulling the hot air out. So one of the local news crews did an admittedly unscientific test where they took three cars of the same make and parked them in a lot where they were under full sun with the windows rolled up. They ran their a/c units until they were all a uniform 80 degrees inside. One car had nothing done to it, one car had a sunshade placed in the windscreen, and the other had one of the fans put in the window. Identical temperature gauges were put in the back seats of all three cars out of the sun. Five hours later, the cars were opened and the gauges checked . . . and they all read the same: 120 + degrees Fahrenheit. So much for the car fan!

Scary thing is, some dry pool diving team member is going to buy that thing, install it in his/her car, assume it's safe to leave his/her child or pet in the car with the windows closed on a hot day...and return to find the kid or pet roasted to death.

skeptic53
07-21-2006, 10:09 PM
There has been fad, after fad, after fad, after fad in the the "alt med/supplement/herbal" industries:

Anyone remember DMSO? Kombucha tea?

Some are still around: Spirulina, bee pollen, echinacea, zinc pills. No better than placebo according to Consumer Reports, (but don't knock the placebo effect, it can make a difference).

Some are harmless but way overpriced: coral calcium, high-priced vitamins, sea salt. Some vitamins are sold in a legal pyramid scheme, a la Amway, such as Herbalife, Km, and others. Way, way overpriced.

The magnets and copper bracelets have already been mentioned.

Some things are HARMFUL:
*colloidal silver permanently turns your skin blue, it was hyped around Y2K as preventing "toxins" from building up.
*the fad before "coral" calcium was "natural" calcium in Dolomite, from the Dolomite mountains of Italy. Too bad a lot of it was contaminated with lead.
*ANY kind of enema is a bad idea unless there is no other way to unblock severe constipation, but coffee enemas are ridiculous. "Toxins" do not build up in the colon, the lining of the colon is a specialized form of skin that constantly sheds, nothing "builds up" or is stored in the colon.
*ephedra, Ma Huang, Dong Qai can cause heart attack, brain stroke, or heat stroke. Ephedra has killed several professional athletes who used it in hot weather.

"Regular" medicine is frequently just as bad. The claims for "powerful", "instant relief", "new" are usually hooey. Most stuff advertised on TV has one or more of the same generic ingredients that have been available since the early 1960's.

Example:
Theraflu is:
-acetaminophen (Tylenol)
-dextromethorphan (the DM in Robitussin DM, a mild cough suppressant)
-pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, a decongestant)
-chlorpheniramine maleate (ChlorTriMeton, an antihistamine, put in not for allergies but because it causes drowsiness)
AND...
-lemon tea. Replace the lemon tea with 60 proof booze and you have Nyquil.

"non-drowsy" Theraflu leaves out the antihistamine. "Cough and cold" will sometimes add guaifenesin, a mucus-thinning agent usually listed as "expectorant"

These ingredients do work, but they are not worth the price. Theraflu is worth about $.02 per dose, it's sold at almost a $1 a dose. Buying Theraflu is like buying a Hyundai but paying the price of a Lamborghini. It's not useless, just way overpriced.

Few people know that Benadryl and Sominex are the same active ingredient, diphenhydramine HCL, easily available generically and much cheaper.

Another scam is "Our medicine has X milligrams of relief, there's has only Y", comparing two different compounds of different potency. This is like saying "Our beer contains 16 oz of stupefecation, while their vodka shot only has 1.5 oz"

I could go on and on but you get the idea.

chantal
07-22-2006, 01:38 AM
Scary thing is, some dry pool diving team member is going to buy that thing, install it in his/her car, assume it's safe to leave his/her child or pet in the car with the windows closed on a hot day...and return to find the kid or pet roasted to death.
I smell a lawsuit :lol:

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-22-2006, 02:05 AM
Few people know that Benadryl and Sominex are the same active ingredient, diphenhydramine HCL, easily available generically and much cheaper.

AHA! So now I know why Benadryl knocks me right out.

