A Twitt from Dirk Hanson, of the Addiction Inbox blog, pointed to the Mini Chill drink which purports to be:

..the world’s only drink guaranteed to make you feel great! Our all natural blend of herbs and aminos is Dr. formulated and proven to promote relaxation, improve mental focus and even boost your mood!

Dirk made some crack about this being an alcohol enhancer and, fascinatingly, the website for this product has a whole page for cocktail recipes. Mood enhancing, healthy…and a mixer! Oh joy…
MiniChillFACTS.pngAt any rate, I was searching for the Quack Miranda Warning when I clicked on the “Lab” page and I immediately noticed something funny. An icon right in the middle of the page is linked to the ingredients page which says the product contains:

four primary ingredients found in nature, all of which have been subjected to molecular research and clinical studies. These components are Valerian Root, Aminobutyric acid (GABA), Theanine and 5-HTP.

Oh this is a classic of misdirection and insinuation isn’t it? “Molecular research” and “clinical studies” eh? Yet I bet not one single clinical study showing that this product has the benefits that they claim. Just guessin there. Anyway I’d best leave the quack busting to the real experts like PalMD and Abel Pharmboy, so let’s return to the iconography.
ResearchBlogging.orgThat icon, linked to their supposed evidence mind you, reminded me of this ResearchBlogging.org icon. When you put them together like this it is obvious that the Mini Chill icon is not an exact duplicate. But still. It evokes the ResearchBlogging icon, does it not? Surely this is not just me?
If you will recall the ResearchBlogging icon is the descendant of a prior icon. The goal of this icon was, of course, to evoke rapid identification with the intent of ResearchBlogging.org itself. I.e., to form a sort of Good Housekeeping seal of approval that the post you were reading met certain basic standards.
If this is not simply a coincidence, I find it really interesting that some quack product would try to coopt the authority of ResearchBlogging.org. Among other things it would seem that marketing donks think that the ResearchBlogging.org is actually meaningful to people. That’s good at least.
I never did find the Quack Miranda Warning.

Advertisements

SackPuppetry

July 22, 2010

from Legends and Lore

So I was pondering….as is my wont. Pondering, lo, that thing which is the sock puppet. Kids these days, they don’t know wtf a sock puppet is. Nobody wastes a friggin sock on making a muppethugging *puppet*. You know what they do every other week in preschool and school art though? Make puppets out of those little tiny lunch bags. Glue all kinds of crap on them and use the fold to make a funky mouth. That’s right. What kids these days know are SackPuppets.

We intertoobs types need to get with the times. Say it with me people.

SackPuppet.

#IOweBora, do you?

July 22, 2010

crossposting from drugmonkey.wordpress.com.


By now many of you have read Bora Zivkovic’s lengthy Op/Ed on the history and future of scientific blogging. This was written upon the sad occasion of his departure from blogging at ScienceBlogs.com. An impromptu tribute to Bora popped up on blogs and Twitter.
The central themes are the essence of Bora. That he encouraged a nascent blogger (e.g., scicurious). Connected them with the greater blog community. Sent them their first traffic. Etc. And from the more established folks the themes of improving their blogging-through “bloggable” alerts, link fests, carnivals and more. Bora created the Open Laboratory end-of-year print summaries of the best-in-blogging. He and another collaborator put what is now the go-to meeting of the year for online science communication, SciOnline.
These themes are but the tip of the iceberg because of course every person has an individual story, even if only in 140 characters or less.
Together this evidence reveals the central place Bora Zivkovic occupies when it comes to scientific communication online. It also reveals the deep appreciation many have for his efforts.
Abel Pharmboy notes on his new blog that there is still a disconnect between Bora’s labors and his ability to make a living from what he does. Abel suggests that it is time for the community to step up and deliver a more tangible appreciation for Bora.

let’s take “I Owe Bora” to a new and literal level. Lots of you know that he has been in a bit of financial difficulty and I know that he’s too proud to ask for help. In standing for his principles, he’s giving up over $100/month from ScienceBlogs and the network is still two months behind on their payments. Several people have asked me how they might help out The Blogfather. So, I’d like to put up a PayPal donation button for all of us to show our appreciation to Bora and put our money where our mouths are (and tweets and posts are).

I agree completely.Go over to Abel’s post or just click this link.

#IOweBora, do you?

July 22, 2010

By now many of you have read Bora Zivkovic’s lengthy Op/Ed on the history and future of scientific blogging. This was written upon the sad occasion of his departure from blogging at ScienceBlogs.com. An impromptu tribute to Bora popped up on blogs and Twitter.

The central themes are the essence of Bora. That he encouraged a nascent blogger. Connected them with the greater blog community. Sent them their first traffic. Etc. And from the more established folks the themes of improving their blogging-through “bloggable” alerts, link fests, carnivals and more. Bora created the Open Laboratory end-of-year print summaries of the best-in-blogging. He and another collaborator put what is now the go-to meeting of the year for online science communication, SciOnline.

These themes are but the tip of the iceberg because of course every person has an individual story, even if only in 140 characters or less.

Together this evidence reveals the central place Bora Zivkovic occupies when it comes to scientific communication online. It also reveals the deep appreciation many have for his efforts.

Abel Pharmboy notes on his new blog that there is still a disconnect between Bora’s labors and his ability to make a living from what he does. Abel suggests that it is time for the community to step up and deliver a more tangible appreciation for Bora.

let’s take “I Owe Bora” to a new and literal level. Lots of you know that he has been in a bit of financial difficulty and I know that he’s too proud to ask for help. In standing for his principles, he’s giving up over $100/month from ScienceBlogs and the network is still two months behind on their payments. Several people have asked me how they might help out The Blogfather. So, I’d like to put up a PayPal donation button for all of us to show our appreciation to Bora and put our money where our mouths are (and tweets and posts are).

I agree completely.Go over to Abel’s post or just click this link.