Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween: A Celebration of Fear

Halloween was always one of my favourite days of the year as a child.  Even as an adult, I get a small rush as the last day of October approaches; I even get to relive the experience through the eyes of my own kids - one will be Spider-man, the other a kitten.  I love it all, from the costumes to the pumpkins and candy.  But what fascinates me most about Halloween is the spookiness that goes along with it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Q-Ray and Critical Thinking

Advertisements for the "Q-Ray" have me shaking my head again.  You've no doubt seen an ad for the metal bracelet that can improve your life in every conceivable way.  How can these metal bands help its wearer navigate life's obstacles, you ask?  Well, they are positively charged you see, and this charge will seep into the wrist it sits on, and then consume the body of the individual.  A better question might be, "How many illicit drugs were the makers of these 'devices' on when they thought people would be dense enough to believe this nonsense?"

I guess the joke's on me, because the Q-Ray, also known as the second dumbest product after 'Head-on', is back.  So profitable are these magic bracelets that they are again being sold, even after suffering a verdict that should have spelled the end of Q-Ray.  As reported by Consumer Affairs, "In November 2006, the court required the defendants to turn over a minimum of $22.5 million in net profits and up to $87 million in refunds to consumers who bought the bracelets between January 1, 2000 and June 30, 2003, when the bracelet was advertised on infomercials and Internet Web sites, and at trade shows."

According to the ruling at that time, Q-Ray was misleading consumers into believing that the bracelets actually did something.  Apparently, this multi-million-dollar slap on the wrist was not sufficient to deter the makers of Q-Ray (they must have been wearing a Q-Ray bracelet at the time the decision was handed down - apparently, Q-Rays heighten one's persistence).