Crosshair
07-22-2006, 05:08 AM
AHA! So now I know why Benadryl knocks me right out.
My mom and I use it as a sleep aid. I use it about once a month when I simply can't get to sleep. Take 2 of them + half hour = ZZZZZ. However they do affect people differently. My dad takes 4 and goes to work.:eek: They simply do not make him tired, but they clean his nose out good. He only does that when his nose is very runny.

/*Thud*

chainedbarista
07-22-2006, 08:45 AM
diphenydramine can also be used for pets when travelling or when fireworks are shooting off.

diphenhydramine is a great drug, but has the nasty dehydrating effect.

while the products themselves are sucky, sometimes the commercials for them are beyond funny.

Kiwi
07-22-2006, 08:48 AM
Spirulina is a fad? I was told by my doctor to take it to up my iron intake because I dont like eating meat.

I also took colloidal silver and colloidal mineral for 2 years and it didnt do anything to my skin....

Im not a big fad person myself....if its sold on TV only, im not buying it!

Rapscallion
07-22-2006, 02:52 PM
We still sell Spirulina, but it doesn't go that fast.

Rapscallion

Argabarga
07-22-2006, 05:45 PM
AHA! So now I know why Benadryl knocks me right out.

That's one of the more interresting things I've learned at pharmacy, when people stop by for sleep aids, the Pharmacist usualy recomends they take an allergy med since most of them will knock you right out becuase of the diphenydramine in it. Sleep aids are all about marketing and not thier chemistry.

Speaking of the diet/energy pill fads, why do people really seriously think they work, or work in the "miracle" sense? If there WAS a pill out there that instantly caused you to lose weight and develop an amazing sex life, would it NEED advertized? at 2am? on dead TV channels? :lol:

Rubystars
07-22-2006, 05:48 PM
http://www.together.net/~rjstan/

Don't EVER take colloidal silver again!

"There is a documented case in which a woman did not turn gray until five years after she stopped taking the drug."

AFpheonix
07-23-2006, 04:42 PM
Meh. If people think the stuff is working for them, then go ahead and buy it, if they need help to get over their wierd little brain block.
The sea bands work on accupressure points, which, while not proven by any reports, isn't disproven, either, and if someone feels like they are less sick by using it without having to deal with the sleepy dizzy feeling they'd get from Bonine or Dramamine, more power to them.

I do get annoyed with the people who get stuck on their particular brand of cold remedy, though. I can show them the ingredient lists on ones that are identical yet cheaper, and they'll go elsewhere to get their little magic pill elsewhere. Whatever.

The other thing similar to that are the people that have to have the brand name version of a product instead of a generic. Typically if they're wanting a brand name of a narcotic, I pretty much figure that they're going to sell the stuff. The FDA doesn't let generics come out willy-nilly without having the companies prove that their medication has the same amount of active ingredient, the same efficacy, and time release as the original product.

Diet pills and other additives are the other products I see a lot. They get rather put off when they ask the pharmacist what diet pill she recommends, and she replies that simple diet and exercise are the only way to go. These are girls that are skinnier than me (I'm a size 10).

The airborne is pretty funny, too. I've had people that act like it's a religious thing to take this stuff. Same thing with Emergen-C. I don't know how many people know that vitamin-C is water soluble, so pretty much they're just peeing out all that supplement they just plunked down a lot of money for...

NightAngel
07-23-2006, 05:51 PM
I tried the Zinc stuff that's supposed to help stop/prevent colds. Did nothing for me but I know people who swear by it.

Herbal remedies aren't all baloney- but the drug companies certainly would like you to think so. Many of those "useless" herbs were the base for the now completely chemicalized drugs they sell.
Examples:
Ephedra= Pseudoephedrine
Valerian= Valume

Naaman
07-24-2006, 12:11 PM
Without wanting to get too bogged down in this sort of disscussion I'm going to have to disagree with you NightAngel.

