First Power Balance, now Radiguard?

On Dec 24 I saw an ad on Australian TV for a button that you stick on your mobile phone to shield you from the dangerous radiation that mobile phones are alleged to cause (according to “studies”). It costs $40. Google around, you’ll find the website for the “RadiGuard”.

Leaving aside the fact that the actual studies to date done on mobile phone radiation (not the “studies” the commercial referred to) have been at best inconclusive with regard to actual or even potential harm (and here’s a nice link on that subject – and that’s a site you should visit every day, by the way), here’s why this thing is, frankly, a complete scam designed to make you afraid and then capitalise on that manufactured fear:

1. This device is meant to be a radiation barrier, yet you stick it to the BACK of your phone. Shouldn’t it be between your head and the phone, i.e. on the FRONT? A barrier is no damn good if it’s anywhere other than between you and the hazard. This shouldn’t need pointing out. Unless you’re more concerned about hand cancer than head cancer.

1a. Perhaps this sticky button is meant to “stop” radiation in a way other than providing a physical barrier? Other than on Star Trek, no “field” exists which can stop EM or IR radiation. There’s a reason your radiologist stands behind a big thingy and wears lead underpants.

2. It claims to “block” IR radiation – heat – without itself heating up. In other words it claims to be able to violate physics and destroy energy. Or perhaps it can cool itself at the exact same rate as it heats so there appears to be no change in temperature – the world’s most efficient heatsink? Or perhaps it simply transports the energy to another dimension? If any of those apply it’d be no small accomplishment for a device with no power source.

3. It claims to block 99.5% of the radiation your phone emits – without affecting signal strength. Considering most of the radiation emitted by your phone IS the signal, again, that’s no small accomplishment.

4. It claims to use something called “Scalar Energy Embedding” … which does not exist. I don’t mind if the crew of the Enterprise string some science-y words together as some kind of plot device, but the crew aren’t charging gullible Klingons $40 apiece for sticky buttons and claiming they defy everything currently known about everything and will protect you from the brain tumors that EVERYONE WHO USES A MOBILE PHONE IS GETTING right now – oh, that’s right, they’re not.

This kind of misuse of the word “energy” – and this whole sordid scam itself – reminds me of those fucking ridiculous rubber hologram bracelets that are meant to make you a better basketball player/golfer/xtreem sports DUDE. And which also cost $40. Hell, even Today Tonight exposed that particular scam for what it was. The sticky radiation guard from THE FUTURE deserves no less.

What to do apart from complain? Bugger alerting the “journalists” at Channel 7 (as they’re highly selective about what they choose to call a scam), complain to the ACCC: – go to General Complaints.

People have a right to truthful and accurate information about anything they’ll potentially spend money on. Lying might not be illegal, but lying to make money is definitely illegal. This product is designed to take advantage of a false sense of insecurity and a lack of scientific understanding. It makes claims about “studies” which are not supported. It makes claims about the danger of mobile phones which are not supported. The claims it makes about its own function are not just unsupported, but pure fiction. Everything we’re being told about this product is false, except the price tag (which is the whole point of its existence).

Go, bitch & moan to the ACCC, before someone you love spends their hard-earned on this sticky plastic button in the belief that they’re protecting you or themselves from THE CANCER. If you’ve seen an actual person you love suffer from actual cancer, seeing charlatans attempt to bilk people out of their money using alleged cures or preventions of cancer as the bait should seriously get your back up.

I’m off to write a letter.

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So, the Rapture’s coming…

…eventually. And because you’re so freakin Holy, you’ll be up in Heaven and most of your family & friends will Left Behind on Earth.

Accordingly, this enterprising bunch of Christians (found via the inimitable blog of PZ Myers)is offering a post-Rapture message service to send “See? Told you so! I was right! Now convert and get your arse up here before you’re dragged into that fiery pit to be raped by robot gorillas for eternity” messages and important documents to your heathen loved ones. How, you ask?

We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to
the addresses you provide, 6 days after the “Rapture” of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system.

Sounds very Mish Imposs doesn’t it? And it’s using the email! Utter genius. Spiritual piece of mind for just $40 for the first year. Doesn’t sound like much money, until you consider the sheer number of complete idiots in the US that actually believe the Rapture will happen, lifting dedicated Evangelist Christians physically out of their Walmart clothes, giant SUVs, pipe-bomb factories, home-school garages, bible colleges and gay brothels to join the Creator. These are the people that voted for George. Twice! These are the people who don’t actually want peace in the Middle East – prophecy states that when the Jews return to Zion (i.e. when they punk every last Palestinian into the sea) the End Times can kick off, Armageddon will ensue and “every knee will bow” to the giant mecha Jeebus and his legion of light-saber wielding battle angels. Or something. Neon Genesis Evangelion actually seems more plausible.

Evangelical Christians creep me out most of the time (ever seen a Benny Hinn bible circus?) but this latest scam is really reaching the heights of icky-tasting creep, the kind that doesn’t wash away even after several pints of Listerine…