Whilst a lot of drugs started off as herbally based modern pharmaceutical techniques are able to isolate the active ingredients and develop manufacturing processes to extract or replicate with a high degree of accuraacy (strength wise) - your pill will always contain Zmilligrams of mystery ingredient. Herbal remedies production methods are a little less rigourous and don't take into account the natural variations between individual plants

Another point that gets overlooked (sometimes exploited) is that herbal remedies are often classed as food supplements and are therefore out of the regulatory bodies remit. No testing is required (pharmaceutical products often require 4-6 years of testing), no double blind clinical trials to verify that it actually works and often poor or even dangerous advice from the vendors.

Last week the suppplement Kava-Kava hit the news (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2136416.stm) over here as it has been found to cause major liver problems, if it had gone through proper testing this sort of information would have been found out

AFpheonix
07-25-2006, 06:04 AM
That's not to say that herbal remedies don't do any good, however.
It does mean that they should be more regulated, and that people should be more aware of what they're taking.

There are studies that show that zinc does help shorten the duration of cold symptoms compared to placebo, but it's not a huge margin. There's similar studies out for other supplements, too.

The problem comes in when people just go and take stuff without being under a doctor's care and advice, especially if they're taking other prescription meds that can interact with herbal supplements.

Banrion
07-25-2006, 05:35 PM
The other thing similar to that are the people that have to have the brand name version of a product instead of a generic. Typically if they're wanting a brand name of a narcotic, I pretty much figure that they're going to sell the stuff. The FDA doesn't let generics come out willy-nilly without having the companies prove that their medication has the same amount of active ingredient, the same efficacy, and time release as the original product.



I must respectfully disagree on this one. While the active ingredient is the same, often the buffers used in the brand name vs generic is different. This is what causes me and my mother problems. Unfortunately we have no way to know if the generic is using the problem buffer until we try it, and then swell up. We have been told that the pharmacies don't really get a non-active ingredients list. We still don't even know what the mystery buffer is that makes us swell, but it is obviously cheaper than the standard buffer used in brand name scripts since we typically have problems with the generics.

NightAngel
07-25-2006, 08:08 PM
I'd like to clarify one thing.

Yes, I understand the problems that can come with herbal remedies. Just as their are problems with pills. I spent years learning about herbs, mixing them, using them, effects, side- effects, etc. I know what I'm doing basically. Alot of people don't and yes, they can make themselves sick with some of them. Yet, they can also make themselves sick with pills when they're too lazy or stupid to read the instructions or decide, "Hey, if one pill is this good then three must be da bomb."

I'm not going to argue which is better/worse. I use both truthfully.

(And, before anyone asks- the answer is no. DO NOT PM me asking for an herbal mix to help with X ailment. I won't respond- I only mix for close friends and family and I'm not going to attempt to instuct a proper herbal mix in a PM. Sorry.)

skeptic53
07-31-2006, 06:53 AM
That's not to say that herbal remedies don't do any good, however.
It does mean that they should be more regulated, and that people should be more aware of what they're taking.I agree. There are many herbal or supplement-type products that do work (melatonin comes to mind). It is a total rip that the alt-med industry lobbies (read: bribes) Congress to keep them completely unregulated. A local TV station bought stuff at a big chain called "Gee 'n See", quite a bit of the stuff had no measurable amount of active product. Other stuff had been spiked with prescription meds, e.g. valerian root that had opiate and generic valium in it.

"Natural" is a tremendous scam, people equate it with "healthy". They forget that hemlock, poison ivy, rattlesnake venom, etc are all "natural".

TYFSOK
07-31-2006, 05:35 PM
Here in Japan, these little brown bottles of "energy drink" are all the rage. Supposedly, one bottle packs enough energy to get you through half a day of grueling work. I used to drink one every now and then, but it doesn't do anything for me.

I stopped drinking them when I had learned enough Japanese to read the label, and found out that one of the main ingredients is nicotine!

The last one I had was "Final Fantasy XII Potion," which didn't have nicotine, but did have royal jelly and a lot of herbal stuff. And it restored 100 hit points per bottle -- more, if you've leveled up some. :D

Silvercat
08-01-2006, 12:09 AM
http://www.together.net/~rjstan/

Don't EVER take colloidal silver again!

"There is a documented case in which a woman did not turn gray until five years after she stopped taking the drug."

That's awesome! Where can I get some? ... now I just have to find something to turn my hair permanentaly white, grow fur, and get an eyeball transplant from a cat, and I'll look just like my online persona.

Dreamstalker
08-01-2006, 01:10 AM
The last one I had was "Final Fantasy XII Potion," which didn't have nicotine, but did have royal jelly and a lot of herbal stuff. And it restored 100 hit points per bottle -- more, if you've leveled up some. :D
JList.com had that stuff awhile ago...I wanted to try it, but it sold out before I could order even one.

Seanette
08-01-2006, 02:05 AM
Here in Japan, these little brown bottles of "energy drink" are all the rage. Supposedly, one bottle packs enough energy to get you through half a day of grueling work. I used to drink one every now and then, but it doesn't do anything for me.

I stopped drinking them when I had learned enough Japanese to read the label, and found out that one of the main ingredients is nicotine!
Would you be so kind as to tell those of us who wish to remain nicotine-free what brands to avoid? Many thanks for the heads-up!

Dark Psion
08-01-2006, 02:39 AM
That's one of the more interresting things I've learned at pharmacy, when people stop by for sleep aids, the Pharmacist usualy recomends they take an allergy med since most of them will knock you right out becuase of the diphenydramine in it. Sleep aids are all about marketing and not thier chemistry.

Speaking of the diet/energy pill fads, why do people really seriously think they work, or work in the "miracle" sense? If there WAS a pill out there that instantly caused you to lose weight and develop an amazing sex life, would it NEED advertized? at 2am? on dead TV channels? :lol:

Maybe that's why my allergies haven't bothered me since I started using Tylenol's Simply Sleep ;)

As to herbal remadies, I do get people asking for certain herbs in the greenhouse, but I usually point out that the remedy may be a processed version or only a certain part of the plant. There are plants that where only a part is poisonous. Also, I tell them about an elderly couple that got into herbal remedies and took Foxglove and died.

Foxglove's botanical name is Digitalis purpurea.

As too fads, a few years ago women were buying and using shampoos and conditioners for horses.

:confused:

Mr. Rager!
08-01-2006, 03:15 AM
Let's not forget the power of suggestion. It's actually a remarkable power. If you believe in something enough, it just might work.

Ree
08-01-2006, 03:41 AM
As too fads, a few years ago women were buying and using shampoos and conditioners for horses. They still are, in our area. It stands to reason that a product designed to make horse hair shiny and strong would probably do the same for human hair.

Also, the hoof hardener is popular for use on nails, and udder cream for hands. (Shania Twain started the "bag balm" fad when she said in an interview that she used it as a moisturizer. For a while we couldn't keep it on the shelf.)

Actually, when I was on holidays, I took a huge jar of udder cream to Bekki because she does cross stitch and her hands get very dry and cracked, and this stuff allows her to moisturize and then get right back to work with the thread and it doesn't mark it up.

Ringtail Z28
08-01-2006, 06:14 AM
Would you be so kind as to tell those of us who wish to remain nicotine-free what brands to avoid? Many thanks for the heads-up!

Hell, that nicotine drink is probably illegal here in the states. Or at least not able to be sold to anyone under the legal smoking age, kinda like the nicotine gum and patch.

Crosshair
08-01-2006, 07:44 AM
Hell, that nicotine drink is probably illegal here in the states. Or at least not able to be sold to anyone under the legal smoking age, kinda like the nicotine gum and patch.
Yet they give little kids their time released dose of synthetic cocaine (Ritalin) at lunch time.:rolleyes:

TYFSOK
08-01-2006, 12:49 PM
Would you be so kind as to tell those of us who wish to remain nicotine-free what brands to avoid? Many thanks for the heads-up!Well, if you're in a place where you can buy imported Japanese foodstuffs...if it's labeled Energy Drink, or if it's in a small brown bottle, it most likely has nicotine in it. :p

I don't actually know a lot of brand names. The one that the office used to keep in stock is called Ripovitan D. There's also one called Yunkeru, which Ichiro Suzuki endorses.

If your browser can display Japanese text, if you see this:

ニコチン

on the ingredients label, that means nicotine. Also, if it has nicotine in it, it actually tastes like Dimetapp with a cigarette butt put out in it.

Final Fantasy XII Potion didn't have that nicotine taste. It was fairly sweet, but with a strong bitter herbal aftertaste.

Barefootgirl
08-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Let's not forget the power of suggestion. It's actually a remarkable power. If you believe in something enough, it just might work.

For example, homeopathy, which is all about persuading people that sugar pills and plain water will cure their illnesses. I have no problem with people "treating" themselves homeopathically for the common cold or hayfever or whatever, but when it comes to serious illnesses or the illnesses of tehir kids...well, I'll get off my soapbox now.

HappyCthulhu
08-01-2006, 08:44 PM
AOL:eek: :confused: :eek: :confused:
You are the owner of a million dollar business and you have an AOL email address.
WTF are you thinking.

I get this all the time.

volvodrivincashier
08-14-2006, 12:38 AM
I got one of those friends who bought one of those gas mileage "miracle cures" from some place. Some vial of liquid you add to a full tank of gas to increase your miles per gallon twofold, or so it claims. Of course, it does absolutely bupkus.

I remember something along those lines called the Tornado. A spinning metal thing that went on the intake manifold and was supposed to increase gas mileage and performance because of the way the air would spin into the combustion chamber. It was proven to do nothing except screw with the sensors on some cars.

The 'miracle additive' is more than likely nothing more than acetone or paint thinner or any combination thereof. (Open up a bottle, break the seal and smell it - the 'legit' additives such as fuel injector cleaner from a reputable brand like STP, Chevron or Seafoam will smell like a petroleum product. The ones that have 5 bazillion things about how they'll exponentially increase your gas milage and no major name brand printed on the bottle generally smell exactly like paint thinner.)

As for the tornado - Do you know what the throttle plate is, and how it works? For those of you that don't, it's a round plate that swivels on its center axis that is used to regulate the amount of air entering the combustion chambers. It's perpendicular to the direction of airflow when wide open. There is absolutely no way that the 'spiral effect' of the Tornado will make it past this device, so the conclusion is, THE TORNADO DOES NOT WORK!

It -MIGHT- work on diesel engines, since they lack a throttle plate. I have my very serious doubts, though.

headache grey
08-14-2006, 06:56 PM
a huge problem with "supplements" is that they can be dirty. colloidal silver is usually water contaminated with things like lead and animal wastes. there's generally very little regard for a "sterile" packing environment. you are literally sometimes buying something that somebody packed in their dirty kitchen without using gloves and wearing the same clothes they just organically farmed in. (really, do you trust that person to have washed their hands after using the bathroom?) also, sometimes the supplements are not only packed that way, but packed that way in different countries. they bring foreign germs with them, so you can end up with an extreme version of the traveler shits.

as for the "big pharmaceutical doesn't want you to know this stuff heals you," don't you ever consider that possibly they'd be the first to jump on formulating a long treatment with a miracle cure? seriously, if all anyone had to do was grind up an orange peel with a purple coneflower and cure cancer, they'd have all the money in the world and would never have to make another pill.

my source of information is the research i did for a huge college paper on the alternative medicines fad, and 3 respectable physicians i've known personally for years. i also have pretty severe psoriasis, so snake oil salesmen swarm me. i'm very familiar with the emotional appeals they use. you're honestly way better off to just go ahead and trust your doctor, and if you don't trust the doctor you have, get a new one.

trunks2k
08-14-2006, 08:54 PM
The last one I had was "Final Fantasy XII Potion," which didn't have nicotine, but did have royal jelly and a lot of herbal stuff. And it restored 100 hit points per bottle -- more, if you've leveled up some. :D

http://reallifecomics.com/archive/060809.html

Deceptitech
08-17-2006, 05:46 PM
I love those things you can get for your cell phone that makes them better. I love that "mega antenna" piece of scotch tape you can get for 10 bucks. That was the work of a true evil genius there. "let's spraypaint on scotch tape, market it to say it makes your phone better, and let the money roll in."

Another item is the "deadly RF wave blocker for your cell phone". It's a piece of screen put over your speaker used to "trap away the deadly RF waves that go into your brain". I would say these are as useful as a screen door on a submarine, but what the hell, they are screen doors.

I used to work for Nokia, at their repair center in Florida. Everytime someone sends a phone in because it has no signal, and they have these things on them, I write a note telling them that they have an ID-10T error in the phone, and should replace it with another one.

Neither of these work, nor do any of these "miracle phone gadgets" people get. Unless it is a case, a charger that plugs in, or something like that, odds are it won't work.

Ringtail Z28
08-18-2006, 03:46 AM
I just thought of another one. Those sonic pest repellant things. The way they're supposed to work is they send out high pitched sound waves that are unbearable to insects and mice but don't affect pets. It was proven to be totally ineffective.

Ree
08-18-2006, 04:05 AM
I don't know. My Mom swears by hers.
We sell a lot of them at the store, and we don't get any returned.

trunks2k
08-18-2006, 01:38 PM
I just thought of another one. Those sonic pest repellant things. The way they're supposed to work is they send out high pitched sound waves that are unbearable to insects and mice but don't affect pets. It was proven to be totally ineffective.

My parents had one of those for their garden. It didn't seem to do much except for drive me nuts when I was working in the garden. They couldn't hear the noise, but I could. One day I got really annoyed with it, walked over, ripped it out of the ground turned it off, and hid it in the garage. My parents thought I went insane.

"why the heck did you just do that?"
-"The noise was annoying as hell!"
"What noise? It doesn't make a noise."
-"The high pitched noise it emits, I can't stand it"
"Okkaaaaaaay"

Broomjockey
08-18-2006, 05:50 PM
"why the heck did you just do that?"
-"The noise was annoying as hell!"
"What noise? It doesn't make a noise."
-"The high pitched noise it emits, I can't stand it"
"Okkaaaaaaay"

I'm like this, I hear the noise from lights, electronics, and all those fun things. One time I nearly went nuts trying to find the source of a noise no one else in the house could hear. Turns out someone had left the TV on, on A/V input mode, so it was just a black screen, the same as when it's off.

repsac
08-29-2006, 12:26 AM
A friend of mine made me a custom portable gamecube using A lcd screen and small laptop battery. The thing looks professional and dread fun to take around to play. You'd be suprised all the conversations it's caused. My personal favorite was:

SC (Stupid Kid Customer 1)
SC2 (Stupid Kid Customer 2.)
SS (Stupid Salesman.)

SC (upon seeing my portable gamecube) WOAH! What's that?
Me: Portable Gamecube.
SC2 Oh, I've heard of those things. I didn't think they really existed.
SS: We're going to have them in by christmas. I'm sure you can prebook them.
SC: DUDE! How much?
SC2: (to me) How much did that cost you? I bet a ton!
SS: (Before I can say anything) They're going to be selling for about two hundred, plus tax.
Me: Actually? Nothing. It's a custom. Nintendo isn't making a Portable Gamecube. A friend of mine made this for my last birthday. I think there's instructions on the web.
SS: Sir, I need to ask you to leave the store before I call security.


ON a sidenote, I've been offered as much as five hundred for the thing. I'd sell it, if I thought I could get him to make me another.

lordlundar
09-01-2006, 12:34 AM
SS: Sir, I need to ask you to leave the store before I call security.

"And I'll phone yor manager, explain everything and inform him you openly commited fraud. Shall we see if you have a job after that?":devil:

In my case, I would too. Any time I go in after that and see him, I'd inform a manager what he does for sales too. If you openly lie to a customer like that and I'm nearby, the gloves come off and I will make sure you lose your job.

Gurndigarn
09-01-2006, 01:19 AM
A tidbit I heard. Came off the radio while I was driving, so the details might not be precise, but they're close.

Guy in India, 82 years old, is a new father. He credits his continued virility to drinking camel's milk.

No scientific evidence to back him up, but the price of camel milk recently doubled.



(What is it with virility that makes people so desperate? My theory on aging has always been that I hope I age gracefully. And if I don't, I hope that I at least accept it gracefully.)

(P.S.: are you familiar with the idea that rhino's horns (powdered) can help virility? There was an excellent vignette in Ivory by Mike Resnik with that theme. It's worth a read, if you can track down a copy.)

AFpheonix
09-01-2006, 08:30 AM
(P.S.: are you familiar with the idea that rhino's horns (powdered) can help virility? There was an excellent vignette in Ivory by Mike Resnik with that theme. It's worth a read, if you can track down a copy.)

A lot of items like rhino's horns that are phallic-shaped or even actual animal phalluses are considered to be good for uses like that in various cultures....sigh... People and their penises, I swear.

DigitalEngine
09-01-2006, 07:38 PM
Spanish Fly
One time I actually bought a vial of the stuff and one of my friends asked me if he could have some to put in his drink *keep in mind we were teenagers then*.
No maxed out sexual activities there. No virility, no hyped up sex drive, nothing. Altho it did gave him diarrhea(sp?) for a couple of days. :lol:

Zevit-C
It's a vitamin C product in my country that's supposed to boost your growth/height if you take it during your .. um .. growing years?
I used to take handfuls of the stuff during my teens but I'm still short :cry:
No growth spurts here.
Of course, I was alot more gullible as a teenager. I mean, vitamin C that can give you a growth spurt?

Phenfluramine
I think that's how you spell it. Weight loss pills.
I lost like 20 pounds a month on it. Worked like a charm. Or so I thought ..
Turns out it gives you an increased heart beat, EXTREME lethargy, night sweats, and hypertension. I still have hypertension to this day. A friend of a friend actually ended up in the emergency room after her heart beat went out of whack when taking this medication.

Diazepam
Not sure what this stuff is supposed to do, but an ex-boyfriend took it once, and had facial spasms for a couple of days. Was entertaining, tho .. :roll:

tacohuman
09-01-2006, 08:07 PM
Spanish Fly
Diazepam
Not sure what this stuff is supposed to do, but an ex-boyfriend took it once, and had facial spasms for a couple of days. Was entertaining, tho .. :roll:

diazepam is the generic name for valium, an anti-anxiety drug.

DigitalEngine
09-01-2006, 08:16 PM
Just out of curiousity, tacohuman, how does an anti-anxiety drug give you facial spasms?

Broomjockey
09-01-2006, 08:27 PM
Just out of curiousity, tacohuman, how does an anti-anxiety drug give you facial spasms?

Check the list of side effects for some random drugs some time. Facial spasms can be relatively mild. But I believe the clinical reason would be it interferes with the neurons responsible for facial muscle coordination.

Mark Healey
09-02-2006, 03:48 PM
The section I hate the most in the bookstore is the New Age/Metaphysics AKA Woo Woo section. It is shopped by some of the most addled people I have ever met. These people believe that by reading Capra and Zukov they understand quantum mechanics. AAAHHH!! Nobel prize winning physicists admit that they don't understand it. They just have some math that seems to work.

It is also among the most fad ridden sections in the store, along with psychology, business & finance, diets books, and alternative "medecine".

My guess for the popularity of these sections is that people can't either don't like the real answer (which is often, no one knows).

Sorry, your loved is dead. You can't talk to them any more. John Edward (The Biggest Douche in the Universe) can't help you.

If you want to get is shape, eat boring food and exercize.

To aquire wealth, spend less than you make and save it in interrest bearing accounts.

If you have an ailment that doesn't go away see a doctor. If a quack healer (of any stripe) makes you feel better then a psychiatrist will get to the root cause.

friendofjimmyk
09-02-2006, 06:52 PM
Billy Banks Tae Bo. Some sort of kickboxing workout thing. It caused a lot of injuries from what I've heard, for being a lousy workout that results in a lot of strains and from getting their asses kicked for thinking that this crap counted as martial arts training..

:eek: I bought tae bo

skeptic53
09-03-2006, 03:36 PM
Diazepam
Not sure what this stuff is supposed to do, but an ex-boyfriend took it once, and had facial spasms for a couple of days. Was entertaining, tho .. :roll:It sounds more like he took some sort of phenothiazine drug (Haldol, Thorazine, Mellaril, others), which can easily cause extrapyramidal side effects such as facial tics. If you take the drug long enough, e.g. to treat mental illness such as schizophrenia, the side effects can be permanent. Diazepam (Valium) can cause problems for people who are trying to withdraw from longtime use, but I've never heard of it causing facial spasms while using it. It's often prescribed as a muscle relaxer, although what it really relaxes is the brain.

lordlundar
09-03-2006, 06:25 PM
Oh! Oh! I have another one! that pasta/vegetable boiler on TV.

For those of you who don't know, you put your pasta/vegetables/hot-dogs/etc. in this plastic tube and pour boiling water over it, then put on a cap/sieve. It then says it cooks the item faster than using a stove and then you just tip the tube so the water strains out.

Yeah right.:lol:

When boiling anything, the water needs to maintain a rolling boil for the duration of the cooking, and recommendations are usually a minimum 2 parts water for 1 part item being cooked. Now this thing barely maintains a 1:0.5 ratio and the water is barely at boiling when it goes in, into the tube with no means of heat retention. (the "deluxe" model comes with a heatable pad which the manufacturer says is usually unnessesary)

My godmother picked one up to try. Did it work? :roll:

Seanette
09-03-2006, 07:35 PM
When boiling anything, the water needs to maintain a rolling boil for the duration of the cooking, and recommendations are usually a minimum 2 parts water for 1 part item being cooked. Now this thing barely maintains a 1:0.5 ratio and the water is barely at boiling when it goes in, into the tube with no means of heat retention. (the "deluxe" model comes with a heatable pad which the manufacturer says is usually unnessesary)

My godmother picked one up to try. Did it work? :roll:
Actually, my usual method of cooking pasta is as follows: bring water to boil, add pasta, return water to boil, turn off heat, cover pan, wait about 10-12 minutes (depending on shape/thickness of pasta). Very nearly idiot-proof. :D

Broomjockey
09-03-2006, 10:22 PM
Actually, my usual method of cooking pasta is as follows: bring water to boil, add pasta, return water to boil, turn off heat, cover pan, wait about 10-12 minutes (depending on shape/thickness of pasta). Very nearly idiot-proof. :D

That sounds like a challenge! Unfortunately, I hate pasta, so I'll have to pass.

Pinkie
09-03-2006, 11:59 PM
Actually, my usual method of cooking pasta is as follows: bring water to boil, add pasta, return water to boil, turn off heat, cover pan, wait about 10-12 minutes (depending on shape/thickness of pasta). Very nearly idiot-proof. :D

Speaking of idiot proof.....hardboiled eggs. Put your eggs in a pot, cover with water to one inch over the eggs, bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover pan and remove from heat and wait 20 minutes. Pour off water and cool with cold water. Best thing is, I never end up with the nasty green stuff around the yolks!

Sorry this is off topic, but I just had to share!

Seanette
09-04-2006, 02:19 AM
Speaking of idiot proof.....hardboiled eggs. Put your eggs in a pot, cover with water to one inch over the eggs, bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover pan and remove from heat and wait 20 minutes. Pour off water and cool with cold water. Best thing is, I never end up with the nasty green stuff around the yolks!

Sorry this is off topic, but I just had to share!
Thanks for the tip, since I like hardboiled eggs, but am never quite sure how long to cook them. :)

LostMyMind
09-04-2006, 03:47 PM
the cooling them off in ice water is the important part of his method. I do believe it makes them easier to peel too.

Seanette
09-04-2006, 07:41 PM
the cooling them off in ice water is the important part of his method. I do believe it makes them easier to peel too.
Not to mention less burning of fingers. :D